Alden leading man material
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Alden Richards is groomed to be the next Kapuso leading man, given his previous TV assignments. Testament to that is the newest primetime drama series titled Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw, which will see Alden sharing the limelight with prized talent Marian Rivera. Taking the title of his Yam Laranas movie, Alden is indeed on the leading-man road. It’s goodbye to being Crush ng Bayan and hello to becoming leading man. 

“Actually, it is only now that (the thought) has sunk in,” said Alden on how huge Carmela is as a project and how vital it is to his showbiz career. “I’ve been in the business for only three years, and I’m now being paired with the biggest star of GMA.”

Alden’s pairing with Marian is a breather from his and Louise de los Reyes’ tandem. Louise will star in Kambal Sirena and finds a new TV partner in Aljur Abrenica. The Alden-Marian love team is an interesting partnership which will be an acquired taste for fans of both stars.

“My character (Yago) is six years younger than Marian’s,” says Alden. “We go to different schools. I study at UST (University of Sto. Tomas), while her character (Carmela) studies at PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines). Actually, my character is rich. My mom (played by Jaclyn Jose) got married young and was disowned by her family. Naghirap kami. Then, my father left us. I’m the black sheep (of the family).”

Yago, who wishes to be loved and accepted for who he is, is not the typical Alden good-son roles. “It’s a welcome change,” he says. “Most of my characters were underdogs, laging kawawa. This time, I’ll be playing a bad boy role. It’s different and it is for a change.”

Aside from the wealth gap issue between Yago and Carmela, the Electra complex of Alden’s character will add texture to the storytelling. “My character does have (that complex),” he says. “He is attracted to older women.” According to Alden, Yago is similar to him off-cam because both are “playful and makulit.” 

Will Alden fall for an older woman in real life?

“I think both ways,” he replies. “I can fall for an older and a younger (woman). Wala pa naman (I haven’t courted an older woman). But I admired (some) teachers when I was in high school.”

As for his working rapport with Marian on the set of Carmela, Alden seems to enjoy his partner’s collaborative attitude. “She has always inputs in every scene,” he shares. “We would talk.”

Alden adds that Marian told him to hold her to give the usual simple-conversation scene a different feel and look. As a co-worker, Marian is “very on time,” arriving on the set an hour or 30 minutes ahead of everyone. That’s why Alden tries to be 10 minutes before his call time.

“I got intimidated at first,” admits Alden. “But I had conquered it already — and my inhibitions. We’ve been taping (a couple of times). As we go along, everything has run smoothly.”

“I’m just doing my job,” says Alden on how his quick rise to fame may sit with  some people. “Everyone deserves a break at the right time. This is the biggest of the biggest (breaks).” That’s why Alden is determined to work hard in every role. What he is avoiding is, after “you’ve done a few roles with good outcomes (and good feedback), then with just one role, masisira ang tingin sa’yo ng televiewers. Every project should be studied well whether the role is not that vital to the story. There are no small roles.” If I may add, only small actors.

Although 2013 was a good year to the Kapuso actor, Alden wishes to do movies, perhaps more screen time in another Metro Manila Film Festival entry, in 2014.    

(Premiering tonight on GMA Telebabad, Carmela also stars Laurice Guillen, Agot Isidro, Raymond Bagatsing, Roi Vinzon, Freddie Webb, Eva Darren, Ana Feleo, Jennica Garcia, Krystal Reyes, Rochelle Pangilinan and RJ Padilla.)

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