JC Santos to co-star with Ryza Cenon; talks about working with Hollywood actor of Lost fame

IMAGE Mark Atienza

JC Santos is part of the Cinemalaya 2017 entry Nabubulok, the film 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, and the teleserye Victims of Love.


JC Santos will topbill an upcoming movie to be produced by Viva Films and he is also part of two separate entries included in film festivals this August.

In addition to all these films, he is cast in the upcoming ABS-CBN primetime series Victims of Love.

The Kapamilya actor will soon get the chance to work with GMA-7 actress Ryza Cenon in an upcoming movie titled Mr. and Mrs. Cruz.

Both JC and Ryza posted photos taken during the story conference of their upcoming film to be produced by Viva Films.

Ryza shared her photo with JC and Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, who will be the director of Mr. and Mrs. Cruz.

The Kapuso actress wrote: “So blessed na makasama sa panibagong obra na gagawin ni Direk @sigridandreapbernardo at excited na rin ako makatrabaho ka @j.c.santos. Direk congrats sa #kitakita. #mrandmrscruz #soon #vivafilms

JC also “KitaKita director, @sigridandreapbernardo and The star of Manananggal sa Unit23b, @iamryzacenon for a new project. :) Kaya to kaya to.”

During TBA Studios’ grand launch at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel on July 26, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a chance to talk to JC Santos who talked about the many projects that will keep him visible to the public for the rest of the year.

 

CINEMALAYA ENTRY. For the 13th Cinemalaya, JC co-stars in Nabubulok, directed by Sony Calvento--the son of Tony Calvento of Calvento Files fame.

JC plays the brother of Lito Pimentel in this dramatic thriller. Ms. Gina Alajar also stars in this entry that is part of the 13th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival that will run from August 4-13, 2017.

Hollywood actor Billy Ray Gallion is also part of Nabubulok (The Decaying). The American actor is best known for playing Randy Nations in the U.S. series Lost.

Nabubulok revolves around the disappearance of Luna (Sue Prado) who is married to an American named Jason Harper (played by Billy Ray Gallion). When she goes missing, Jason is suspected of killing her.

Of the Hollywood actor, JC says: “He’s great. Napag-usapan na nga namin dati, e. Hindi naman nalalayo yung principle ng acting, it’s all about authenticity and all about your reaction. Nag-enjoy akong ka-trabaho siya.”

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Gina Alajar, JC, and the other cast members show how members of a small community behave around the American who is suspected of killing his Pinay wife.

JC says that he has yet to see the final cut, but already asked Direk Sony: “‘Direk, masaya ka ba sa ginawa ko?’ Sabi niya: ‘Masaya ako sa ginawa mo. At marami kang ginawa na sobrang nakatulong sa pelikula.’”

“Nagpasalamat ako, napanatag ako nang kaunti, gusto ko na siya mapanood, e. Sa August 5 na yung premiere namin.”

While shooting the film, JC had a chance to talk to Billy Ray about the differences between Hollywood productions and those made in the Philippines.

Ray told JC: "You know when you have a certain look, you have a tendency to get stuck."

JC pointed out, "Bad-boy yung look niya kaya may tendency siya na ma-typecast."

The Kapamilya actor also recalled what Ray observed about him: "[Ray told me] 'I'm not even going to cast you as a bad boy coz you look like a girl.'" 


PISTA NG PELIKULANG PILIPINO ENTRY. The film 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, is Viva Films’ entry to the 1st Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino that will run nationwide from August 16-22, 2017.

The love story casts JC for the first time opposite Bela Padilla.

In 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, JC is cast as Fidel, a stuttering student who tries to finish 100 poems dedicated to Stella (Bela), an aspiring but frustrated rock star, to win her heart.  

“It’s the story of Fidel, [who has a stutter], at gumawa ng 100 tula para kay Stella, dahil sa [four] years nila ng college, ibibigay na dapat niya, di lang nagkakaroon ng tamang pagkakataon, hanggang sa naging 100 na tula. Anung nangyari nung nabigay na niya kay Stella yung mga tula? Yun ang aabangan nila,” JC teases.

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He counts himself fortunate to be able to finally work with fellow Kapampangan, Direk Jason Paul Laxamana, on this project.

