STARDOM IS HARD WORK!
These familiar faces show up on our
TV screens, movie houses, and thousands of magazine covers.
In the pantheon of modern-day gods, they’ve been idolized,
immortalized, and become sources of inspiration to thousands
of devoted fans.
But celebrity status did not come
overnight. A life that sparkles with the glitz and glam
was frequently earned by blood, sweat, and tears. Like the
non-showbiz career people, the stars have paid their dues
and keep on sharpening their skills. That’s how they
can burn even brighter.
Once in a while, JobsDB.com will
chat up-close and personal with these celebrities. Though
not all of us have been bitten by the acting and concert
bug, the values and lessons in their success stories are pretty
universal and can prove to be inspirational.
Coco Martin: Prince of Indie Movies
Interview by Tinna S. Bonifacio
He is known as the “Prince of Indie Movies”. He was acclaimed for his performances in films like Masahista, Serbis, Tambolista, Kinatay and Jay, which won him a Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actor trophy.
But a talent like his couldn’t remain hidden from the mainstream for long. Starting with a supporting role in Komiks Presents: Tiny Tony (which starred John Prats as an undersized superhero), Coco Martin graduated to mainstream stardom in the primetime dramaTayong Dalawa. Since then, he has built up an impressive resume that includes shows like Nagsimula Sa Puso (where he plays a student who falls in love with his teacher, played by Maja Salvador) and the soon-to-premere “Tonyong Bayawak” episode of Agimat: Mga Kuwento ni Ramon Revilla. Recently, he bagged his first major commercial endorsement.
For all these achievements, StarStudio Magazine named Coco one of its “surprise stars” of 2009. But his success is no surprise.
Here, Coco shares the story of his journey from struggling stage actor to legitimate star, and the lessons he learned along the way.
If you had not joined showbiz and become an actor, what would you be doing?
Iba ang dream ko. Ang gusto ko, makapag-trabaho abroad. Maging OFW. O kaya mag-work sa restaurant as a cook, o di kaya, manager. ( Coco graduated from the National College of Business and Arts, or NCBA, in 2004, with a Hotel and Restaurant Management degree).
So how did you get into showbusiness?
Mahilig akong manood ng mga Tagalog movies. Laking Lola kasi ako. Nanonood siya lagi, kaya nakasanayan ko na rin. I remember watching movies of Lolita Rodriguez and Vic Silayan. Tapos nung nag-high school ako (Capitol Institute along Tandang Sora), sumasali ako sa mga school plays. We did Noli and Fili. May nakakita sa akin for commercial, then nagtuloy-tuloy na. I’ve been in showbiz since 2005.
You made your name as an actor in indie (independently-produced) films before hitting it big in the mainstream with shows like Tayong Dalawa (and the soon-to-premiere Tonyong Bayawak episode of the Agimat series). What is the difference between working in indie movies and in the mainstream?
Sa mainstream, artista ka lang, umaarte ka lang. Sa indie, kasama ka sa lahat—sa concept, sa planning, sa casting. Sa isang production, sampu lang kami. Sa mainstream, mas may tendency na maging spoiled ka. Lahat nandiyan, lahat instant. Ang way ng atake sa pag-arte, iba rin. Sa indie, mas natural, mas totoo, mas raw. Sa TV, nasa mata ang technique, doon mo palalabasin ang gusto mong sabihin.
You are one of the most awarded young actors. How do you feel about what you’ve achieved in your career?
Honestly, sa akin, masaya ako. Sa bata kong [edad na] ito, nagkaroon ako ng achievement na sarili ko. Alam kong napansin ako at sobrang proud ako. Yung awards, yan ang bunga ng lahat ng pinaghirapan mo. Iba talaga ang feeling kapag alam mong na-appreciate ng mga tao ang trabahong ginawa mo. At saka siyempre, proud ako when my films win in festivals abroad. Eto ang katas ng pinagpaguran ko.
You’ve also worked with a lot of seasoned actors and actresses. Who are some of those you idolize? How has working with them rubbed off on you?
Marami. Isa si Jaclyn Jose. Lagi kaming magkasama. Out of the 17 movies I’ve done, sa anim, kasama ko siya. Sa kanila ako humugot. Sa kanila, natutunan ko na ang rawness sa character or atake, dapat laging nandoon. Sa mga veteran stars na nakatrabaho ko, natutunan ko ang pagiging humble. At dapat may tiyaga. May determinasyon. Kahit paano dapat maging matalino ka. Matalino in a way na marunong kang pumili ng konsepto at taong dapat mong maka-trabaho, lalo sa mundo ng showbiz.
Pagdating sa acting—at sa attitude—hinahangaan ko ang mga tulad nina Philip Salvador , Bembol Roco, John Lloyd Cruz, Echo (Jericho Rosales). Wow, ang gagaling nila. Bilib ako sa acting nila, napaka-natural, napaka-totoo. Hindi lang sa mukha umaarte, nararamdaman sa puso.
Have you decided that showbiz is really the career for you? Do you have any other dreams you still want to achieve?
Minsan, may second thoughts din, pero naisip ko, panindigan ko na. Wala nang balikan.
What advice could you give to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Siyempre, ang pagiging humble. Hindi ‘yon dapat mawala.