Neil Sese open to portraying gay roles but not à la Brokeback Mountain love scenes: “Parang di ko kaya yun kasi nung pinanood ko iyon, napapailing ako, e.”

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Neil Ryan Sese says he would like to play more challenging characters like “baliw, taong grasa, bakla…”

Recounting how he bagged his breakthrough role in Munting Herredera: “Naalala ko, kuwento ng mga writers ito, ha, ‘Kasi nakita naman namin binibigay mo talaga yung best mo so hindi kami magdadamot na gawan ka ng magandang kuwento.’”


Most aspiring actors see reality shows as their gateway to fame.

Not so for theater actor Neil Ryan Sese. He took the “slow but sure” route, starting with bit roles many years ago.

“Naalala ko, sa Sana’y Ikaw Na Nga ako unang lumabas. Yun yung first ko sa GMA,” he recounted.

His role was so small, he could hardly remember what he did. But he was ecstatic.

“Ang gusto ko lang kasi, umarte talaga. Kaya nung lumabas ako sa TV, parang sa wakas, ‘eto na ang simula…”

His talent and patience eventually paid off.

After 10 long years and more than 60 appearances and guestings on television and film, he bagged the role of Simeon in the hit series, Munting Heredera.

We told him he deserved it.

He said it was all made possible by Direk Maryo J. Delos Reyes, GMA-7, and “suwerte."

Looking back, the UP Theater Arts graduate related, “Hindi ko alam kung ano yung eksakto, e, pero ang kuwento sa akin, nila, ah, ni-refer ako ni Direk Maryo.

“Nung una, nag-aalangan yung network kasi hindi nga ako sikat, e, ang laki nung role.

“So pinaglaban niya... [Sabi ni Direk Maryo], ‘Hindi naman kailangang sikat for the role, e. Basta siya lang makakagawa niyan.’

“Si Direk Maryo nga yung nag-push, so yun nga, napunta sa akin yung role. ‘Tapos yun, nagustuhan nila.

“’Tapos according to the writer, kasi sobrang suwerte talaga, e, kasi dapat three months lang kami.

"So dapat, up to a certain point lang yung kuwento ko. Yung Simeon, dapat hanggang dito lang, ‘tapos na-extend.

“‘Tapos nakita ng writer, ‘O ganito, pagandahin natin yung role ni Simeon, kasi okay naman.

“Ako po, siyempre, pag nababasa kong maganda yung eksena ko, siyempre, ginaganahan akong magtrabaho, di ba? So ayun, sunud-sunod na, hanggang sa ganito ang kinalabasan.”

GAY ROLE? At present, he is playing Eric in Biritera. Eric is the father of the lead female character, Roseanne.

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Given the chance, he would want to play more challenging characters like “baliw, taong grasa, bakla…”

Does this mean he’s open to doing a passionate love scene like in Brokeback Mountain?

“Hindi naman ganun,” he cut in. “Hindi ko kinaya…Parang di ko kaya yun kasi, nung pinanood ko iyon, napapailing ako, e.”

For art’s sake, he said he might reconsider.

“Siguro kung ganung kaganda ang project, parang mapapa-isip talaga ako.”

But the more he thought about it, “napapangiwi ako, hindi ko talaga kaya,” he said laughing.

How does he prepare for a new role?

His straightforward answer, “Ang paghahanda lang naman na ginagawa ko, nagbabasa ako ng script. Yun lang ang ginagawa ko before taping.”

But there are times, he said, when he does his own research.

Neil continued, “Minsan, halimbawa, hindi mo naman alam anong feeling ng nabaril, di ba? Kaya kelangan mong pag-aralan kung paano yung reaksiyon na ano, realistic.”

His acting experiences in theater and television taught him one lesson.

“Kailangan base sa reality,” the Kapuso actor shared.

Does he have a wish list of actors he wants to work with?

His reply: “Lahat sila, gusto kong makatrabaho. Iba–iba kasi ng style, di ba? Sa kanila, matututo ka rin. Iba-ibang technique yung ginagamit nila.

“Every actor talaga, may iba-ibang diskarte na kapag pinag-combine mo, talagang may mapupulot ka.”

CELEBRITY STATUS. His growing popularity among television viewers has brought some changes to his life.

He told PEP, “Naano lang yung privacy namin. Kasi before naman, tolerable pa pag lumalabas kami. Halimbawa, ilan-ilan lang, picture, okay lang.

“Ngayon, pumunta kami ng Enchanted Kingdom, hindi na namin masyadong na-enjoy. Kasi lahat na lang nagpapa-picture, parang ganun.

“Okay lang naman kasi part naman ng trabaho mo yun, kaso, di ba, pumunta ka dun para family day mo? Parang ang nangyari, seventy percent, nagpapa-picture ka.”

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But he's not complaining. “Ang gusto ko umarte, e, nagkataong kasama yung ganun, kaya okay lang.”

Indeed, he’s been “sobrang masaya” of late.

Smiling, he said, “Ito kasi yung pinagtrabahuan mo, pinaghirapan mo, ‘tapos, after so many years, binigay sa iyo. Nakakatuwa na dito ako umabot.”


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