“Ang ganda ng kuwento, ang hirap nung character,” JC admits. His character Fidel suffers from stuttering if he speaks a sentence that is composed of more than 3 words. Thus, he keeps his statements to the “3-word rule” or resorts to writing instead.

According to JC, the film is based on a true story. “Meron talagang 100 tula at mayroon talagang babaeng inalayan ng 100 tula.”

About his leading lady, JC said: “Love ko si Bela, gusto ko na siyang makatrabaho ever since napanood ko siya sa Camp Sawi. Sobrang fan ako. Nag-enjoy akong panoorin siya at sabi ko sa sarili ko: ‘Gusto kong makatrabaho ito.’ Kaya sobrang ‘Thank you, God!’ na pinagbigyan ako na makatrabaho ko siya.

“Ang sarap as an actor na may makasama ka na ganun katalinong aktres sa pelikula. Dumali yung buhay ko in a way, kahit gaano kahirap yung character ko. Ang sarap ng connection.”

We asked him how many kissing scenes he had with Bela. “Hindi ko puwedeng sabihin,” he laughed but admitted that both he and Bela were nervous about it.

“Yung mga ganitong romantic [scene], awkward kami ni Bela diyan, e. Napag-usapan namin: ‘Paano natin ito gagawin?’ May ganun kami.”

And how indeed? “Basta may mga ginawa kaming preparation. Pinag-usapan namin: ‘So ganito, ganito gagawin natin, ha?’ Pinlano namin kung papaano ang mangyayari kasi alam namin na baka mag-suffer yung eksena kasi hindi kami natural, kasi awkward kaming dalawa. Nag-work naman.”



1-2.3. The film 1-2-3 (Wan Tu Tri), produced by TBA, was the opening film at the 12th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and it will soon be released in Philippine cinemas.

“Nung 2015 pa kami [nag-shooting]. Kung makikita ninyo yung trailer, ang haba pa ng buhok ko, ang itim ko,” says JC with a laugh.

He recalls that it was young director Carlo Obispo who handpicked him for the role. “Nagtiwala [siya] na maka-trabaho ako, naniniwala siya na kaya kong gawin yung mga role na ganun. That was the first time na hindi ako nag-audition para sa pelikula at kinuha ako. Sobrang suwerte ko.”

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JC plays a supporting role as the cousin of young actor Carlos Dala, who plays Luis, who comes to Manila from the province. Luis is searching for his sister, Lulu (played by Barbara Miguel), who may have fallen into a human trafficking ring.

About the very serious topic, JC says: “Basta may kuwentong ganito, yun naman yung gusto ko, e. Kaya naman ako napa-oo sa pelikulang ito. Yung mga ganitong issue na hindi pinag-uusapan kasi sensitive, it’s a good story to tell.”

 

BACK TO ABS-CBN PRIMETIME. After gaining fame as Ali through the Nadine Lustre-James Reid-starrer Till I Met You, JC returns to TV screens via a new teleserye titled Victims of Love.

The cast includes Julia Montes, Angelica Panganiban, Lorna Tolentino, Paulo Avelino, Cherry Pie Picache, Agot Isidro, Nonie Buencamino, and Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino.

He cannot yet reveal details about his character, but he says: “Sobrang layo [sa role ko sa Till I Met You]. Gusto nilang baliktarin ang itsura ko. In a way, action star ako this time.”

JC also discloses: “Bad boy ako dito. Yung buhok ko papahabain ko ng tuluyan. Outfit ko mas rugged.  

“Hint tungkol sa character ko: runner siya. Nagki-kickboxing. Nag martial arts ako dati kaya kailangan ko lang i-review.”

Victims of Love will air on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

When we ventured that JC will surely win an acting award at the rate he’s going, he just giggled and said: “Hindi naman yun yung... Para sa akin, basta may work, gawa lang nang gawa. Kung gusto mo ako, i-interpret ko yung character mo nang maganda. I promise you.”

JC also admits that another goal this year is to go back to school. “Gusto ko mag-aral ulit. Tatapusin ko yung thesis ko.”

The 28-year-old actor is on his way to completing a degree in Theatre Arts at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.



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Billy Ray Gallion of Lost fame to join Cinemalaya 2017 entry
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