CARLOS MORALES: A cut above the rest - CONVERSATIONS with Ricky Lo
() - November 26, 2000 - 12:00am
Where do hunks (most of them anyway) go when they’re not in their place of work?

Swinging with multiple partners at a Makati disco, perhaps?

Guess again.

Or displaying themselves at such public places as a busy mall ("malling" being the "in" thing these days)?

Another guess.

Actually, you find them where they should be – in the gym. You don’t get a body to die for by simply idling around, do you?

Ask Carlos Morales, local showbiz’s newest hunk, (a shapelier version of such predecessors as Vic Vargas, Phillip Salvador and Julio Diaz), a mucho-macho guy being launched to stardom in Regal Films’ Laro sa Baga, a searing sex-drama about a womanizer based upon a popular novel by Edgardo Reyes (also the movie’s scriptwriter) and directed by Chito Roño.

In one scene, Carlos finds himself at the receiving end of the "unkindest cut" when Monique Wilson, one of his three leading ladies, knifes off his delinquent member while he’s asleep, a scene done in a local flick before but not as graphically and as horribly as it is in Laro sa Baga.

When Conversations sought out Carlos, he was – you guessed it – working out at a gym in Megamall.

"I work hard for this body," says Carlos, a six-footer weighing 185 pounds evenly distributed in a muscular frame (look, sweetie, no fats!). "When not busy, you’ll find me in the gym or on the beach. I’m not the party-animal type."

With his finely-sculptured physique and ruggedly handsome looks, Carlos doesn’t have to play with fire to achieve stardom, especially since he also has an immense acting talent to boast of.


How did you feel during that "cutting" scene?


"I was nervous, yes! Very nervous. An accident could happen, you know. Monique was using a real knife, very sharp, and one wrong twist of it could spell disaster. They put an elastic rubber para may lumabas na blood. But it could have easily broken at puedeng tumama ’yung talim ng knife sa ano ko. Very thin kasi ’yung elastic rubber, e."

Naka-ilang
takes ba kayo?

"Four takes. Hindi ako mapakali. And I was supposed to be sleeping in the scene! All the while nga, I couldn’t stay put; I couldn’t pretend I was asleep."

It’s a good thing Monique was nice to you and you were nice to her. Otherwise...


(Laughs) "Oo nga, e!
What if she happened to be my girlfriend in real life and, during the shooting of that scene, e, mayroon kaming LQ (lovers’ quarrel)?"

I wonder, how would you feel if that happened to you in real life?


"Oh, I’m sure it wouldn’t."

Why not?


"Because I’m not like my character (in the movie) who flirts around."

What kind of a guy is he?


"His name is Ding. He plays the field, fond of taking out women on a one-night stand. An incurable womanizer. Then, he finds his match in Monique; napikot siya. He found his katapat. Monique plays a naive girl, daughter of a small town mayor in the province."

What made Monique cut your organ?


"She has had enough already, fed up with me, tired of putting up with my womanizing. It’s her way of getting back at me, para maputol ang pambababae ko."

What can you say about your other leading ladies, Ara Mina and Angel Aquino (as the nurse who tries to reconnect the cut portion)?


"They were all nice and good-natured. Angel also held my ano, pero the scene was comic. The remaining (three-fourths) part was supposed to stand because even if I was in pain, I was supposed to be attracted to her. Comedy nga, e. Ara is my balikbayan girlfriend who comes home from the States with revenge in mind, kasi nga sinira ko ang buhay niya."

Were you embarrassed being touched and held by women in your private part?


"I was, in the beginning. Nako-conscious ako because siempre ’yung humahawak ay hindi naman ’yung mahal mo. First time that somebody I didn’t have any relationship with was holding my ano. Later on, I just looked at it as part of the job, something I had to do well."

Of course, direk Chito was a big help, wasn’t he?


"Very supportive, really good. A perfectionist. He wants everything done precisely. Ayaw niyang iibahin mo ang gusto niya. It’s my first time to work with direk Chito but Laro sa Baga, my launching vehicle, is not my first movie. I’ve done about a dozen supporting roles, the last one with Jomari Yllana in Most Wanted."

You’re being built up as an anti-hero, some kind of a villain. Do you prefer it that way?


"Of course, I also want to be a bida, more of an actor than a star."

How are you similar to and different from your Laro sa Baga character?


"Unlike Ding, I don’t really go out that much or that often; I don’t flirt with girls. I am a one-woman man."

Your girlfriend is lucky.


"Right now, I don’t have a girlfriend."

How do you handle women?


