He may have celebrated his birthday quietly on June 24 but John Lloyd Cruz certainly had a rousing lead up to his 33rd year of life. As everyone knows by now, the blockbuster actor bagged the Gawad Urian Best Actor award for his performance in Erik Matti’s action-drama, Honor Thy Father the Wednesday before.
Cruz’ compelling performance as a father who will do whatever it takes to save his family bested the likes of seasoned actors John Arcilla, Ricky Davao and Lou Veloso, as well as his most noted peers Jericho Rosales, Dennis Trillo and Sid Lucero.
Cruz first earned a Best Actor nomination for Honor Thy Father in the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival. He also snagged his first Gawad Urian nomination in 2010 for the movie, In My Life, a Vilma Santos-starrer, where he acted opposite Luis Manzano as pair of gay lovers.
On June 22, Cruz said of his vehicle for an Urian win, “This [film]gave me the opportunity to be enlightened by my own choices. This film taught me how to better understand and encourage my desires as an actor. This film taught me that it’s okay to be different.”
Calling the recognition “an exceptional award,” he thanked the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for acknowledging the fruits of “hard work, patience, perseverance and timing.”
While never one to base his career choices on what he believes will fill up a trophy case, there is no denying that Cruz has always given his best in any role he portrays.
In 2006, he was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Urian for his stunning performance in the film Dubai, which also starred Aga Muhlach and Claudine Barretto. Since then, he had received nominations for almost every film he had starred in, whether in heavy dramas or romantic-comedies, from the slew of award giving bodies in the country, including the Famas Awards, the FAP Luna Awards, the UP Young Critics Awards, and Gawad Pasado Awards.
His winning streak this year, however, began in February when his first independent film with Lav Diaz, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis earned the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.
After last week’s big win at the Urian, Cruz is set to attend the Star Asia Award from the 15th New York Asian Film Festival, again for Honor Thy Father. This particular award will make him the first Filipino in the festival’s honor roll, and one of three Southeast Asians to be recognized this year along with Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun who are both box office stars their respective countries as well.
As a follow up to the success of their first collaboration, Cruz is currently finishing another film with Diaz titled, Ang Babaeng Humayo, which will also serve as ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio’s return to acting.
According to The Manila Times source, the very private “Lloydie” as those closest to him call Cruz, he neither planned a victory party or a birthday party following his Urian win and had a simple dinner with his family at their residence in Antipolo. CA