The sudden rise of the Richard Yap to teleserye fame was quite unexpected even to himself.
He was already in his mid-40s when his appearance in a television commercial for a food chain drew the attention of many viewers two years ago.
This resulted in an offer to play the role of Chen Sy, the father of Kim Chiu, in the Kapamilya primetime series “My Binondo Girl.”
The series catapulted him to stardom in 2011.
This was followed immediately by a team-up with Jodi Sta. Maria in Be Careful With My Heart, which continues to be phenomenal success for a year now.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a chat with Richard last October 3 at the Edge of Light Studios in Quezon City in a shoot for Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC).
Does Richard see himself in showbiz for years to come, he being a businessman and a graduate of De La Salle University at that?
“Well, since I’m already here, I might as well take advantage of where I am right now and make the most out of it. I guess, as long as there’s still the need for me to be here, why not?
“Many people want the opportunity but are not given it. So, here I am, why should I waste it, di ba?”
The roles he has been playing so far have banked on his real-life persona: the reserved but appealing, Chinese businessman.
How close, would he say, are his characters Papa Chen and Sir Chief from his personality in real life?
“Siguro mga 60 percent is me, except for yung, parati akong galit. Hindi naman,” he quipped.
Should he be given a different or edgy role in the future, would he accept?
“I think that’s part of the job. Of course you want to try something different and you also want people to see you in a different light.
“So maybe there are other things that I can do that people don’t know also. So, why not?”
Given the prevalence of films with suggestive themes these days, particularly in the indie scene, is he willing to accept a daring role?
He replies, “That depends. That depends if it’s a good film. But I don’t think I’ll go for the sexy roles.”
A father of two kids, Richard says his wife Melody has no problems with him being in showbiz: “She’s very supportive. There’s really no problem with her.
“Kahit na kung ano yung mga scenes, like you know, kissing scenes and all that, there’s no problem with her. I don’t even have to tell her about it. Malalaman naman niya.”
After two years in showbiz, what has he learned from the industry, so far?
“Well, like I said, showbiz is like any other business, you have to build up on your brand. That brand right now is me.
“So you have to take care of that brand, you have to market it, you have to give people something different every time so that they’ll keep on coming back for more.”
Richard has a degree in business marketing from De La Salle University. Has this background helped him as a celebrity?
“I think, definitely, experience is something that gives you an edge—experience not only in business but also in life, I think.”