Atom Araullo is firm about wanting to grow as a broadcast journalist and not as an actor.
“Hindi naman ako nag-artista,” a grinning Atom said in response to an entertainment reporter who called him an “artista” in reference to his 5 and Up days in the ‘90s.
A broadcast journalist over a decade now, Atom did acknowledge that he made his acting debut in the movie Citizen Jake under the tutelage of acclaimed director Mike de Leon.
When asked how he opened his door to acting via the still-unreleased movie, Atom replied, “I have.”
Then he corrected himself, “Well, I did. Haha! Past tense, no?
“And, I’ve stated before why. I stand by those reasons. I have no regrets about taking on this project.
“I think that the only way of knowing for sure what the outcome would be is by trying, by doing.
“So, I’ve blocked up the courage to try this new thing for me and I hope that the result would be worth everyone’s while.”
Atom’s latest interview was at his solo presscon for his first documentary special in GMA Network, “The Philippine Seas,” which will be aired on November 5.
The event was held at Limbaga 77 Café and Restaurant last Friday, October 6.
In Citizen Jake, Atom played the role of Jake Herrera, a 34-year-old journalist who’s constantly at odds with his older brother: a congressman played by Gabby Eigenmann.
Initial trailers of the movie also showed his character struggling with the pressure from the expectations and political ties of his father, played by Nonie Buencamino.
When asked to assess his performance as a first-time actor, Atom simply replied, “Baka hindi ako ang magandang tanungin diyan. Tanungin niyo po si Direk Mike at yung co-actors ko. I tried my best.”
A well-respected filmmaker, Direk Mike is known for making movies that resonate with society, like Itim, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, and Kisapmata.
Atom, for his part, went on describe his foray into filmmaking as a “humbling experience.”
He explained, “It changed me in a lot of ways.
"Pag nabubukas ang mundo mo sa ibang klaseng field of expertise kung saan wala kang alam, I've said this before, it’s a very humbling experience.
“Kasi kahit na sampung dekada na akong mamamahayag, kapag nakita ko kung gaano kagaling yung mga tao sa kanilang napiling propesyon, at pumapasok ka doon bilang isang newcomer, nandun yung na-excite kang matuto rin at nari-realize mo na hindi ka puwede magyabang dahil maraming taong magagaling sa kani-kanilang mga napiling propesyon.
“At pare-pareho tayong may mga expertise, at pare-pareho tayong puwedeng matuto sa isa’t isa.”
Was his experience worth a second try?
Atom answered, “It’s too early to tell. We haven’t even released the film yet. Panoorin niyo muna.”
At one point in the presscon, he was asked again if he’s willing to do drama for GMA-7.
It seems unlikely, based on Atom’s following statement:
“Mahirap sagutin ‘yan. Sa ngayon, ang laki na nga ng challenge na gumawa ng trabaho para sa news and public affairs.
“So, para ma-distract ng gano’ng klaseng idea, baka hindi pa ito yung tamang panahon.
“Ang dami ko pang kailangan patunayan.
“So, palagay ko, dun muna ako talaga sa kung anong alam ko nang gawin.”