Hardcourt heartthrob Ricci Rivero ventures into acting for the first time via the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Otlum.
A former basketball player of De La Salle Green Archers, Ricci is now part of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
Before playing for U.P., he had to rest for one year. For this reason, he was able to shoot this movie.
Otlum, a horror movie directed by Joven Tan, bece controversial when it was announced as part of MMFF 2018's Magic 8.
According to an October 10 PEP Alerts article, the MMFF executive committee had a lengthy discussion regarding Otlum and another movie, Alpha: The Right To Kill.
In the end, Otlum was chosen to be a part of the Magic 8.
There were some who raised eyebrows because of the MMFF ExeCom's decision.
During the press conference of Otlum on December 13, held at Play Hub Events Place in Quezon City, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked for Ricci's reaction regarding the controversy involving his debut film.
He said, "Prayers lang naman talaga. If anong maging outcome nito, magiging happy kami kasi pinaghirapan namin siya, e.
"So if ayaw niyo siya panuorin, we can’t please everyone. Someone can’t please anyone naman talaga.
"So kami, I’m just asking, if you guys can support us on this one, kasi we really worked hard for it.
"So, sana yung hard work namin will pay off in the future."
Was he disheartened because of those questioning their film's inclusion in MMFF?
He answered, "Actually, di ko kasi mako-control talaga kung ano yung mga opinions nila.
"So kung ano man yung opinions nila, so be it. Pero kami, we tried everything naman for this."
PEP.ph also asked Ricci for his reaction after being hailed by Twitter Philippines as the Most-Tweeted athlete of 2018.
He was also the Most-Tweeted athlete in 2017.
The 20-year-old basketball player said, "Siyempre sobrang thankful ako. Though nagulat ako in a way kasi I’m not playing lately, so wala akong makitang reason of them talaga talking about me sa Twitter.
"Kasi nga yun naman talaga.. I mean last year, 2017, pwedeng may reason para mag-No. 1 ako. Pero itong 2018, parang wala talaga, e.
"Wala naman ako sa TV. Wala naman ako talaga, e. I mean, wala akong ginawa halos.
"So 'yon, ito palang, this coming December pa, so I can’t really say.
"Pero yun, siyempre, sobrang thankful ako na nabigay sa akin yung Most-Tweeted athlete.
"Kasi, sobrang minamahal ko talaga yung fans ko. Hangga’t kaya ko, I'm trying my best talaga to accommodate everyone."
Being an athlete, Ricci has a good physique, which he sometimes displays through his Instagram posts.
One reporter asked, will Ricci showcase this and have shirtless scenes in the movie?
Ricci candidly answered, "Wala."
Following the MMFF annual tradition, Otlum opened on Christmas Day, December 25, along with the other seven entries: Aurora, Fantastica, Jack Em Popoy: The PulisCredibles, One Great Love, The Girl in the Orange Dress, Rainbow's Sunset, and Mary, Marry Me.