Jeric Gonzales thanks Alden Richards for role in Start-Up Ph

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Jeric Gonzales thanks Alden Richards for role in Start-Up Ph

MANILA, Philippines — Kapuso actor Jeric Gonzales said he is thankful to Alden Richards, who became instrumental for him to clinch a role in Start-Up Ph, GMA 7’s adaptation of South Korea’s award-winning series, Start-Up.

In the series, Jeric is computer engineering genius Davidson “Dave” Navarro, who aspires to put up his own company with his friends Wilson and Jeff, played by Boy2Quizon and Royce Cabrera, respectively.

The role, Jeric shared, is his biggest TV outing since he started his acting career, following his win in the second season of Protégé, the network’s talent search.

“I’m feeling so good because of the good reviews that the show has been receiving these days, especially during the pilot. It’s good to also hear praises and comments from people, nakakataba ng puso,” said Jeric on the sidelines of the GMA Network and National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) All-Star Basketball held last Oct. 15 at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.

Jeric couldn’t forget his initial reaction upon learning that he was chosen for the role of Dave.

“I’m familiar with the character kaya tuwang-tuwa ako. I was shortlisted for the role and then I heard po may part si Alden doon sa recommendation na ginawa. Ako po ‘yung personal n’yang na-i-recommend.”

He continued, “And then, the production (team) and the program manager also agreed that I fit the role. I am so thankful that I was chosen because even before GMA came up with this adaptation, I was already familiar with its story. I watched it during the (height of) pandemic.”

Thus, he could not contain his happiness knowing how important the character Nam Do-San (played by Nam Joo Hyuk) in the Korean drama series is. “It felt surreal for a fan of the character at ‘yung role na ‘yun isa ‘yun sa pinakabida talaga,” he pointed out.

Jeric plays for Team Saints in GMA and NCAA’s All-Star Game with fellow Kapuso stars Jose Sarasola, Kirst Viray and Prince Clemente, and PBA legends Marlou Aquino and Willie Miller. The team has Sparkle artist Shaira Diaz as muse.

Jeric even more looks up to Alden for his kindness and humility. “He didn’t tell me anything, knowing Alden, ayaw n’ya ng mga ganun. Actually, ‘yung nagsabi lang about it ay ‘yung prod (production), narinig ko sa kanila and then, my manager told me, ‘Si Alden ‘yung isa sa mga nag-recommend sa ‘yo doon,’” he shared.

It was during their promotional event in Davao that Jeric found the opportunity to thank Alden in person. “In one of our interviews in Davao, doon ko lang s’ya napasalamatan kasi si Alden ayaw n’ya naman ng mga ganun na pinapasalamatan. Para sa kanya, it’s okay, don’t mention it, ganun lang.”

Start-Up Ph, Jeric stressed, is a K-drama with a Filipino twist. That’s why, he tries to have his own acting approach.

“I don’t think I share similarity with my character when it comes to his personality because he’s an introvert, may pagka-naïve. It’s totally the opposite of who I am. So, I had to watch it again to study his nuances but still I try to give it my own take. Kumbaga, binigyan ko s’ya ng sarili kong atake,” said Jeric, who revealed that they have already completed taping for the series.

Meanwhile, it was Jeric’s first to participate in a basketball match between Team Saints and Team Heroes. Members of both teams were comprised of GMA 7 hotties, NCAA hotshots and PBA legends. As part of Team Saints, his teammates were Kapuso stars Jose Sarasola, Kirst Viray and Prince Clemente. “They asked me if I wanted to play and, of course, I said yes right away because I’m a basketball enthusiast. I was even part of the varsity team from high school to college.”

Regular workouts in the gym and the once-a-week basketball practice are enough for the actor to prepare physically for the game.

“It’s good that my body is fit for the game, so I think, makaka-shoot naman ako at makakalaro ng maayos,” concluded Jeric, the Team Saints’ forward.

Apart from the Kapuso actors, PBA legends Marlou Aquino and Willie Miller, and NCAA hardcourt stars namely Letran’s Fran Yu and Mark Sangalang; College of Saint Benilde’s Will Gozum and JC Cullar; San Beda’s JB Bahio and James Kwekuteye, San Sebastian College-Recoletos’ Ichie Altamirano and Jessie Sumoda; and University of Perpetual Help System Daltas’ Jielo Razon and Kim Aurin completed the line-up for Team Saints with Sparkle artist Shaira Diaz as muse.

Team Heroes, on the other hand, was comprised of PBA legends Jerry Codiñera and Allan Caidic; Kapuso stars Kokoy de Santos, Pancho Magno, Migs Villasis and Raheel Bhyria, and NCAA hotshots namely, Arellano University’s Cade Flores and Axel Doromal; Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Allen Liwag and Nat Cosejo; Jose Rizal University’s JL delos Santos and Agem Miranda; Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Renzo Navarro and Omar Larupay; and Mapua University’s Warren Bonifacio and Rence Nocum. Team Heroes paraded with Sparkle artist Lianne Valentin as muse.

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