No qualms playing in same-sex love story
Alec Kevin (left) and Ali King are ‘locked down’ in a new series calculated to titillate fans of Boys Love (BL) shows

No qualms playing in same-sex love story

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2020 - 12:00am

Remember a line from the Kevin Costner starrer Field of Dreams? If you build, they will come.

It holds true in any field, especially showbiz. Once something clicks, it creates a bandwagon. The more, the merrier; the merrier, the better. Case in point is the Boys Love (BL) series that originated in Thailand which has not only been adapted (Tagalized) by local companies but has inspired spin-offs, the latest being Boys’ Lockdown produced by Ticket2Me, Southeast Asia’s first block-chained-enable ticketing platform, that will premiere on Oct. 15 (next Thursday) on the Ticket2Me video player and YouTube channel.

Lest I preempt the “thrill and the suspense” (follow the series and find out for yourselves), I will instead introduce to you the BL actors, Ali King (real name: Alonzo Raphael Elequin) and Alec Kevin (real name: Alec Kevin Rigonan), who will henceforth be known for their uniname KeyChen taken from their characters Key Kalunsod (Ali) and Chen Chavez (Alec).

Described as creative at heart, making his showbiz debut with BL, Ali (24; May 15, 1996) used to work for one of the country’s biggest advertising and public relations agencies. In his free time when not writing songs (inspired by Taylor Swift) and performing them on his guitar, the Tourism Management graduate from FEU binge-watches his favorite movies. He has cultivated a following on his social media platforms with his “enthralling stories” and his obsession with iced tea, Mean Girls and his latest skin-care regimen. A natural charmer, Ali is used to being in front of the camera as shown on his vlogs on YouTube and Tik Tok challenges. He’s proud of his dedication to fitness, having lost 70 lbs. so far.

An Applied Physics graduate from UP, Alec (23; June 18, 1997) was part of the school’s Street Dance Team that won gold in the UAAP Cheer Dance competition in 2016. In that same year, he starred in the critically-acclaimed short film Fish Out of Water (directed by Mon Garilao) that won the Special Jury Prize in the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (CIFF) and was nominated in the Gawad Urian Awards the next year. A self-confessed foodie who enjoys lemon tarts, espresso and red wine, he binges on Netflix with the hit Korean drama Kingdom as his favorite.

What was your reaction when you got the offer?

Ali: “I was ecstatic to get the role of Key. I see myself in Key when I first read his lines during the auditions, and I knew at that moment that I really wanted to portray him in the series.”

Alec: “I think that the best part about getting the offer was that I didn’t expect it at all. In fact, during my birthday, which was the day before I found out, I had to force myself to think about other things so I could enjoy the day. So when I finally got the call the following day, I was over the moon with happiness and excitement! Definitely a belated birthday gift!”

Did you consult your parents and what was their reaction?

Ali: “Surprisingly, they were very supportive of this opportunity Ticket2Me has given us. They also understood all the scenes needed to do, and I’m grateful to be part of this opportunity.”

Alec: “To be honest, I didn’t tell them that I auditioned. They just found out when we were already doing the fan service shows. I’m blessed that the people who love me understand that acting is one of my passions, and that what I’m trying to do with Boys’ Lockdown will hopefully make a positive impact in our society!”

Have you ever fallen in love?

Ali: “I’m thankful to have felt love and pain during the span of my life and I enjoy feeling love throughout my life.”

Alec: “I believe that love comes in many, many forms and I’m thankful for the people around me who have, in one way or another, shown it to me.”

Have you been courted by boys or asked out on a date?

Ali: “There are times when I get admirers, both guys and girls, and it’s so flattering to have the attention I’m currently getting so I’m enjoying every moment I can get.”

Alec: “Not really ligaw but despite the fact that our show hasn’t premiered yet, we’ve received so much love and support from the fans already! Haha. It’s very heartwarming and I’m extremely thankful for them.”

How do you portray or approach your characters?

Ali: “I think, with the experience I have, it’s not that hard to deal with Key’s problems as I’ve also faced the hurdles he’s been feeling throughout the season. It’s also nice to see myself in Key because of how I relate to the character.”

Alec: “For me personally, it was challenging even if my real age isn’t far from my character’s age, because of our differences in personalities. I think that Chen is a lot more playful than I am, though I’m not sure if that’s due to our age gap or just how we are in general! Haha.”

Who are the actors/actresses that you admire?

Ali: “Being a sucker for love stories, I like Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s tandem because of their natural chemistry and their love for acting.”

Alec: “I think that the actor that inspired and influenced me the most to pursue acting is Leonardo DiCaprio. My earliest memory of watching a movie was when I first saw Titanic, and since then, I’ve made sure to watch all of his films! For local talents, I love seeing John Arcilla in Heneral Luna and Cherie Gil in Oro Plata Mata, which incidentally, are also on my list of favorite films!”

Do you have girlfriends and what type of girls do you like?

Ali: “I like someone who’s quick minded and someone who I could relate to. I’m very spontaneous, so I’d like someone who could understand how quickly I change my mind.”

Alec: “I don’t have a girlfriend. I think the traits that I look for are dependable, intelligent and gentle.”

What were your childhood dreams?

Ali: “I dreamed of becoming an archeologist due to my fascination with the game Tomb Raider when I was a kid.”

Alec: “Growing up, I always imagined that I would either be a commercial pilot or an actor. This is why I feel extremely blessed that I’m able to pursue something that I’m really passionate about!”

What kind of family do you come from?

Ali: “I was born in a supporting household. It’s nice how my dad really wanted us to pursue our own passions. My dad loves music, so did my mom. I love how those became me and my brother’s interests, too.”

Alec: “I think that I grew up in a very conservative yet understanding family. I’m thankful that despite differences in beliefs, my parents provided for and supported us in everything that we wanted to do, and whatever we wanted to be.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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