Joseph Marco is now on the roster of local stars whose acting prowess has gotten attention outside Philippine showbiz.
He currently stars in the second season of the Southeast Asian action drama series The Bridge.
Joseph was chosen among the list of Star Magic stars recommended by Director Ruel Bayani, ABS-CBN head of international productions and co-productions, to The Bridge producer Min Lim.
The actor remembered it took him "a while to process" the good news.
He said during the virtual presscon of The Bridge 2 last June 17, "It's such a big thing for us actors to get an international gig... I was blown away, I was so excited."
Joseph was doing three other stints at the time the offer came, but the 31-year-old actor did not think twice.
He said, "Who wouldn't wanna be part of this award-winning crime thriller?
"After watching the trailer of the first season—'cause I'm a huge fan of psychological thriller films—I got super excited and super thankful that I'm able to be part of this."
JOSEPH'S 'EDGY' PERFORMANCE
This season's premise centers on the murder of an Indonesian family aboard a Singapore-registered yacht found floating aimlessly on the shores of Malaysia.
The Tuas bridge, according to Min Lim, is the force that ties "all the countries together."
Joseph plays the role of Christian Salvador, head of a non-government organization and the love interest of Agent Serena Teo (Rebecca Lim) who, together with Agent Megat Jamil (Bront Palarae) is solving the complex case.
In the same presscon, Min commended Joseph for giving an unexpected "edge to the character."
She said, "We really didn't know what a Filipino actor would bring. We really had no expectations.
"But Joseph has blown all our expectations out of the water.
"He came in and he really brought something to the role, an edge that we never expected when we were writing the character."
She was also impressed by how Joseph swiftly built an on-screen "chemistry" with Rebecca although they've just been introduced to each other.
Min said, "I think they shot their first scene the day after they met for the first time, and he really, really delivered.
"I'm really grateful that we managed to get him on the show."
Meanwhile, Joseph recalled the heady start of his work in the show, "Coming from Japan, I needed to fly to Kuala Lumpur.
"And then the second time I went to Kuala Lumpur, that was New Year's Eve and we all know that everybody's celebrating there.
"So I went to Kuala Lumpur with no sleep. But, at the end of the day, it's such a blessing to be working on the first day of the year."
The Bridge is produced by Viu in association with HBO Asia Originals.
It began airing on Viu, HBO GO, and HBO on June 15, and will continue to air one episode every Monday at 8:00 p.m. (Philippine time).