Whatever I do, there’s passion in it. That’s important. If there’s no passion…you get out of it and find another job. For 69 years, I continuously did movies, because it’s a job that I like.
If you have an office job, every day, you sit at the table, blah blah blah, blah blah blah. It’s boring. As an actor, you go to different places, you meet different people.
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I don’t have a handler. I could handle myself. I’ve noticed some stars I’ve worked with, especially the beginners, sometimes they come on the set, they’re so tired, because the handler booked them in a fiesta in some town, you know. I don’t need that.
I play villain roles. When I’m hated, that means it was a good job. One time, during my Sampaguita days, I did a film with Gloria Romero, and in the film, I raped her. I was the villain. Then on the opening day, all the actors, they go and sign autographs, and then after that, they go to the launch to view the film. So I went there and when the lights [went] on, there was an old woman with an umbrella, socked me on the head. Then I look at her [and she says], “Ito palang walang hiya oh!” That means I did a good job.
To me, an award is a bonus for a job well done. You do it well, maybe you win an award. That’s it.
Moviemaking is just a job.
When you’re given a role, it’s the best recommendation for your next project. So if you do it well, the casting people will say, let’s cast him.
I was not involved in the Martial Law era. But the first two years were very good—people were disciplined. Even jaywalking—you can’t see people jaywalking. They cross on the pedestrian lane. The streets were very clean and there were less crimes...for the first two years. But after that, it got a little haywire.
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I always observe people. I see how they react to certain things, like if I see a guy on the street, he crosses and then he is run over by a motorcycle...See what happens when you don’t cross on the pedestrian lane? That happens because you were stupid.
A disciplined person helps other people. If you are disciplined, you’re supposed to be there on time. If you’re a primadonna and you come late, I mean, what will these other people say?
[Coco Martin] is very disciplined. He comes on the set on time, he knows what to do, he’s prepared, and he treats people squarely. As a matter of fact, in this TV series we’re doing, Probinsyano, he has casted actors who did not have jobs in the past...oldies. And he brought them back. He’s very compassionate. He’s helped a lot of people.
Before, when I was directing, suppose the prop man forgets about something that’s very important on the set, and I’m ready to shoot that scene. I don’t get mad. I just don’t break for lunch and everybody goes hungry till four o’clock in the afternoon. When I suffer, everybody suffers. I don’t shout, I don’t get mad...I just don’t feed them.
In film, because negatives are very expensive, you’re budgeted—you’re given 25 rolls only. In digital, you can do it over and over again. When I direct, I pre-edit my shots. I only take shots that are what I want. I’m not the type who will take one from this angle, one from that angle, then pag-pipilian. Ako, I’m definite.
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Courage is taking risks. One time, I was in a club, there were...hoodlums, drinking in one table. And then they invited me for a drink. So I went to the table. They were drinking beer. So they poured beer in my glass. Then one of the guys started getting peanuts and putting them in the glass, so you could see the balat of the peanuts floating. I said, “Aba, palabas ito ah.” I drank it. Then I ordered a round. “O, akin naman ito.” So I got the clip of my .45, I got the bullets and put them in the glass. After that, they paid the bill and then they left. Palabasan eh. Mga pasikat.
I’m a very peaceful man, till provoked.
"Women should be treated delicately. They should be put on a pedestal. She should be worshipped."