Surreal ride for ‘Gameboys’actor Elijah Canlas
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky Calderon (The Freeman) - September 4, 2020 - 12:00am

As promised, we are featuring Elijah Canlas, the other half of the successful tandem in “Gameboys,” which will stream its final episode on Sept. 13.

What can he say about the success of “Gameboys” and that he and Kokoy de Santos are the main reason it has a huge following?

“I’m definitely overwhelmed. Up to now, I still find a hard time believing that thousands watch it. It’s just surreal. But I’m glad a story like this is being loved and celebrated. It’s about time.”

Elijah begs to disagree with our observation that he and Kokoy are the reasons why “Gameboys” is a hit.

“Thank you po but I beg to differ. I don’t think the main reasons are me and Kokoy. I think that Cairo and Gavreel’s story truly resonates with the audience. Especially because of the fact that the setting is the world we live in now. The way these characters were written and directed are for them to feel real. I think ‘Gameboys’ is just a one-of-a-kind show. It’s really special.”

Elijah is being managed by The IdeaFirst Company who created and produces the widely-followed series on YouTube.

“If I’m not mistaken, ‘Gameboys’ was really written for me and Kokoy. I did not audition. I was just blessed to be offered this role at a time where artists were left jobless and uncertain when everything’s going back to normal.”

He says that Cairo is the hardest role he had to portray.

“There were just a lot of factors going into playing him like the new process we were experimenting with and shooting remotely in our own homes. But most especially because Cairo is so far from who I am,” Elijah shared.

“But that’s the fun part about being an actor. The challenge of portraying a character, making them as human as possible, will always be fun for me. Cairo is more aggressive while I am reserved around people I’m not close to in real life. Cairo isn’t really the confrontational type, while I am. There are more differences but I guess a point of similarity would be the fact that we love junk food and sweets. The best part about playing Cairo is that I get to be courted and in love with Gavreel.”

How did the role of Cai change your life as an actor and as a person?

“I’ve been portraying Cairo for the past five months and we’ve been shooting almost every day within that time frame. I’ve mostly been shooting inside my own house because that’s Cairo’s house also. Cairo is so close to my heart now. I’ve given my whole body, mind, and soul to him. Sometimes it’s even hard to detach especially because of the shooting schedule and environment,” he explained.

“I’d like to think Cairo has helped me grow as an actor and definitely as a person. I’ve always been private. All my social media accounts used to be private. I never thought I’d even get this much recognition and have fans clubs and all that. I just didn’t think it would fit my personality. But so far I’ve been enjoying the ride, and I’m definitely grateful to everyone who has been supporting me and the show. It’s still surreal.”

Why does he think “Gameboys” is receiving so much love and support, not only in the Philippines but from international audiences as well?

“Love is universal, no matter who the characters are. Just in that, there’s a point of relatability. Aside from that, the Boy’s Love genre has a huge global community and I’m very proud of the fact that they’re embracing ‘Gameboys.’ Also, the setting is still the present we live in now. Most communications are still done through video calls and social media, that’s why a ton of people can relate. And the characters are three-dimensional. You would care for these characters. The fact that the story takes you from point to point is just an achievement with the format and premise.

How does he feel that “Gameboys” is ending?

“Just grateful. It’s been a special and unexpected ride. But definitely excited for what’s to come.”

What will he remember most about “Gameboys”?

“The new process of filmmaking, being in quarantine for months, shooting remotely, the fans, the theories, many more but most especially, Cairo and Gavreel!

What makes “Gameboys” unforgettable?

“That it was done during the time we live in now. I’m very proud of the fact that the Ideafirst Company found a way to provide entertainment and tell stories even when it seemed impossible because of the pandemic. And that whole journey of collaborating to create a process. It will be unforgettable for the rest of my life indeed.”

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