Actor Marvin Agustin plays his most challenging role to date, that of the scheming ang manipulative Alfred in GMA-7's newest primetime drama series Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita. Marvin's role was originally portrayed by no less than Christopher de Leon in the 1989 film directed by the late Lino Brocka, also starring Sharon Cuneta and Hilda Koronel.
Marvin's last role, as the villainous Rodolfo in the top-rating Marimar, somehow prepared him for his role on his newest soap in the Kapuso network. To top it all, he is reprising a character that was popularized by the Drama King.
But according to Marvin, "This is nothing compared to Marimar. Actually, hindi ako ganun ka-pressured dun sa Christopher de Leon kasi napanood ko yung pelikula. At that time, pressured ako dahil it was Christopher de Leon. But when I read the script [of the soap opera], it was far from Christopher's role.
"Pinabigat, as in pinabigat na may sakit si Alfred ngayon. May sakit siyang gusto niyang manloko. He's happy when he fools somebody. Kung may nabibiktima siya, masayang-masaya siya," the actor told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the grand launch of Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita last Wednesday night, March 12, at Oasis along Aurora Blvd., Quezon City.
When asked if the viewers will hate him because of his role, Marvin replied: "Ay naku, ibabaon nila ako! Hindi lang nila ako dudurugin, ililibing pa nila ako. Yung character ko dito, si Alfred, hindi siya masamang tao. May sakit siya. Gusto niyang nakakaloko siya ng tao. Yun ang sakit niya."
He added, "Ako, ang tagal ko nang hindi nakabasa ng ganito kagandang script. I'm sure mamahalin ng mga tao ito."
Marvin attributed his past experiences for him to be able to portray a character as dark as Alfred. Coming from a poor family, Marvin had odd jobs—like video-store clerk—before venturing into showbiz and eventually proving himself as a very competent entrepreneur. His father also spent time in jail, but is now happily living together with the family.
"Talagang grabe yung pinagdaanan namin ng pamilya," said the 29-year-old actor. "Sabi ko nga, I'm blessed na pinagdaanan namin ‘yon dahil kung hindi, hindi ako ganito kabigat gumanap ng mga characters. Hindi ka matatawag na aktor kung wala kang container ng emotion sa puso mo, e. Kaya siguro napagkakatiwalaan ako ng mga ganitong part is because they know that I went through a lot in life.
"Sa lahat ng pinagdaanan ko sa buhay, naitabi ko lahat ‘yan, e. Masuwerte akong napagdaanan ko yung mabibigat na parte na ‘yon, na alam ko kung paano masaktan... Minsan hinahalimbawa mo na ‘yang emotion na ‘yan, e. Sometimes hindi man ikaw ang nakaramdam no'n, alam mong naramdaman ng ibang tao and you know how it feels, nagagawa mo."
WORKING WITH DIREK JOEL. Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita is Marvin's first time to work with award-winning director Joel Lamangan, whose discipline on the set is legendary among the actors who have worked with him.
How is it working with Direk Joel for the first time?
"Awkward kasi nagkaroon kami ng isyu dati when I won an award, di ba, dun sa filmfest [Metro Manila Film Festival]? But when I talked to him, wala, magaling pala at masarap palang katrabaho si Direk Joel. At naririnig natin kung gaano siya kaistrikto sa set. It explains why kasi maaga kaming natatapos. He's very professional. Kung ano ang gusto niya, yun ang nangyayari. With his actors, ‘pag sinabi niyang ganito, very clear. Kaya siguro bull's eye din ang pagkakaganap ko kay Alfred dahil malinaw mag-explain si Direk Joel."
It can be recalled that Marvin won as best actor in the 2005 Metro Manila Film Festival for his portrayal of a killer in the movie Kutob. That same year, Direk Joel had two entries: Blue Moon and Ako Legal Wife (Mano Po 4?). Although Blue Moon was adjudged best picture, it was Marvin's director in Kutob, Joey Reyes, who took home the trophy for Best Director. This became an issue and even Marvin's win was also questioned.
Although Marvin has been acting for more than a decade now, working with Direk Joel gave him the opportunity to learn from one of the best contemporary directors in the country.
"Give your best sa rehearsal pa lang," Marvin said. "Practice makes perfect, e. Alam ko naman na ‘yon dati pa. Pero with him, ‘pag take kailangan ibigay mo na yung todo mo. Kasi minsan hindi na siya nagte-take two. ‘Pag hindi mo pa ibinigay yung todo mo sa take one, ikaw ang lalabas na pangit sa eksena. So, sa bahay pa lang, mag-practice ka na."
Marvin is also proud to say that he has yet to experience Direk Joel's famous temper on the set.
"Hindi naman ako nale-late. Yun lang naman ang kinaaasaran niya, e—yung late, ‘tapos hindi alam yung lines, at hindi focused. Sa tatlong yun, e, qualities ko naman yun [the opposite] dahil I enjoy this job," he explained.
Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita will have its pilot episode on March 24, taking over the timeslot of Marimar, which will have a two-hour finale tonight, March 14. Does Marvin feel any pressure knowing that their show will replace a high-rating soap opera?
"Ayaw naming ma-pressure," Marvin answered. "Alam namin kung gaano kagaling, kung gaano tinanggap ng mga tao yung Marimar. We don't want to be pressured by it, especially with the numbers game. Ayaw namin yung numbers na laro. Kung nagandahan sila sa Marimar, gusto namin yun ang marating namin, magandahan lang sila sa amin."
KISSING SCENES. Marvin has three leading ladies in Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita—Yasmien Kurdi, Angelika dela Cruz, and Jenny Miller. Lucky Marvin has kissing scenes and love scenes with all of them.
"Pagod na pagod na ang lips ko kakahalik nila sa akin," Marvin said, joking.
He went on to describe the distinction of his kissing scenes with his three leading ladies.
"Si Jenny Miller, masasabi ko, isa sa mga hottest na nahalikan ko dahil ang mga eksena namin, hindi lang passionate kundi talagang matinding halikan kami, e. With Angelika, sa roles namin kasi, secret yung affair namin. So, isa sa pinaka-exciting na halik, alam mo ‘yon? Kailangan mong maramdaman, it's not just a kiss, e. Si Yasmien, very sweet kasi tinuturuan ko siya kung paano humalik, kung paano mag-make love nung nag-honeymoon kami nang maging mag-asawa kami. Wala siyang kaalam-alam, so teacher ang dating ko sa kanya," explained Marvin.
Who is the best kisser among the three?
Marvin gave it a long thought before replying, "Pinakamalambot si Yasmien, kasi bata pa. Pero pinakamagaling si Jenny. Pero si Angelika, parang wooh! Iba-iba, e. Iba-iba talaga yung klase ng halikan namin, e. And si Direk Joel, he makes sure na iba-iba yung ilalabas naming halik, ako lalo."