Everyone sat up a little straighter and spoke in a more toned-down manner when John Arcilla—the highly acclaimed actor of 2015’s blockbuster biopic Heneral Luna—walked into the executive dining hall of GMA Network’s headquarters in Quezon City.
Clearly, the role of the harsh yet fervent patriot of the Philippine-American War has stuck with the talented actor, so much so that it was somewhat amiss to see him at a regular showbiz gathering.
Nevertheless, John expressed excitement over being cast in a teen rom-com for TV via GMA’s upcoming primetime series That’s My Amboy, starring Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras.
“Ang mga bata ngayon, ang gagaling!” he enthused at working with the young love team. “Napaka-spontaneous nila kaya nag-click kami agad ni Barbie at Andre. I’m sure mag-e-enjoy ang mga tao sa series na ito.”
That’s My Amboy follows the story of Maru (Barbie), a simple yet determined girl who seeks to do her best in life, inspired by her mother’s love for her. On the other side, it also shows the very different life of Bryan (Andre), TV and film’s hottest leading man, who seeks to be truly appreciated by his girl and his family. As their paths cross, their unusual work relationship blossoms to become a beautiful friendship and one great love story.
In the series, Bryan becomes the reason why Maru’s stepfather (John Arcilla) gets into an accident. To pay for the damages, Bryan’s manager hires Maru to be Bryan’s personal assistant, and the two just as quickly get on each other nerves.
“I play the role of Joselito ‘Lito’ Tapang, who is also a stunt director besides being a responsible and loving husband and father to Maru and her mom,” John said of his character.
Asked what advice he has to give young actors to make it in showbiz, John continued, “Suwerte ng mga kabataan ngayon kasi ang daming resources available. Manood lang sila ng You Tube, may study na sila about a particular role. And ngayon sa dami ng mga gustong mag-artista, ang mga pumapasok sa showbiz lulubog, lilitaw.
“Now ako, nagbibigay ako ng mga acting workshops and I tell my young students hanapin nila yung sila lang ang makakagawa para magka-staying power. I tell them to make their mark, tulad ng ginagawa ni Barbie at ni Andre.”
That’s My Amboy is under the helm of director Joyce Bernal with guest director Dominic Zapata. Included in the cast are Tonton Gutierrez, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Patrick Almeda, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher.
The series premieres on January 25 and will air weeknights after Little Nanay on GMA Telebabad.