Keempee back on his feet

November 17, 2022 Mario Bautista 519 views


KEEMPEE De Leon is ecstatic over the glowing comments elicited by his hilarious performance as Christian Bables’ transwoman dad in the rollicking comedy “Mahal Kita, Beksman” that is now showing in theaters nationwide.

“Ang tagal kong walang movie, more than ten years, kaya natutuwa akong very positive ang reception ng audience sa bago kong movie,” he says. “I want to thank Direk Perci Intalan for giving me the chance to play Christian’s dad in the movie. I really enjoyed doing it, nalalaro ko ‘yung character and I had fun with everyone in the cast.”

Keempee says his portrayal of the gay dad is inspired by the similarly amusing performances of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in the classic 1996 LGBT comedy “The Birdcage”. He doesn’t hide the fact that he felt so bad when he was suddenly dropped by “Eat Bulaga” in 2016 after co-hosting it for 14 years.

“It was traumatic for me as it happened so suddenly,” he says. “Nasaktan ako kasi tao lang naman ako. And I got so depressed I didn’t leave my room for quite a while. But I’ve since moved on. Na-accept ko nang hindi mo naman puedeng ipilit ang sarili mo kung ayaw na sa iyo ng isang show. You just have to go on with your life. I’m just thankful din na nabigyan ako ng opportunity to work with them for 14 years. It was good while it lasted and I will treasure the experience forever.”

What happened to Keempee also happened to his co-host Ruby Rodriguez, who was also dropped and has since moved to the U.S.A. He is just thankful that after losing his hosting job, he got offers to do acting jobs in various TV series from the two top networks.

“Yes, naging busy naman ako doing various soaps like ‘Meant to Be’ and ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ sa GMA and ‘Nang Ngumiti ang Langit’, ‘Bagong Umaga’ and ‘Too Good to be True’ for ABS-CBN. Mostly dramas ang ginawa ko so I’m glad that I now got to the chance to do comedy again in ‘Mahal Kita, Beksman’.”

How is it working with Christian Bables? “Oh, we had a great time working with each other. Magaan siyang katrabaho. He connected with me again sa shooting. Magkasama kami sa tent so during shooting breaks, kwentuhan kami. Maganda ang naging working relationship namin, on and off cam. And I’m glad na hit ang movie sa lahat ng nakapanood na nito sa mga sinehan.”

So he didn’t mind playing a father role in the movie? “Not at all. Si Christian is late 20s na and ako naman, I am turning 50 years old on January 8. I started in showbiz in 1988 and was part of their teen stars. Nakapareha ko noon si Gelli de Belen. Naranasan ko rin maging action star in ‘Mga Batang Riles’ and ‘Blue Jeans Gang’. On TV, I was paired with Donna Cruz in ‘Villa Quintana’.

So malayo na rin ang itinakbo ng career ko and I’m just glad and grateful that I’m still around.”