JERIC Raval has been playing supporting roles in films and TV shows lately. In “Encounter”, he played the dad of Diego Loyzaga. Now, the former action star of the 90s gets to play a lead role again as one of the title-rolers in prolific director Darryl Yap’s latest film, “Barumbadings”.
In the story, Mark Anthony Fernandez as Jopay, Baron Geisler as Rochelle and Jeric as Izzy are all gays. “Inampon kami from childhood ni Joel Torre as Mother Jewel who owns the fashion shop na House of Joy. Hindi nagbabading-badingan lang ang characters namin dito, kundi gays kami talaga.”
Didn’t he hesitate to accept the role? “Noong una, naisip ko, respetuhin pa kaya ako ng fans pagkatapos kong gawin ito? Pero bilang actor, I want to try to do all kinds of roles, lalo ngayon na sa mga ginagawa ko, suporta lang ako. Tapos, okay naman ang co-stars ko, so tinanggap ko.”
So how is his experience playing a gay role? “As an action star, nahirapan akong mag adjust. Kasi I did 48 action movies na bida ako, laging brusko, macho. So hirap ako rito kasi kailangan kong kumilos at magsalita nang malambot at makipag-fight scene na naka-stilleto high heels.”
So what’s his most challenging scenes? “Siempre, ‘yung action scenes na nagtatakbuhan tapos naka-high heels ka. Before we shot, I have to practice a lot kung paano maglakad at tumakbo ng naka-heels. Noong una naaalibadbaran talaga ako, kasi naka-bra pa ako. But as the shooting went on, I enjoyed it and I’m now praying magkaroon sana ito ng part 2 kasi Direk Darryl said trilogy raw ito, e.”
He admits when he first joined showbiz, he was surprised at the prevalence of gays. “Talagang andami, sangrekwa. But eventually, masasanay ka rin. Sa shooting kasi, lahat halos ng galawan sa set, ang mga katrabaho mo, gays. Maayos naman ang pakikipagkapwa tao nila at okay sila makitungo, so dapat pantay lang ang respeto natin sa kanila. Masarap silang kabarkada. May alalay ako sa bahay na gay, may lawyer din akong gay, so no problem.”
What about his family? What is their reaction that he’s playing a gay role? “Actually, ‘yung family ko was excited sa project na ito. Doon sa ibang projects ko, wala silang reaction. But here, naging interested sila and they even asked kung kailan ito ilalabas? So sabi ko, mukhang maiintriga ang mga tao sa project na ito. Nang makita ako ng daughter kong si AJ na naka-make up, sabi niya, magkamukha raw pala kami. Sabi ko, oo naman, ganyan ang hitsura ko nung bata pa ako.”
His role is actually a non-speaking one. “Yung character ko rito, hindi nagsasalita. Iisa lang ang dialogue ko rito all throughout: Mother. Tahimik siya, pero matinik at mapanganib.”
“Barumbadings” will start streaming on Vivamax starting November 5. Jeric’s daughter AJ is currently controversial because of her romance with Aljur Abrenica. Jeric says he met Aljur and asked him three questions: Is Aljur really courting his daughter? Is he really separated from his wife? Aljur replied yes to both. Third question:
What do you think will I say to your father in law Robin Padilla in case we meet by chance?
Jeric adds: “Friends kami ni Robin so hindi maiaalis sa akin na mahiya sa sitwasyon. Ayokong isipin ng mga tao na ang third party sa paghihiwalay nila ng misis niya e ‘yung anak ko. I told him I don’t have anything against him, kaya lang kaibigan ko ang biyenan niya. Kasi naniniwala akong hindi magiging masaya ang isang relasyon kung may ibang natatapakan so sana, ilagay nila sa ayos ang lahat.”