Xian Lim makes a stand on network loyalty

!hola - MJ Marfori - The Philippine Star
Xian Lim makes a stand on network loyalty
Xian Lim not only acts and hosts, he also directs films.
STAR / File

If there’s any celebrity whom you can call a jack-of-all-trades, Xian Lim can definitely be on top of that list. He acts, directs, hosts, plays basketball, has investments and is very into whatever project that tickles his fancy at the moment.

I came across Xian on a few occasions while he was still with ABS-CBN but it was during the pandemic when he signed up with Viva that I really got to know him via our lengthy Zoom chats.

A few days ago was the latest chikahan that transpired and no, I did not ask about Kim Chiu since what you see is what you get on their social media pages.

Currently, Xian is doing a project with GMA 7 that is yet to be aired this year. Prior to that, he has done 1000 Heartbeats with TV5 and a couple of films wherein he starred in and directed for Viva.

It could be said that he is one of the few lead stars who successfully did cross over to major networks without getting much issues or the ire from network loyalists. With that said, after leaving ABS-CBN in 2018 after almost a decade with them, Xian made a stand about loyalty to a particular station and the importance of separating the artist from his current network.

“For a time, nagkakaroon tayo ng issue on loyalty with the network or an artist is exclusive to a company parang ganoon,” said he. “I think, hindi siya dapat ganoon. For me, that’s my take on it, this is just my personal opinion. As an artist, you’re an empty shell, you’re just a vessel and you’re there to give life to a character given to you.”

He further stressed that fans expecting artists to be loyal to a network or identify with solely one network could be detrimental to their performance in projects.

“I don’t think it’s even about exclusivity,” said he, “it’s taking on different projects to feed your artistry. Hindi siya dapat. An artist is supposed to be everywhere na gusto ng puso niya yung project. Kung gusto niya yung project, hindi siya dapat malimitahan ng isang major network.”

Besides GMA and TV5, the Villar-owned AMBS Channel 2, which took over ABS-CBN’s frequency, is set to make an entrance in the broadcasting scene in a big way, and if other stars are hesitant to be joining, it is not the case for Xian.

“I am willing to work anywhere katulad nga ng sinabi ko, it’s more of feeding your passion,” shared he. “It’s all about the passion, hindi yung dapat andito lang tayo. It’s not about that and I think the networks and all the artists should understand as well na you’re feeding your passion.”

For Xian, there are other people who are supposed to think of the network issue and they should let the actors focus on the acting.

“I think the business aspect when you’re an artist, hindi mo na iniisip iyan, eh,” said he. “There are people who are there, para isipin na iyan para sa iyo. If you’re an artist, tapos iniisip mo pa iyang aspect na iyan, I think mag-implode ka.”

Xian is enjoying the diverse projects that are coming his way as he just wrapped his film, with Julia Barretto and Marco Gumabao, titled Bahay Na Pula, directed by none other than 2019 Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza. Brillante rarely does horror, so it is an honor for Xian to accept the project as its lead and even without script as what Brillante is famously known for.

“At first, mahirap kasi yung nakasanayan is, yung iba hindi pwede galawin, dialogue and very sensitive yung mga writers, gusto nila verbatim yun, wala talaga galawan. It felt different at first but towards the end, ma-appreciate mo rin siya. One, it’s a different take, and two, you have creative license. So, masaya siya.”

Even if they were both in ABS-CBN before, this will also be Xian’s first time to work with Julia and he said it won’t be the last.

“Working with her was such a blast really,” added he. “I didn’t expect that we, Julia and I, along with Marco, would get along to the point na okay, ang saya katrabaho, mabilis lang kasi iyong shoot namin for this one, a couple of days lang and hindi namin i-nexpect na we would get along with each other right away. I expect na maiilang kami sa isa’t-isa, given na yung age gap din namin and yung characters namin sa story. We start off as a married couple already. So, upon seeing that sa script, I was like, ‘Paano?’ Hahaha.”

(Bahay Na Pula airs on Feb. 25 on Vivamax.)


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