Paul Salas enjoys playing villain, wants to do superhero role

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Paul Salas enjoys playing villain, wants to do superhero role
Paul, star of GMA 7’s Lolong, says on auditioning for a role and acting ‘in every show, I want them (the production people) to see (for themselves) if the character is meant for me. There’s nothing wrong about it. I want to prove that acting is something I want to do and it’s my passion.’

MANILA, Philippines — Paul Salas is considered a Kapuso hunk and heartthrob, but recent roles reveal his potential to become a versatile actor. It’s a career path that Paul would love to tread. As a tell-tale sign, the Sparkle artist is sold on the idea of landing a role by auditioning. Another is, he welcomes new and challenging characters that will come his way.

“Of course, in every show, I want them (the production people) to see (for themselves) or test me if the character is meant for me,” answered Paul when asked about his willingness to go through an audition process and secure a project “solely based on his own merits,” as one may put it, in a recent virtual one-on-one with The STAR. “If I can do the role and carry the bubog (emotional baggage and struggles). There’s nothing wrong about it, for me.” His role Martin in the primetime teleserye Lolong is an example of that.

Since he wanted to be part of the adventure series, with Ruru Madrid in the title role, Paul did audition for the show. After that, he waited and readied himself for the outcome.

“I wanted to know if I got in or I would play the role of Martin,” recalled he, who didn’t immediately hear any news about how he fared in the audition. “So, I just accepted (the possibility) that it wasn’t for me.” But he got in.

Starring in Lolong is among the many blessings Paul has received since the pandemic came into the global picture in the early part of 2020. Prior to the primetime show, the young actor did such shows as the Philippine adaptation of the K-drama Descendants of the Sun on GMA and The Lost Recipe via GTV.

“I’m just thankful to God and I put my trust in Him at that time (height of the pandemic) to continuously show my talent,” said Paul. “Sa awa naman ng Diyos, dire-diretso naman yung shows. In every show, I want to prove that this (acting) is something I want to do and it’s my passion.”

With that, Paul has adapted to the new way of doing TV series and shown the acting trouper in him. For Lolong, he had three lock-in tapings. The first bubble shoot lasted for a month. The succeeding ones required him and fellow creatives to work for two and a half months and another five days.

“He’s not, kaya tuwang-tuwa po ako,” said Paul of how kontrabida Martin will be. “Like what I said in a video conference, (on) Monday, the fans will hate the character. (On) Tuesday, they will empathize with him.” On another day, as one may put it, they will feel another emotion for the character. That’s how Martin holds the interest of viewers and Paul himself, who added that “they can look forward to many things about Martin and they will get surprised with what (else) he can do.”

Although Lolong, which airs after 24 Oras on GMA Telebabad, is built within the parameters of adventure and action genres, it is essentially a drama.

“With Lolong, sobrang drama siya for me, mabigat,” said he. “After my show, I hope they will cast me in shows like a sitcom. I just want to do comedy (and light). But if it’s the plan of the production (to include me in another drama), I will do it, kasi yun naman talaga ang magpapa-grow sa amin bilang actor, yun talagang ma-cha-challenge tayo (it will make us actors grow by taking on challenging works).”

Through Lolong, Paul has also been given another chance to gain valuable insights about the acting career from veteran stars like Christopher de Leon and Jean Garcia, whom the actor appreciated for her nurturing qualities as a mom.

From his conversations, during breaks, with Christopher, Paul learned ways of handling work pressures and the importance of having acting tools.

“It’s an honor to listen to him and (to learn from) his experiences,” said he, who also picked up the value of actor’s confidence in doing a role.

For someone, who started young in show business, Paul is also in a position to share tips for newbies. “They should never give up,” he said. “They need to ask themselves if this (acting) is their passion. Once they have (done) that, the next thing they need to do is never give up (during) work.”

Paul added that acting requires one to study the character and the story. One also needs to consider the technical aspects and connect with fellow actors. Playing a part is never a walk in the park. That’s why actors have to be mentally and physically fit. Paul’s idea of the latter comes from wanting to become physically conditioned “that OK yung katawan ko, OK yung stamina ko so I can do sporty (activities) without getting tired (easily),” said he. “It has become my lifestyle.”

When he feels that he is not being in shape, Paul will do cardio exercises and “gusto ko nang magpapawis. (Staying fit and healthy is) no longer an obligation, but a normal (thing) or routine in my life.”

“Now, I don’t go to the gym that often. I do home workout,” said the actor, who lifts dumbbells and does push-ups at home. “Playing basketball is (another) passion of mine. I think it’s also a big help to me.” He plays the sport twice a week with his dad and friends.

His vlogs and posts, however, show that he is not depriving himself of enjoying good food while staying fit and healthy. “Malakas din akong kumain (I also eat a lot),” added he. “I sometimes show that I do food trips, that I’m not (being) hard on myself.” Paul shared that being fit is doable.

If given the chance to do a project in the future, Paul would love to star in a remake of Captain Barbell that Richard Gutierrez headlined for GMA in 2006 or similar superhero stories. “Na-feel ko na bilang villain ako o na-feel ko na yung pagka-kontrabida with Lolong, parang gusto kong ma-feel din na alam mo yun na tinatawag ka nang bata sa superhero mong name, ganyan (I’ve already experienced playing a villain with Lolong. I want kids to call me by my superhero’s name next time around),” said he, “but whatever plans they (the management) may have for me, I’m also game for it.”


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