Gerald: ‘I want people to remember my good projects’

Vanessa Balbuena (The Freeman) - May 3, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The ever-controversial Gerald Anderson is the current cover star of a digital fashion magazine, drawing compliments for his fit physique that he displays in all its glory.

To be salivated over is nothing new for the actor who had at one time been the Most Bashed Male Star in the country. While appreciative of the praise for his hunky build, he is now in a phase in his career where he’s more concerned with leaving behind a meaningful body of work.

“Of course it is very flattering,” Gerald said of being an object of desire at a virtual conference for his current series “Init sa Magdamag.”

“I do prepare for daring scenes because people take time out of their lives to watch us. If it’s a movie, magbabayad sila, so I have to give them something worth it. But by now what’s most important for me is to portray a good character in a good story. I guess I’ve lasted so far in this industry with that as my main priority.”

A scene from “Init sa Magdamag” that was teased online showing his character just in underwear as he playfully banters with Yam Concepcion’s role quickly went viral, but Gerald shrugged it off, saying people were probably bored and thus found his nearly-naked state fascinating.

“Tuloy tuloy yung set-up ng taping and when it came to that scene, may inabot sa akin na brief. Ano ‘to? Damit mo sa next scene. Sabi ko, ‘Ha? Bakit brief lang?’ Tapos yung unang binigay sa akin pa-Speedo na eh, medyo revealing. Sabi ko hanap tayo ng iba kasi hindi pa ako ready,” Gerald shared.

“May ilangan pa yun with Yam because it was one of our first few scenes. Si Direk Raymond [Ocampo] bumaba siya sa set, nag-brief lang rin siya so that I will feel comfortable. He demonstrated how he wanted me to do it. It’s nice to work with passionate people, because he didn’t have to do that but he wanted to show me that we were in the same boat. Naramdaman ni Direk siguro na nakakailang din talaga, because there are at least 30 people behind the camera.”

In “Init sa Magdamag,” Gerald’s Tupe is an unruly and rebellious son, yet serious about finishing his studies and becoming a doctor.

It is Gerald’s first canned series (meaning all episodes have already been shot before airing) that airs 9:20 pm on TV5 and A2Z on free TV and on digital TV boxes like ABS-CBN TVplus, on cable and satellite TV via Kapamilya Channel and Jeepney TV, and online via Kapamilya Online Live on the YouTube channel and Facebook page of ABS-CBN Entertainment. Advanced episodes can also be streamed on iWantTFC and WeTV iflix.

“It was conceptualized before the pandemic, more than a year in the making, so we already knew what we wanted to say with this show. But with the pandemic, the creative team had a long time na isiksik at matapos yung kwento. This is our first time na eere tayo na tapos na ang kwento. Hindi na natin maririnig yung, ‘Ano ba yan, pinapaikot lang yung kwento,’” said creative manager Henry Quitain.

Coming from his well-received military drama “A Soldier’s Heart,” Gerald said he was drawn to his “Init sa Magdamag” role because “the challenges of the character, his sacrifices, it’s my first time to tackle as an actor. I was attracted to his selfless character. He is a community doctor in the mountains, passionate in helping others. The way he loves, he doesn’t have to shout it. He knows what he wants and he will do everything for his loved ones.”

Physically, Gerald was able to prepare for the role’s daring scenes since there was a small gym on location. Mentally, he prefers to arrive on set not fully knowing how to tackle a scene. “As an actor, I don’t like going on set na handang-handa na ako or planado na. Gusto kung sumabay…para mas maging natural. Kung anong nararamdaman ng character kumbaga.”

Among the comments about the series, his favorite is when netizens point out the excellence in production. “I think the comment I like best is ‘Quality.’ ‘Wow ang ganda nito, iba talaga gumawa ang ABS-CBN.’ That’s what gives me the biggest motivation.”

Speaking of motivation, Gerald reiterated how he feels grateful of his network’s unwavering support despite continuous negative publicity on his love life. “As an actor and as a person, that’s where I get my motivation: from the gratitude I feel. It’s also my priority when choosing projects –not that I decline most offers – what legacy I can leave when I retire or 10 years from now. I want people to remember the good projects I did. It’s been a great relationship with ABS-CBN.”

And whether his personal upheavals affect his mindset on set, Gerald replied with confidence,  “Magaling ako maghiwalay sa personal life ko sa ginagawa ko on set. Kung ano man ang pinagdadaanan ko, nasa gitna man ako ng controversy, or I may be in a happy state, I don’t let it affect my work on set.”

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