Why Richard wants to play contravida

Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – You admired Richard Yap’s strict yet loving character in Binondo Girl. You hoped he would end up in the altar with his childhood crush in Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita. You prayed for him to stay strong in Wansapanataym’s My Kung-Fu Chinito. And of course, you fell in love with him in Be Careful With My Heart.

But in the Coco Martin lead starrer FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, you might wish to never meet him at all. Richard makes you forget all the wholesome characters he portrayed before as he breathes life to Philip Tang, the leader of a large syndicate group, in the ABS-CBN primetime series.

It may be pretty hard to imagine Richard as the bad guy but he reveals that portraying one is a challenge he was yearning to take since he watched Ang Probinsyano during its premiere showing at Trinoma. He instantly fell in love with its storyline and fast-paced action sequences. He also admired how actors were able to lose themselves into the characters. “It’s something different, very action-packed at sobrang ganda ng pagkagawa so I requested kung pwede ako makasali sa Probinsyano even if I portray as a villain. Now, I’m happy being part of the show.

“This is a challenge for me because I don’t want to be stereotyped to good-guy roles, na ‘yun lang ang kaya kong gawin so I want to challenge myself and I want to learn from other actors how they act out a contravida (character) kasi iba rin yung mindset. Actually, it’s a lot stressful but it’s really something different but I really want to do it because I want to improve myself and my craft.” Besides, Richard knows that it is essential for an actor to show something new to the audience in every project to keep the interest alive.

In order to pull off the role, Richard has been watching movies and TV series that focus on villains. “I also watch the foreign ones because the show is more on action and so I want to find a level na medyo mas angat.”

Jet Li has the biggest influence on his acting approach. “I’ve been watching him in Lethal Weapon 4.”

Since he only appeared on the show recently, Richard says he has not done a lot of action scenes yet.

Asked how he was able to handle his role smoothly, the actor says that he has already seen — from the beginning of the series — how Albert was attacking his part and from there, he tries to complement his style “but of course, I have to be different from him. I have also taken into account my character’s personality and I need to understand his background so I know what kind of style would fit into the character.”

Richard also appreciates the support of directors Malu Sevilla and Avel Sunpongco scene after scene. They also hired a translator for him to fully understand Mandarin well and speak the language fluently. “I’m fluent in Fookien but in Mandarin, hindi masyado.”

He finds Coco a breeze to work with since they have been together in Walang Hanggan. It is Albert whom he finds intimidating “because it’s my first time to work with him and knowing that he’s a veteran (actor), I have to adjust so that I can be at the same level of his acting.”

Meanwhile, Richard says there is no truth to the rumor that he was supposed to star in the Metro Manila Filmfest entry All You Need is Pag-Ibig opposite Jodi Sta. Maria but that role went to Ian Veneracion.

“No. I’m not (working) in any filmfest movie. I just learned about it on write-ups. There’s no formal offer to me to be part of it.”

But definitely Richard is looking forward to a busy 2016 since this early, there are a number of projects for him in the drawing board “pero syempre mahirap pa i-develop kasi naudlot ’yung project namin ni Judy Ann (Santos).” He was referring to the Kapamilya teleserye Someone to Watch Over Me which was temporarily shelved due to Judy Ann’s pregnancy.

ACIRC ALL YOU NEED ANG PROBINSYANO BE CAREFUL WITH MY HEART BINONDO GIRL COCO MARTIN IAN VENERACION JET LI JODI STA JUDY ANN RICHARD
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