In his father’s footsteps
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2013 - 12:00am

For a reluctant actor, Alex Vincent Medina is making more strides in acting than he is in singing, his initial passion. In his off-and-on acting career, Alex has done only a handful, mostly indies, one of which Palitan won him Best Actor last year at the Cinema One Original Awards. He has crossed over to television, turning heads with his portrayal as villain in Ina Kapatid Anak (with Maja Salvador, Kim Chiu, Xian Lim and Enchong Dee).

“Back then,” Alex kicked off this Conversation which was initially intended as a “body talk” but put on hold because he couldn’t produce pictures he deemed fit for the concept, saying he would work out first before having a pictorial, “I dreamed to be a rocker. I used to have a band called Alex in Wonderland and we played around Quezon City (70s Bistro, Freedom Bar, etc.). It’s still around, medyo pahinga lang kami.”

With four projects coming one after another in quick succession, Alex didn’t really have a choice. Now he realizes that the profession which he initially found baduy is something to be proud of, after all he and his siblings were raised on showbiz.  

It’s inevitable for Alex, like his older brother Ping (who occasionally writes for The STAR’s weekend section Supreme), to follow in the footsteps of their father, the versatile actor Pen Medina, who is as passionate with his craft as he is with issues (like graft and corruption, bureaucracy, etc.) that drives him to join street protests.

How long have you been doing indies?

“Six years na palaktaw-laktaw. I also did films done by UP film students for their thesis, even if I was in San Beda (B.S. Marketing, undergraduate). My friends who were taking up Fine Arts in UP invited me to act in experimental films. It was more like play, laro-laro lang, but it was a good training for me to perform in front of people.”

I suppose your dad encouraged you to be serious with acting.

“Lagi niya ako ini-encourage. Tinututukan niya talaga ako. But at that time, I was preoccupied with my own needs. I did all sorts of jobs — doing story boards, music videos, etc. I did my first indie, Konsyerto, in 2007 for Cinemalaya, with Meryll Soriano and Jay Aquitania. I played the brother of Shamaine Centenera. Then, I did Iliw 2009 with Kaye Abad, a nostalgia indie, for CineManila. In 2010, having no jobs, I worked as a waiter at the restaurant of my mom and at a call center for two months. In 2011, I did Ka Oryang for Sari Dalena (daughter of Danny Dalena), as a priest in the opening montage scene to establish the Martial Law setting. Ka Oryang was for Cinema One and that’s how I met Ate Tess, handler of stars at ABS-CBN and Star Cinema. Last year, aside from Palitan, I also did Ang Supremo (with newly-elected Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas, also the producer, as the title role of Andres Bonifacio).”

You have an award-winning movie currently showing, Palitan (a drama-thriller directed by Ato Bautista), with Mara Lopez (daughter of Maria Isabel Lopez, who also won Best Actress at Cinema One Originals Awards).

“It’s my first daring role. I play Nestor and Mara is my wife Luisa. My character is heavily indebted to the owner (played by Mon Confiado) of the electronics shop where he’s working. To pay his debts, Nestor agrees to his boss’ proposal to have Luisa secretly video-shot while taking a bath.”

Did you really regret that you were not made to do frontal nudity?

“I said that as a joke. I was just teasing direk Ato.”

Nothing wrong with it. Coco Martin did a lot of nude scenes in indies and reigned as Indie King, winning awards along the way, before he went mainstream.

“Well, if given the chance…”

Are you more at home in villain roles?

“It’s much more difficult because in real life I’m more of a happy-go-lucky guy. Workshops really help.”

Who are your favorite villains (character actors, local and foreign)?

“My dad. He can play any role, along with Tito Ronnie (Lazaro), Jay Manalo and John Regala. Cool guys. Among foreign actors, sina Daniel Day-Lewis (who won the Best Actor Oscar for Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Oscar Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained) and Michael Fassbender (who lets it all hang in Shame).”

Any other role models?

“Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Ewan McGregor. ‘Yung tunay na mga thespians. Anthony Hopkins and Jack Nicholson…ibang level na ang mga ‘yan.”

If you, your dad and your brother would do a movie together, who would be the bida and the kontrabida?

“All of us should play the bida and the kontrabida. The script would be like that.”

Any tips from your dad?

“Magpakatotoo sa acting. Don’t act, be natural.”

Does your father criticize your acting?

“As much as possible, ayaw niyang mag-critique. But I know when he’s not happy with my performance. I would ask him, ‘Dad, hindi ako okey, ano?’ He would say, ‘O, eh, ganoon talaga!’ Siyempre, he sort of plays it down.”

Kaya mo bang mag-portray ng out-and-out gay like your dad in the GMA fantasy Aso ni San Roque?

“Hahahaha! Si Mother Ben? Oo, kaya naman! Nakakatuwa naman! But I guess it would be hard.”

What’s your zodiac sign (it’s his birthday today, May 26)?

“Gemini.”

Wow, split personality!

“Yes! Kaya dapat matakot sila! Hahahaha!”

Let’s do a bit of “body talk.” (Height: 5’9”; size of shirt: medium; size of shoes: 9.5) How do you take care of your body?

“When I was younger, I ate everything which was not good kasi pag puro baboy, well, bad! I have minimized my pork intake, just beef, vegetables and seafood. I even tried going vegetarian. I take two big glasses of water as soon as I wake up.”

Workout?

“Ang workout, kapag hindi mo napi-feel ang hirap pilitin. But when I do get the urge to do it, I do it all out. I sweat it out! Jogging sa UP.”

Any part of your body that needs improvement?

“My upper body and my legs. Chicken legs kasi ako, eh.”

What part is most vulnerable?

“My stomach. It’s very sensitive.”

Favorite part?

“My back. My front is not really as good as my back.”

Part of a girl’s body that you notice first?

“Everything! It depends on what she flaunts. If she flaunts her ass, okay.”

What is it in a girl that turns you off?

“None! Every part of a girl turns me on.”

Are you clean living?

“Uhm, semi. We all need some vices sometimes but not all the time.”

How do you cope with stress?

“Sometimes, I go out with friends. Inom-inom lang ng sakto. But most of the time, I’m home watching DVDs. I’m a homebody, eh.”

Outlook in life?

“I’m an optimist.”

Favorite sleepwear?

“Boxers. Never in the nude!”

How’s your love life?

“None…since a year ago.”

How many girlfriends have you had so far?

“Four…so far.”

How’s your sex life?

“Very exciting naman. Satisfactory!”

No cougar lover?

“Wala pa…waiting.  It’s my favorite fantasy. Hahahaha!”

When did you lose your innocence?

“Believe it or not, when I was 21. I’m a late bloomer.”

Three women who you think have nice bodies.

“Maxene Magalona. Anne Curtis. Karylle.”

Using only body language, how would you make a girl know that you admire her?

“I stare at her a bit long but not too long that she would feel creepy. Sakto lang. Kapag kumagat, then…”

(See related story on Page E-4.)

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

ALEX ALEX VINCENT MEDINA ANDRES BONIFACIO ANG SUPREMO BUT I HAHAHAHA KA ORYANG PALITAN
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