Sa Episode 3 (“We Need To Talk About Tony”) ng serye, ipinakita ng island tour guide na si Ian (karakter ni Gold Aceron) sa suicidal na si Tony (karakter ni Nico) na masarap pang mabuhay.
“I haven’t done a BL series before, and I’m a straight guy,” paliwanag ng 26-anyos na si Nico sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) nitong Oktubre 28, Huwebes ng hapon, via Zoom.
“And whenever I play a character, I want to make sure that it’s done with taste, and it’s politically correct. Kaya if I was gonna play a gay role, I want to make sure that I did it properly.
“So I was a bit hesitant when I was presented the project. I actually… part of me wanted to say ‘no.’ Because it’s not the typical project that I would do.
“I mean… a project that’s more on the sexy, bida-looking guy or kontrabida, asshole guy, yung mga tipong roles.
“This role was completely different from what I usually do. But being an actor and loving my craft, of course, I said ‘yes.’ Kasi, it’s a challenge for me.
“But I really had to prepare for this role, like… A lot of roles you can just wing it, you know, you can prepare for two, three days. Read the script, memorize your lines. Internalize a little bit whatever.
“Pero this one, I prepared a month and a half in advance—physically, mentally, lahat. Like, I used all of my workshops ever since I was twelve years old. I utilized them for this project. Kasi, it was that heavy.
“And I wanted to make sure that the LGBTQI+ community respected my performance, and I hope that they will when they watch it.”
WATCHING BL SERIES
Bahagi ng paghahanda ni Nico ang panonood ng mga BL series mula sa Thailand, Taiwan, US, at Pilipinas, kagaya ng Gameboys.
“What did I learn? Well, I mean, naiintindihan ko why those BL series were a hit,” seryosong sambit ng Fil-Italian actor-model.
“But at the same time, I wanted this series to be a lot deeper, a lot more meaningful. Kasi, sa palagay ko, a lot of these series in the Philippines are para sa mga libog, the stories are very simple.
“Parang walang depth sa story. Walang art sa story. Mga pogi lang, and then they kiss, or they have sex, and it’s just a very cheap form of entertainment.
“So, I wanted to make sure that this project was more than that. Kasi, the projects that I choose, I really handpick the projects that I do because, of course, that’s gonna represent me as an actor, right?
“I don’t wanna be seen as an actor taking any project, you know, kahit saan, right?” pag-iling ni Nico, na nagwaging best actor sa Gawad Sining 2019 filmfest para sa pelikulang Sabado.
“So, this project, I read the script and I realized, wow, this project has so much meaning to it. It’s a BL series, I think that’s the genre, but when you guys watch this, you’ll understand that there’s so many more elements to Love at the End of the World, that you haven’t seen sa mga previous BL series in the Philippines and abroad.”
Nag-shoot sila sa isang beach resort sa Oriental Mindoro. Pasakalye ni Nico, mababaliw ang mga manonood sa underwater scenes na kinunan sa may Socorro.
Natawa nang mapanukso si Nico bago nagturan, “Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! OK, I’ll just say … I’ll just say this…
“Makikita nyo, ahh… Ha! Ha! Ha! You’ll gonna see… our maneuvers underwater like… grabe! It was so physically demanding!
“And for the camera man as well as me and Gold as actors… makikita nyo… ahhmm… ahas. Underwater.”
“May frontal, may frontal talaga. And I’m very open to saying that, in admitting that. Kasi, excited ako,” pag-amin ni Nico.
“I mean, I’m very proud of what I have. So, this is the first series and film that I’ve ever shown everything. First frontal ko talaga…”
Mahigit anim na oras ang ginugol nila sa underwater scenes sa loob ng dalawang araw.
“Ang hirap! Actually, me and Gold, napaso kami! Because it was so hot!” pagkunot-noo ni Nico.
“Mindoro actually is the hottest province in the Philippines… kaya napaso kami, and ang hirap, for the DOP [director of photography] as well.
“And it was physically draining. Ang daming takes!”
Opo! Mahigit anim na oras na walang saplot sa dagat ang katawang lupa ni Nico!
Gold Azeron and Nico Locco on the set of Love At The End of The World
REAL OR PROSTHETIC?
Sa indie film na Sabado, prosthetic ang ari ni Nico sa isang maselang eksena. Dito sa Love at the End of the World, batid ba niya beforehand na totohanan ang pagpo-frontal niya?
“Actually, yeah. I mean, alam ko ang lahat ng ginawa ko when I did it,” matamang tugon ni Nico.
“Ahh, but sa Sabado, it was a prosthetic… Dito sa Love at the End of the World, I was aware that I would be showing everything. Actually, that was my agreement with the production na…
“OK lang ako sa frontal. Because I’m 26, I’m getting to that point na where I’m ready to do sexy stuff. Kaya I thought this would be a good inteoduction for that.
“Para makita ng mga tao what I’m carrying, you know. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! And sa Sabado, yeah, prosthetic penis 'yan—for the record.
“Kasi, I know that’s been going viral lately and online I’m seeing different reports whether it’s real or prosthetic. And it was a prosthetic penis, yes.
“Pero OK ako sa mga daring roles, like I said. And Sabado, wala akong regrets for that. I mean, I won an award on it, despite that I showed a prosthetic penis, and it was a sexual scene. OK lang yan.”
"I DON'T WANNA BE KNOWN AS A BL ACTOR..."
Malamang na pag nag-streaming na ang Love at the End of the World sa Disyembre sa GagaOOLala, may susunod na offers sa kanya na BL projects or gay roles.
Napatango si Nico, “I think, I’m prepared for that. I’m actually expecting it just because… all out ako sa series, right, like in terms of physically and emotionally.
“Physically, I’m showing everything. Emotionally, high to low. Low to high, almost every scene.
“So, I’m expecting that after this comes out, I will get a lot more BL role offers. And my management and I will choose carefully.
“Like I said, I handpick projects because those projects will define me as an actor, and the roles that I get going forward.
“I don’t wanna be known as a BL actor. I wanna be known as an actor lang,” pagmumuwestra ni Nico.
“Versatility is extremely important, I think, in any actor’s career. But hey! If another BL project comes my way and maganda ang story line, maganda yung character, let’s do it!”
Ano ang dream role niya?
“I think, my dream role has changed in the last three months. I really wanna do a sexy parang 365 Days type of role,” pagngiti muli ni Nico.
“Like si Michele Morone, kung napanood nyo sa Netflix. Something really daring and sexy and edgy. Gusto ko y'an.
“Like, I feel like I’m at the point in my career where I’m ready to do something like that. And I haven’t done something sobrang sensual and daring like that before, and feeling ko, I’m at that point na.”
Hindi yung mala-Adam Demos sa Netflix series na Sex/Life?
Natawa si Nico, “Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Hindi naman! Parang yung tipong role na… super bad ass guy that’s like… super edgy and sexy and rough.
“That’s why I have a balbas na. I’m kinda going for that look, I feel that’s my peg na.”
Ang Love At The End Of The World ay nilikha at idinirek ni Shandii.
Tampok din dito sina Elijah Filamor, Markki Stroem, Kristof Garcia, Rex Lantano, Mike Liwag, Elijah Filamor, Yam Mercado, Khalid Ruiz Gold Azeron, at Arrian Labios.