MANILA, Philippines - Coco Martin goes family drama in the mainstream movie Padre de Pamilya after starring in the action-fantasy TV series Juan dela Cruz. He has also fulfilled a career dream of acting opposite Nora Aunor.
â€œI couldnâ€™t believe that it was finally pushing through,â€ said Coco when Nora agreed to do the project. â€œIt was my dream to work with her. This project was conceptualized two years ago. And it was direk Adolf (Alix Jr.) who served as bridge to make this possible. I presented him a concept that we worked on together, and he told me that we had to seek the approval of Ate Guy.â€
Then the next thing that happened was Coco, Nora and Adolf were collaborating on the set for the first few scenes of Padre de Pamilya, which will be wrapped up end of the month. The story is set in Manila and Malaysia. Padre de Pamilya is reflective of a contemporary Filipino family, abandoned by the father with the mother becoming head of the family. Then, the son decides to work abroad and becomes the breadwinner.
In the film, Nora plays Aida Santiago, a mother who finds happiness in the arms of another man, while Coco is Aidaâ€™s second child named Noel.
â€œWhen my character returns to Manila, he doesnâ€™t expect that his mother is in a relationship with a man (played by Joem Bascon) almost his age,â€ says Coco. â€œThatâ€™s where the conflict of the story begins and the story revolves around it.â€ Direk Adolf says Padre de Pamilya discusses the idea of â€œwho heads the family? Is it the child who provides? Or is it the mom abandoned by her husband? Since one works as an OFW, people think that that person is the family head. It also focuses on the story of those that person has left behind.â€ The role reversal also poses the idea if the son, who assumes the responsibilities of the father, â€œcan supersede the mother.â€
â€œI donâ€™t want to label it â€” that this project is mainstream or it is indie,â€ says Coco of the overall feel and texture of Padre de Pamilya. â€œIt just happened that its story is mainstream but it is done independently. As an actor, my job is to act whether what Iâ€™m doing is mainstream or indie. I both love them. What I wish to do is to come up with a good work that I will be proud of when I get old. I want to work with the best actors and directors. I feel blessed that Iâ€™ve fulfilled (some of) my dream projects.â€
How was the first day working with Nora on the set?
â€œI was shaking because of fear, at natataranta ako,â€ Coco answers. â€œI didnâ€™t know how to work with her, how to please her. I was conscious. Later on, I felt we had jibed already. (Then) the scenes became fluid and smooth.â€
You cannot blame Coco for having first-time jitters because most of their scenes are intense, plus the fact that he is sharing the screen with Nora who has mastered the art of restrained acting, which is more powerful and engaging.
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ says Coco of his acting style. â€œIâ€™m just dedicated to my work whether it is mainstream or indie. I always look forward to it. I always ready myself. Itâ€™s enjoyable when you watch it (on the screen) but the process, before the work begins, is long like how will I approach and carry my character, how will I prepare myself for the role, how will I prepare myself for my fellow actors. The feeling is great and fulfilling when you do your job right and when the result is good.â€
According to Coco, he will be seen in another soap opera and the taping might begin soon. His break from TV has allowed him to recharge his batteries to look at every project with a new perspective.
â€œWhat I have become today and what I have learned, I owe it to where I came from,â€ says Coco of his humble beginnings â€” from being an indie actor to becoming a mainstream one. â€œIâ€™m thankful for the blessings that have been given to me and that have come my way.â€
(Padre de Pamilya, produced by CCM Creative and Phoenix Features, also stars Anita Linda, Baron Geisler, Julia Montes, Manuel Chua Miles Ocampo, Rosanna Roces and Joel Torre.)