Dennis Trillo has replaced Gabby Concepcion in GMA Films' next offering, I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust And Love You), after the former matinee idol backed out at the last minute. Dennis is very happy to be in the movie to be shot in Italy and other parts of Europe.
I.T.A.L.Y. is actually Dennis's second movie with the film arm of GMA-7 after the 2005 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Mulawin The Movie with Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin. The said film was actually a co-production between GMA Films and Regal Entertainment, where Dennis is under contract.
Dennis will be joining Jolina Magdangal, Rufa Mae Quinto, Eugene Domingo, Mark Herras, and Rhian Ramos in I.T.A.L.Y.
What was his reaction when he learned that he was chosen to replace Gabby in the movie?
"Naikuwento na sa akin ni Jolina na may gagawin silang movie nila Gabby, gagawin sa Europe," narrates Dennis. "'Tapos, mga two weeks ago, nabalitaan ko na ako na yung ipinalit. Siyempre nagulat ako, pero nae-excite din... Halo-halo, e, dahil siyempre grabe yung pressure. Mula kay Gabby, tapos ako na yung [ipinalit]. Malaking pressure din yun para sa akin.
"Pero sobrang natutuwa ako. Napakaganda nung script, nabasa ko. At saka first time kong makakatuntong ng isang cruise ship kaya excited din," beams the heartthrob during the send-off presscon given by GMA Films last night, March 26, at the 7th floor of GMA Network Center."Sobrang bigat ng pressure dahil siyempre Gabby Concepcion yun, e," Dennis says. "Kumbaga, ibang level ‘yon ng performance. Ang dami na niyang nagawang pelikula and sobrang icon siya nung ‘80s. Siyempre, hanggang ngayon ang dami pa ring humahanga. Napakasuwerte ko lang na isa ako sa mga kinonsider after hindi niya [Gabby] nakuha yung proyekto."
The film project is a far cry from the movies that Dennis usually makes. He has never really played a romantic leading man in his past movies.
Dennis, who will turn 27 on May 12, was introduced in Aishite Imasu (2004) where he played a cross-dresser spy. For his debut performance, he won several acting awards. His other movies are Pamahiin; Mulawin The Movie; Mano Po 3: My Love; Blue Moon; TXT; and Shake, Rattle & Roll 9.
But Dennis says he will have no problem taking on the role of a romantic leading man. Besides, Dennis is known to be a ladies' man in real life.
WORKING WITH RUFA MAE. Aside from Jolina, with whom Dennis worked before in Kahit Kailan (Jolina's first project after she transferred to GMA-7), the young actor will also be working with Rufa Mae. For those who do not keep up with showbiz news, Dennis and Rufa Mae had a short-lived relationship, which they both admitted.
Dennis shrugs off intigues that his love affair with Rufa Mae would be rekindled once they start shooting aboard the cruise ship. "Hindi na siguro dahil matagal na ‘yon, ‘tsaka masyado na ring marami ang nangyari. Tahimik na siya, tahimik na rin yung buhay ko," he says.
"Tutuntong kami sa ship para gumawa ng isang magandang pelikula," he says firmly. "Kung anuman yung meron dati, tapos na ‘yon, di ba? Ako, nandito ako para ibigay talaga all out para sa pelikulang ito dahil siyempre, ayoko ring mapahiya sa mga boss natin. Napakalaking project yung ibinibigay nila sa akin."
RELATIONSHIP WITH CARLENE. Dennis was also asked about his relationship with Carlene Aguilar, the mother of the young actor's son, Calix Andreas.
"Okay naman," he replies. "Galing ako dun kanina, binista ko rin yung anak ko. Okay naman, walang problema."
Are they close again now?
"Bilang parents siguro, ganung level ng closeness siguro. Pero hanggang ganung status lang. Tapos na lahat ng mga problema. ‘Tsaka wala rin namang patutunguhan yun kundi maaayos din ang lahat nung mga gulo-gulo" he says.
After giving birth to their son, Carlene seems to be regaining her beautiful figure. Do they talk about the possibility of Carlene joining showbiz?
"Hindi namin napag-uusapan ‘yon, e. Basta ang sabi ko lang sa kanya, si Calix huwag niya muna ie-expose sa show business. Masyado pang maaga. Yun ang importante sa akin. Siya [Carlene] kung gusto niyang mag-showbiz, wala akong problema."
Dennis also mentioned that he and Carlene are already talking about Calix's baptism. But they haven't decided on a specific date yet.
A BLOW IN HIS CAREER. It has been observed that Dennis's showbiz career took a blow after the young actor finally admitted that he is the father of Carlene's child—after vehemently denying this months earlier. Add to this the feud between Carlene and young actress Cristine Reyes, with whom Dennis reportedly had an affair while he was still with Carlene. Rumor has it that Dennis and Carlene are back together.
What is Dennis's reaction about talks that his career suffered after these negative issues?
"Hindi ko maitatanggi na walang damage na nangyari," admits Dennis. "Sigurado akong meron talaga. Pero hindi ako masyadong nagdu-dwell sa part na ‘yon kasi negative. Wala, siguro normal lang naman ‘yon. Iniisip ko na lang kung paano ako makakabawi ‘tsaka kung ano yung magagawa ko para ma-reestablish yung sarili ko kung anumang damage ang nagawa sa career ko."
Dennis is hoping that he's participation in I.T.A.L.Y. would help him regain his status as one of the top leading men in the country.
"Sana. Siyempre, sino ba ang ayaw na gumanda ulit yung career natin? Nakakadagdag talaga sa pressure. Talagang magpupursigi ka na ibigay talaga yung 150 percent ng capacity mo," he says.
The young actor is also thankful to GMA-7 for sticking by him despite all the negative issues that beset him before.
"Siyempre, gusto kong magpasalamat sa mga boss namin dahil sobra yung pagsuporta nila at saka pag-alaga sa mga artista. Naramdaman ko na talagang kahit na minsan may mga panahong hindi maganda yung daloy ng career, nandiyan sila para gumabay ‘tsaka tumulong, magbigay ng advice. Hindi ko naramdaman na pinabayaan ako at any point kung kailan ako nandun sa pinaka-deep waters ng career ko. Sobrang saya ko talaga," declares Dennis.
Aside from I.T.A.L.Y., Dennis can be seen in SOP and E.S.P. (as guest for one month). He will also be Katrina Halili's leading man in the TV remake of Magdusa Ka.