Alden: His time to shine

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - In the beginning, Alden Richards capitalized on his good looks and raw talent to pursue a dream. With  high-profile projects, he rose to leading-man status barely three years later.

His meteoric rise can be credited to early roles in GMA shows like Alakdana, My Beloved and One True Love, which raked in high ratings and attracted loyal supporters.

In 2011, his breakout year, Alden earned nominations from PMPC Star Awards and Golden Screen Awards for his portrayal of a teenage boy in GMA Films’ psychological horror film The Road. One recognition after another laid the groundwork for even more stellar performances, making the Kapuso homegrown artist bankable actor.

His trademark dimples and boy-next-door features may have given him a sweet and innocent appeal but perhaps not for long.

In 10,000 Hours, a 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, Alden portrays a tough-as-nails young cop pivotal to the central character played by Robin Padilla. The suspense-thriller tells the story of a man “who has lived his life by the law and for the law” but is betrayed by the very law that he serves.

“(Robin’s character) went through several phases in life,” says Alden, who has starred in four MMFF entries to date — Ang Panday 2 in 2011; Sosy Problems and Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote, at si Ako in 2012; and currently, the action powerhouse 10,000 Hours. “This film shows his journey that will serve as an inspiration to many. I went through several stamina and gun-handling lessons for this movie. While we were doing the scenes, I always had to ensure my safety, as well as the safety of my co-actors.”

Working with Robin helped him grasp the rudiments of success. He says he is thankful to have been personally handpicked by Robin, and director Joyce Bernal. “Robin is a genuinely nice person devoted to his craft. I want to mature just like him.”

He admits to having had his share of nerves prior to filming, especially working alongside industry veterans. “I knew the credentials of Bb. Joyce Bernal. Her projects have been outstanding. I wanted to live up to her expectations. I just hope I did. Everything went smoothly. I became more at ease and confident with my work, thanks to both of them.”

Asked whether he sees his role in 10,000 Hours as a springboard for a career in the action genre, he said, “Why not? I have always wanted to be an action film. Though my career path, for the moment, is towards drama, I wouldn’t mind doing more action movies.”

In 2014, Alden wants to be visible in all media platforms and he is very much on his way to doing just that. In the first quarter alone, he is set to star in Carmela, Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera’s much-awaited comeback drama.

Alden has nothing but praises for Marian, with whom he has worked in My Beloved in 2012. “She is one of the most professional actresses I’ve worked with. At the back of my mind, I have to raise my level a notch higher. I may feel a little pressured to be at par with her in terms of acting, but I’m thankful that she makes everything so much easier for me.”

Alden will be ringing in the New Year together with fellow Kapuso artists as part of the GMA 2014 Countdown. “I am looking forward to 2014. I welcome all new experiences coming my way in the upcoming years.”

And his New Year’s resolution? “To be remarkable in every aspect of my life.”

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