Derek Ramsay on being a team player

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And working with Brillante Mendoza in mini-series ‘Amo’

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It has been some time since Derek Ramsay last had a television show. Taking a short hiatus from show business these past months, the hunky and athletic actor shifted his attention to his hobbies, first by competing at the Jack Nicklaus International Invitational golf tournament in Dublin City, Ohio State on June 2, which he won with fellow actor and golfing buddy, John Estrada. Later in the month, Ramsay joined the international Frisbee competition as the Philippine representative at the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in Ro­yan, France, placing fourth overall.

Ramsay, who returned on a high from his triumphant trips in early July, then saw to the grand opening of his family-owned food hub in Tagaytay. Almost a month into operations, and with everything running smoothly by now, he announced that is ready and raring to resume his showbiz career with his home studio TV5.

At his first press conference since his holiday, Ramsay said he remains loyal to TV 5, which has taken care of his career with varied and interesting projects like “Amazing Race Philippines,” “Kidlat,” and his forthcoming action TV series titled “Amo” directed by Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza.

Amo is a crime miniseries that tackles one of today’s most controversial topics—the Philippine government’s war on drugs as well as controversies hounding the national police’s enforcement of the law.

“When they presented this to me, I knew the message it wanted to send so I said, ‘Yes, I want to be part of this; I want to be in a good project.’ I think it’s very ballsy of TV 5 to do this and show that there’s a major problem in our country when it comes to drugs and corruption. Yes we are fighting it, but it’s still there, and that’s the message we want to show,” he explained.

According to the 40-year-old actor who will play a cop named Rodrigo, he is grateful for the project even though he does not play the lead, because he has a challenging role all the same, and was given the chance to work with internationally acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza.

“I’m a team player. I don’t have to be the bida. Direk Brillante can put me where he thinks I’ll fit in,” Ramsay related. “It’s a totally different experience working with him, and I have to say there’s no one like Direk Brillante Mendoza.”

Clearly impressed with the director’s work, the actor continued, “It was an amazing experience to be able to work with him. May mga scenes never ko pang nagawa. The last shot that we had, sabi ni Direk, “O continuation ito ng unang shoot” so ayun nag hahabulan kami sa labas ng isang establishment, may hawak akong baril. Hindi ko alam may mga tunay na guards na akala nila may nangyayari talaga so hinahabol talaga nila ako. Akala ko tututukan ako ng baril and then they realized we were shooting so pinabayaan nila ako.”

Another memorable experience he had in Amo was when they shoot a scene in a morgue with real corpses.

“Ang pinaka-wild experience ko sa kanya was when kunwari may pinatay kami. Dinala namin sa morge to get cremated because we want to get rid of the evidence. So we shot it in a real morgue. May patay talaga do’n sa katabi ko! Pag pasok ko, hindi ko muna napansin. Akala ko, dummy, kasi may dummy sa labas. [I asked the people there], ‘Sino ang gumawa ng makeup? Ang husay.’ But then they said, ‘Derek, patay talaga ’yan.’ Matandang babae!’,” he recalled laughing.

Turning serious again, Ramsay reiterated how such a powerful project like Amo will keep him in the stable of TV5’s talents.

“I like a good challenge, whether in sports or in showbiz,” he ended.

Amo also stars Vince Rillon, Allen Dizon, Felix Roco, Apollo Abraham and Archie Adamos, with the special participation of Baron Geisler. The 12-episode miniseries premieres on August 20 over TV5, and will air every Sunday at 9:30 pm.

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