Alden Richards has an ongoing prime-time series on GMA-7, The Gift, which is still in its last two weeks, but the Kapuso star already has a new show coming up.
The Pambansang Bae has now been tapped to host Centerstage, a reality singing competition for kids.
With him, sitting in as the competition's judges, are the highly talented singer Aicelle Santos, famous musical director Mel Villena, and Concert Queen Pops Fernandez.
Clearly, there is a continuous stream of strong TV projects coming Alden's way.
Over in the world of movies, Alden has also been making big waves.
His team-up with Kathryn Bernardo, for Hello, Love, Goodbye, directed by Cathy Garcia Molina, has become the all-time highest Pinoy blockbuster movie. According to its producer, Star Cinema, its total worldwide gross hit P880,603,490.
Alden seems low-key about his success, and just sounds consistently grateful: “Last year, sobrang daming blessing at magagandang opportunities na dumating sa akin. Hindi po nawala iyun.”
Says the frontliner of All-Out Sundays, the newest GMA-7 Sunday noontime variety show: “I have good people behind my back to give me advice kung ano ang magandang kunin at mga hindi dapat kunin for now.
“Ang daming learnings ng 2019. Siyempre, hardships, trials, but what keeps me going is the people behind my back.
“My supporters, my fans, my family and, of course, the people that encourage me that I can do more and better with the craft that I’m doing now."
The movie-television-concert star also seems to know that hard work trumps luck and chance every time: “And with 2020, sana ganoon pa rin. I’m not expecting anything, but I will work hard for 2020, harder than 2019.”
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed Alden at his contract-signing as the new brand ambassador for Embassy Whisky, last Tuesday, January 28, at the restaurant Alden co-owns, Concha’s Garden Cafe, Scout Madriñan Street, Quezon City.
HAS ALDEN started shedding his wholesome image?
Alden already has a string of endorsements to his name, but this marks the first time he is endorsing an alcoholic beverage.
Some die-hard fans were admittedly surprised by his choice of a new endorsement, especially because the youthful-looking Laguna boy has always been known for his wholesome image.
Alden understands the issue: “Well, of course, I’m of age na rin po.
"I’m 28, and parang it’s all right to be an ambassador of liquor, as long as you promote drinking in a moderate manner.
“Hindi na rin ako nagdalawang-isip sa liquor endorsement, kasi siyempre, hindi naman tayo pabata."
He also admits, "At the same time, I’m also a whisky drinker whenever I have parties. So, iyun talaga ang go-to drink ko whenever I have parties with friends, families, and co-workers.”
Did he consider many factors before he agreed to endorse the whisky brand?
“Well, in terms of kinonsider, siyempre sa mga supporters natin na bata and mga moms, baka magulat sila, pero hindi naman natin ito ipu-promote to go into that market.
“So, it’s really for something new lang din po for 2020. For me as well, I’m always looking forward to be part of a new family, that’s why I said yes.”
IS ALDEN STEPPING UP TO MORE MATURE ROLES?
As he slowly steps out of his clean-cut, boy-next-door image, Alden could be ripe for more mature roles as well, and his whisky endorsement may be considered a levelling-up of sorts for his foray into meatier roles.
Is this his new direction for 2020?
He reveals: “Yes, po. Also with those things din po, medyo ibang path na rin po ang kukunin natin.
“Not necessarily naman po na you’ll be doing only mature roles.
"It doesn’t mean na hindi mo na puwedeng gampanan iyung roles na ginagawa mo noong nagsisimula ka.
“I’m not closing doors. I’ll still do roles na nakasanayan sa aking makita on TV, pero I’m opening doors to other experiences as well.
“Kung may ma-offer pong project na maganda naman ang material and medyo malaki ang demand to be more mature in a role—siyempre, I will consider it.”