Jake Cuenca: Naked ambition
THE DIALOGUE - Raymond Gutierrez () - September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Within the last year, Jake Cuenca has been on the receiving end of positive reviews for several coveted roles, quickly elevating him to leading man status. With the release of his most daring film to date, the actor finds himself on the cusp of change and confesses that his next move will be to shift away from the sexy image that made him a household name.

How is this movie, My Neighbor’s Wife, different from all the other roles you’ve done?

This movie is definitely more daring than the ones I’ve done so far. It’s really a serious subject, the material is very mature. I’ve done a lot of mature roles, but the is the most adult one so far.

How did you prepare for your role?

In this film, I portray a man who’s in his late 20s, married and with children. I really had to do my homework—I studied the role but I knew that I didn’t have to go so far away from home. I looked at my parents and my brother especially, who’s 29 years old and has a family of his own. Our family is really close to one another. Having said that, I got to see the struggles in their marriages and how they get through it. That’s also what the movie is all about, marriage. We’re really showing the people the different struggles of young marriages.

Mysterious skin: “I don’t want them to only see me in one type of role; I’m working on my versatility.”

What did you learn about infidelity?

These days, when a guy cheats on his wife, it’s no longer shocking to society. But when the wife cheats on her husband, it’s a bigger issue than what it is. But you know what? For me, there really is no difference. Cheating is cheating. Infidelity is infidelity. It shouldn’t be done. When you commit yourself in a marriage, it’s a promise that shouldn’t be broken.

Have you ever been cheated on and vice versa?


How do you bounce back from a break-up?

I believe that someone just moves on when that person finds someone new. It’s a hard process. You need your friends and family in that process. You need something to do and keep yourself busy.

Who’s keeping you company now?

My fans, road manager, friends, and family (laughs). Right now I can say that I’m happily single. I’m taking my time for the next one.

Let’s clarify the Lovi situation, and that you guys have been spotted out together. What’s the deal?

I think it’s more of a friendship. She’s a really good person, really nice, easy to talk to, and she’s fun to be with. I’m just thankful that I was able to work with her in the movie. But I can honestly say that I’m happy being single.

What did you learn from your past relationships?

Lovi long time: “I think it’s more of a friendship. She’s a really good person, really nice, easy to talk to, and she’s fun to be with.”

Seriously, I’m still learning from it. There are stuff that I knew I had to learn but I didn’t understand so after that relationship, I realized that I just want to take my time and figure things out on my own and then when I’m ready, that’s the time I’ll get into one again.

Let’s go back to the movie. You were the most daring when it came down to nudity, are you worried you might get stuck in that image?

You know what, I thought about it before accepting the role. It was in the script and we just had to keep it real. For the daring and sexy roles, I’ll be putting that on pause for a while after this. Also because the roles that I’ll be portraying in both the new movie and soap that I’m doing right now, are totally opposite my role in My Neighbor’s Wife. I don’t want them to only see me in one type of role; I’m working on my versatility.

Was it awkward doing all those love scenes?

Everything was done professionally. Dennis Trillo and I spoke before we started shooting the film and we both agreed to prioritize the women—make them feel comfortable and to take extra care of them. Being actors, it’s our job to make everything seem real. Also, with those scenes and emotions, we have to be professional. I remember shooting that love scene with Lovi and the director would talk in between takes to just say “good job, Jake!” and it really felt awkward hearing that (laughs).

You’ve been getting a lot of good reviews for your roles as of late, does that add pressure on your part?

I’m really happy and grateful for the good reviews. I’m blessed to work with such talented, award-winning actors in a lot of my projects. I don’t act to get awards. When I get a job, I just give it my best shot. I’m passionate about acting and it’s great to get good feedback.

What mark do you want to leave in the industry?

I want to leave a mark as an actor who can play different roles—someone who’s versatile and fearless when it comes to acting.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be away for two months to shoot something in Doha, Qatar and the role is really a shift from the ones I’ve done. I’m definitely going to be deglamorized and it’s such a different character from everything else I’ve done so far. To prepare for that, I’m planning to just leave my real personality behind and try to work on that character for two straight months.

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My Neighbor’s Wife under Regal Films is out in theaters nationwide.

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