Happy si Christopher de Leon na siya ang napili ni Jinggoy Estrada para gumanap na kaibigan nito sa pelikulang Magkaibigan, naentry ng Maverick Films sa 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. Sa pamamagitan dawng movie na ito ay nakilala niya nang husto si Jinggoy.
"Aaminin ko, kami ni Senator Jinggoy, there was a littleintimidation sa umpisa," ani Christopher nang ma-interview ng PEP (PhilippineEntertainment Portal). "Noong hindi ko pa siya masyadong kakilala, honestly, medyointimidated ako. You know this guy is a tough guy. He's a senator, so he'stougher. We've heard him getting into fights and all that. Tapos sabi niPhillip Salvador, he got a photographic memory pa. Sabi ko, ‘Talaga?'
"When I got to know him, he's a fine guy. He's a goodperson. He's down to earth. He eats a lot. He's a such a nice person. He's agood friend. I never thought that Jinggoy Estrada was like this. He's veryaccommodating. Kaya siguro siya nagustuhan ni Daboy na maging best friendbecause he's really a nice guy."
INSPIRED BY DABOY. Written and directed by Jose Javier Reyes, Magkaibigan is inspired by the real-life friendship of Jinggoy and the late Rudy "Daboy"Fernandez. Pero gustong linawin ni Christopher na hindi ang buhay ni Daboy angginagampanan niya rito, bagkus ay tribute ito sa kanilang kaibigan na si Daboy.
So, ano ang pakiramdam na gumanap ng isang role inspired by Daboy?
"It's a hard task for me as an actor," sabi ni Boyet. "Playinga sick person is very hard. Pinag-aralan ko talaga yung script nito. Grabe yungmga lines ko. Grabe yung mga lines namin ni Jinggoy. It's easier to memorizeyung mga confrontation scenes, kasi I'm used to that. Ito kasi mahirap dahilit's very natural. Kapag binitiwan mo ang linya mo, it should be natural.
"So,it's harder to memorize kasi hindi ko nakagawian yung word for word. But it'svery essential to say it like that, kasi yung material ni Direk Joey [Reyes], mayrhyme, e. Yung pagkagawa niya, it's very natural na mayroong rhythm. Mula sapagbitaw ng funny lines hanggang sa pagbitaw ng dramatic lines.
"When they offered me the role and I read the script,beautiful script by Direk Joey, I did not solely make Daboy as my reference. Isaw him during his struggle. I saw him after his operation. And then when hewas about to leave us and go to his eternal home, I saw him, heard him, touchedhim.
"It was hard to take kasi I'm used to seeing Daboy namatipuno, he's a tough guy, a fighter, ganun. You know, marami akong experiencewith a dying person, including my dad. So, hindi naging problema kung saan kohuhugutin yung emotions. I've seen a lot of deaths. I've seen a lot of friendsdie, relatives die. Mahirap kasi kung kay Daboy ko lahat ipo-focus yung aktingko. So, I took experiences from other people. Kasi iba yung requirement ng rolena ginagampanan ko, e. Iba yung scenes na dinaanan namin," paliwanagni Christopher.
Paano sila naging close ni Daboy?
"Kami ni Daboy, ‘70s pa lang magkasama na kami sa pelikula.Nandun pa si Lorna Tolentino as my leading lady, pero hindi pa sila noon. Taposgumawa ako ng movie with him early ‘80s, yung Isang Milyong at Isang Kasalananby Hemisphere Productions. That did well in the box-office, so sinundan siya nungBahay-Bahayan, Kasal-Kasalan; kasama na namin si Alma Moreno at si Nora Aunor.
"During those times, kinumpare niya ako kay Mark [AnthonyFernandez, anak ni Rudy kay Alma Moreno]. Tapos ginawa ko siyang ninong nungsecond boy namin ni Sandy [Andolong], si Miguel. Noong ginagawa namin yungBahay-Bahayan, pareho kaming mahilig maglaro ng billiards. Tapos halos sabaynaming niyakap ang Panginoon. Tapos si Lorna naman, ako na yata angpinakamaraming beses na naging leading man ni Lorna... I'm not sure. Ang dami nanaming pinagsamahan," pagbabalik-tanaw ni Boyet.
WORKING WITH LORNA. Speaking of Lorna, officially ay isa na siyang Kapamilya atgagawa ng isang soap sa ABS-CBN. On top of her list daw para maging leading manniya ay si Christopher de Leon. Ano ang reaksyon ni Christopher dito?
"Really? Hindi ko alam ‘yan. We'll see, kung ano ang roleko. Huwag naman sanang kontrabida ulit [as in Kahit Isang Saglit]. Ang dami nanggalit sa akin, e. Kapag lumalabas ako sa kalye, sasabihin ko ‘Hi!' Parang takotsila. Hindi katulad noon. If it's a good role, I'll grab it," saad niya.
But are you excited to work with Lorna again?"Of course, I'm always excited to work with her. LornaTolentino...she's a pro. It's just like playing a championship sa tennis. She'sa pro. When we get into our roles, we forget who we are," pagtatapos niChristopher.