"Ang ganda ng pasok ng taon!" exclaims John Lloyd Cruz, whose film Unofficially Yours is presently doing well at the box-office.
Though he's a certified hit among the moviegoers, he admits to feeling the pressure at the time his project with Angel Locsin was about to be released.
He tells the press during his relaunch as the endorser of Biogesic on February 29, "Siyempre, andiyan lagi yung pressure ng, 'Will it be a box-office hit?' no. So, laging may ganun."
But what's more important to him now is quality. So each time he watches the finished product, the only thing he wants to know, "is it a good movie?"
And once he's certain that it is, "then wala na akong problema," says the top leading man of ABS-CBN.
WORKING WITH ANGEL. He's glad that from the dark romance genre of Imortal to theromantic-comedy style of Unofficially Yours, his tandem with Angel had earned the fans' support.
Lloydie (his nickname) elaborates, "Parang lumalawak or lumalaki yung range namin as a team-up. And para sa akin, malaking bagay...
"Para sa akin, more than anything with regard to the success of Unofficially Yours, para sa akin yun ang pinaka-favorite part ko."
One question touches the movie's theme—casual sex or relationships, which is considered a "taboo" in our still quite conservative society.
Smiling, the Kapamilya star remarks, "Ganun naman yung Pinoy, kung ano yung iniiwasan, yun yung madalas panoorin, masarap pag-usapan, di ba? Ganun naman talaga tayo, e...
"And I don't see any wrong about it. Nasa culture ba o nasa personality ng majority ng Pinoy, ganun?"
The viewers, he adds, watched not because "pina-practice yun [casual sex]... they were just curious."
Laughing, he jokes, "And merong mga matatanda na gusto nilang i-try."
WORKING WITH SHAINA? His upcoming projects include a movie with Sarah Geronimo and a series with Bea Alonzo.
How about working with his girlfriend Shaina Magdayao?
A pause before answering, "Well, hindi siya... hindi namin siya ini-entertain. Kung by choice, I don't think I'll choose to do it."
Has she watched his film?
"Hindi pa," he replies.
His girlfriend had a minor accident that injured her "ligament" after her number at the ASAP 2012 last Sunday, February 25.
According to John Lloyd, "Medyo grabe talaga... Hanggang ngayon, maga pa siya...
"Hopefully, bago matapos yung run ng movie, mapanood niya para hindi na bumili ng pirated."
The venue vibrates with laughter.
John Lloyd quips, "Joke lang yun."
He's obviously in high spirits.
Aside from the fact the he is currently controversy-free, he resumes, "My personally life is doing very well—with Shaina and my family—so I have nothing to complain..."
How did he celebrate Valentine's Day?
His answer: "Nag-premiere night ako but the following day, post-Valentines, nag-dinner lang kami. We found a special place sa New Manila..."
But unlike most couples, "Wala...walang regalo."
The only time they get to buy gifts for each other is when they're abroad.
Lloydie relates, "I try it to make it a point na pag may chance ako mamili abroad, siyempre, laging nandiyan sa listahan ko ang Mommy ko, Shaina, and for my Dad..."
He loves shopping for his girlfriend.
"Magaling ako diyan," he throws in. "Yun yung lagi kong ano, e, parang basehan, e, kung pumapasa ba yung taste ko sa mga binibigay ko. So far, okay naman..."
Are we gonna be hearing wedding bells soon?
His stance remains the same: "Matagal pa... wala pa sa... hindi pa namin... marami pa kaming gustong ma-achieve individually.
"We wanna maximize yung potential ko ngayon. Kanina, parang sabi ko, parang there are still a lot to maximize in terms of the potential 'no so dun muna, dun muna tayo."
WORKING WITH ANNE? Back to his leading ladies, there's a chance Lloydie will finally get to work with Iza Calzado.
The plan is still "puwedeng mabago," but the possibility is now greater now that she's already a Kapamilya.
He's "so excited" because even before, "hindi pa siya lumilipat, 'pag nagkakasalubong kami, 'Kelan?'"
Lastly, if given the chance, who among the actresses would he want to be paired with?
Without dilly-dallying, he drops the name of "Anne Curtis."
John Lloyd explains, "Alam mo lately, lagi kong naiisip ano, gusto kong makatrabaho si Anne.
"Shocked din ako nung naiisip ko, e. Kasi alam mo, parang hindi kami bagay...
"Parang pag iniisip mo, parang it's almost odd.
"Parang not common, pero sa panahon ngayon, given the right material, di ba, given the right director, di ba, lahat puwede naman, e."
And he underscores, "movie, ha"...and not a concert.