Benjie happy for son Andre

Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Just like any other parents who are proud of every achievement of their children, Benjie Paras is happy at the rate things are going in his son Andre’s acting career.

“I’m also very thankful that Andre enjoys what he is doing now because before he entered showbiz, he was into basketball which had gotten him a scholarship in high school and college,” shares Benjie. “So when showbiz (offers) came, he told me that he wanted to try but we didn’t expect that it will come this far with (acting) projects and (product) endorsements pouring in.” Perhaps, Benjie adds, Andre came into the consciousness of showbiz-watchers at an opportune time.

His good looks and mestizo features first caught public attention in Viva Films’ hit flick Diary ng Panget topbilled by James Reid and Nadine Lustre. “It was in Diary where I saw his potential (in acting) at ‘yung timing n’ya okey din kaya sabi ko sa kanya na magiging maganda ‘yung career mo dito.”

What came next was a leading man role on GMA 7’s afternoon series Half Sisters that has been airing for more than a year now with consistently high ratings. “So with Half Sisters, I asked Andre to choose between basketball and showbiz because I know it would be difficult for him to attend to both, not to mention his studies, and he decided to continue acting.”

The proud dad never fails to remind his son to give his 100 percent in every role assigned to him. The need to internalize the character is a must, he says, in order to act out the role properly.

Benjie and Andre with co-stars Joey Paras, Atak, Candy Pangilinan, Abby Bautista, Pokwang, Alonzo Muhlach, Yassi Pressman and Wendell Ramos


“Most of the dialogues are in Tagalog so I tell Andre that he needs to pause, read them slowly and say the words as straight as possible,” Benjie says of his tip to Andre, who speaks in English most of the time. “Then, I also remind him to react according to his lines, especially in comedy which I believe na natutunan naman n’ya. The most important thing is he should always trust himself.”

For Andre, being in showbiz gives him the opportunity to learn not just acting in front of the cameras but also the hard work behind the scenes “like how the director works, the proper set-up of lights and cameras because I’m aspiring, hopefully, to be in filmmaking and now that I’m here at least I already have an edge.” Presently, Andre is on his second year college taking up Marketing at San Beda.

Just like Andre, Benjie was into basketball — one of the country’s popular cagers — prior to getting his fair share of the showbiz spotlight. He started in the PBA in 1989. “During that time, my colleagues were starring in a Regal (Films) movie and Regal also wanted me to join them. Although I was too shy, I still had a cameo role. And then after two years, nag-karoon ng problema sa team so I didn’t play and that was the chance for me to do a movie and it went on for a year because I stopped playing basketball. That was the time na nakita nila na may talent pala ako and then I started guesting in sitcoms.”

Father and son will star for the first time in the Viva Films latest offering Wang Fam directed by Wenn Deramas. It also stars Pokwang, Alonzo Muhlach, Candy Pangilinan, Wendell Ramos, Yassi Pressman, Atak, Abby Bautista, Joey Paras and Dyosa Pockoh.

“This is the very first time that we will be in a comedy movie together and we play father and son here kaya nakakatuwa that we’re together in scenes most of the time,” Benjie shares.

Andre adds, “With my busy schedule — doing Half Sisters and attending school — I seldom talk to him at home so working with dad feels like not work at all; doing the movie became more like our bonding moments.”

Asked if he felt any pressure working with his dad, Andre replies, “Not at all. In fact, I get to be myself in a way that I didn’t consider it as work but as bonding because what he does onscreen na mga kakulitan, ginagawa nya sa bahay so it’s really fun. I’m sure even the kids understand him since my little brothers are all makulit din.”

During the Wang Fam presscon held recently, Pokwang praised Benjie for his performance and said, “Masarap katrabaho ang isang Benjie Paras.”

Even direk Wenn proved how the former PBA player portrayed his role well. “Perfect. Take One lagi. His suggestions were all good; magaling mag-isip may sustansya ang utak.”

For Benjie, everyone in the cast is easy to work with. He credits direk Wenn for making the movie nothing but fun. “Direk Wenn usually does the script on a daily basis na kung ano yung kukunan for the day yun ang gagawin nya. So I usually suggest adlibs that I think would fit in the story and he’s open to that. I’m happy na nailalabas ko yung gusto ko.”

Asked what part of doing comedy Andre should work hard on, Benjie says, “For me, he is doing well in comedy. If you see his videos online, you can see that he is naturally funny and he loves watching comedy movies which I think helped him improve his talent. I also watched sitcoms like Cafeteria Aroma, John en Marsha and Crazy Corporation, nagpapasalamat din ako dun ko natutunan ang proper timing in comedy.”

(Wang Fam opens on Nov. 18 in theaters nationwide.)


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