"With respect, with care."

What sort of childhood did you have?


"I’m an Amerasian. My father, Carlin Woodruss, was a US serviceman once based in Subic where I and my brother and sister were born and grew up. I am a junior. My mother is half-Filipina. My father is now based in Florida. I and my siblings spent a normal childhood in Subic where we had our schooling, elementary grades at the Pinictican (where Lou Diamond Philips also studied, his late father having been also a US military man). Then, I moved to St. Joseph in Olongapo City for high school and Centro Escolar University where I took up Masscom (undergraduate)."

Were you sidetracked into showbiz?


"No. I really wanted to be an actor, kaya nga I’ve been taking acting workshops. I did theater before I shifted to movies. Pusang Gala was the last play I did, for PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). Actually, I’ve done just two plays; the other was Silang Mga Guro."

How were you discovered for the movies?


"I tried out. Mayroon noon auditions sa Regal. Nag-script-reading ako. I auditioned purposely for Laro sa Baga. They asked me to act out some scenes from the movie. They even went to PETA to watch me in the play. After that, direk Chito interviewed me. Then, tinawagan na nila ako."

What other acting experiences have you had?


"In school, I was active in plays. I also write scripts. I have finished four so far. Love stories and action-drama. One is entitled Bungalow; Bahay-Aliwan which is about white slavery. The second is entitled Latagao which is about wanderers, ’yung mga gala. I have to change that title of the third one, Pistolero, because a movie was made using that title. The fourth one has no title yet."

What are you planning to do with the scripts?


"I’m thinking of starting negotiations with some companies, maybe Star Cinema or Regal. One of the scripts requires a big budget for the movie; ’yung iba, puedeng low budget."

Who would you like to play the lead roles?


"I don’t have anybody in mind yet. It’s still negotiable."

If you have to pattern your career after that of another actor, who would he be?


"Richard Gomez. He’s my role-model."

What do you like about Richard?


"The way he takes good care of his career, the way he conducts his life. He’s also health-conscious like me. Mahusay mag-alaga sa katawan niya."

Where do you hang around when you’re not busy?


"If not in the gym, on the beach. I’m working out all the time."

Isn’t it a bit boring not having a girlfriend?


"I have had girlfriends before, but now that I’m concentrating on my career, pass na muna ako. It would be unfair to the girl if I’d be spending more time on my career than with her. Baka ma-insecure lang siya at mag-away kami nang mag-away. Anyway, I’m only 24, still too young to be seriously involved with a girl. Career na muna."

I’m sure a lot of women are gravitating toward you, aali-aligid you know, nagpaparamdam. How do you deal with them?


"I just ignore them. I don’t want what happened to Ding (in the movie) to happen to me." (Laughs)

Your presence and impact in Laro sa Baga is strong. You know, matindi ang dating. You might start getting indecent proposals once the movie is shown (starting this week). How would you handle them?


"I’ll talk to the ones making the proposals in a nice way. It doesn’t mean, however, na tinatanggap ko ang proposals nila. I’ll be nice to them. Huwag lang nila akong babastusin."

What’s the first thing that you notice in a woman?


"The eyes. And the butt. I have a weakness for butts like that of Jennifer Lopez."

What are the things naman that turn you on?


"Nice hair. The back, the buttocks."

And the things that turn you off?


"Just one: ’yung maaarte."

Let’s talk about your likes and dislikes. What kind of books do you read?


"Books by Anne Rice. I’m an avid reader."

Food?


"Italian, specifically lasagna."

Clothes. Are you particular about name brands?


"Yeah. I love wearing Calvin Klein shirts."

Hobbies, if any?


"Working out; writing scripts."

Are you vain (just like most people with a beautiful body)?


"No, I’m not."

Which part of your body is your favorite?


"My eyes."

Not your biceps or your muscles?


(Smiles)
"No, my eyes. People tell me that they also like my eyes."

After Laro sa Baga, you’re on the way to stardom. Aren’t you scared of the possibilities, of the bigger challenges ahead?


"Not of stardom but of what people will be expecting from me. After Laro sa Baga, I have to prove myself some more. Kailangan higitan ko ’yon. People will be expecting more from me. I’m scared of people expecting too much from me. I guess I’ll just have to do my best."

What’s your ultimate ambition in life?


"To have a happy family, a complete family. I come from a broken family and I don’t want my children to go through what I did. I was only about 12 or 13 when my father left. So if ever I have my own family, I want it to be whole, happy and complete."

ANNE RICE BAGA CHITO LARO MONIQUE MOVIE ONE
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