Enrique glad he’s not in a ‘loveteam’
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Enrique Gil says that he started out in showbiz as a reluctant actor. “At first, I really didn’t want to be an actor. I couldn’t see myself acting. I didn’t enjoy it because I didn’t know anything (about acting) at that time,” the 21-year-old Kapamilya tells The STAR in an exclusive interview. 

He got his start in 2008, appearing in forgettable roles in series like I Love Betty La Fea and Pieta after being discovered through an ABS-CBN workshop for commercial modeling. It was only when he was doing Good Vibes in 2011 that his attitude towards his acting career began to change. “When the director told me that I was doing better, I felt that I must be doing something right. When people begin to appreciate what you do, you feel that you’re doing something right. At the time, nage-gets ko na, na ganito pala yun.”

Now, after a series of projects where he figured in as a main character — Budoy and Princess & I last year then Muling Buksan Ang Puso this year — he’s being tagged as the “next ultimate leading man.” It’s a self-confidence booster, Enrique admits, but he’d rather look at it as “a challenge because I need to prove it that I deserve it.”

He’s got plenty of opportunity to do so as immediately after Muling Buksan Ang Puso, he is next seen sharing lead-star status with Dingdong Dantes and Bea Alonzo in the romantic-comedy She’s The One, premiering in theaters nationwide tomorrow, Sept. 16, as part of the 20th anniversary of Star Cinema. (Enrique is also set to take on the Big Dome for his first-ever concert titled King of the Gil on Nov. 29 to be mounted by Star Events and ABS-CBN.)   

In She’s The One, Enrique falls in love with a mysterious, older woman (Bea) thanks to a chance encounter — and searches for her identity through the power of social media, thus putting him in the way of the long-standing friendship of Bea and her best friend played by Dingdong. She’s The One is also the first time Enrique is paired with Bea. 

It’s not hard to notice that there’s no regular loveteam partner for Enrique. “That’s what I want. I don’t want to be boxed into a single loveteam. I want to experience new things and meet new people so I could grow more. I think I get to learn a lot (by working with) different people. I want it that way,” Enrique explains. 

With his pretty-boy looks, he’s a shoo-in for leading-man roles. But doesn’t he think his mestizo looks might limit the projects he will do in the future? 

“Hindi ko po masabi, may ibang tao meant for these things, may iba not meant naman. For me, I don’t see my looks as an advantage or a disadvantage. Maybe on my part, it can be advantage kasi pag role naman na naging mahirap or something, sobrang drastic change ang makikita ng mga tao. So pag nag-iba ka ng character, people can go, wow, is that how he is now? So I see it as rather an advantage than a disadvantage,” he says. 

Darker, more serious roles (like what “pretty-boy” predecessors such as Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson have done in the highly-acclaimed On The Job) will have to wait but should the time come that he can do something of a departure from what he has done so far, he’d like to do “horror, survival stories, the Walking Dead-type, like Warm Bodies, something different at yung hindi pa nakikita dito. But darker, more serious roles? I don’t think it’s happening at this time. Well, it actually depends on whatever is given to me, but personally, I think not yet.”

Nevertheless, if there’s a career path of an actor that he’d like to emulate, it would be that of John Lloyd Cruz. He admires how John Lloyd has been able to earn the respect of people without having to take on very daring projects.

“(I admire the career of) John Lloyd Cruz because he’s like the kind of actor who doesn’t have to do (very) drastic or too revealing things to be called a respected actor. He is because of what he does. People can see he’s a really good actor, whether it’s drama, rom-com or comedy. I wanna be called a respected actor without doing really, really daring, over-the-top things.” 

Enrique just turned 21 last March. To many, the age 21 signifies independence. Asked on what has been the most independent thing he has done yet, Enrique shares it’s starting his own business. 

“It’s the business I’m doing with my mom. The future of my family is more important. I’m been helping out my family. Yes, I’m the breadwinner. Yung bahay namin pinaayos din. I actually want my mom to retire early (from her job) para makapag-relax na siya and she can also concentrate on our business. We’re into building and selling properties.”

At his age, however, he can’t see himself getting into a serious relationship yet. Enrique whose showbiz crushes are Solenn Heussaff, Julia Montes and Anne Curtis says that right now he’s single that a relationship with “The One” isn’t happening anytime soon. He says, “It would take time, a lot of time to get to that level.”

(She’s The One is directed by Mae Czarina Cruz and written by Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Anton Santamaria, Roumella Nina Monge and Star Cinema’s creative director Vanessa Valdez.)

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