Matthias’ moment

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TESSA MAURICIO-ARRIOLA

And how the model-turned-actor has gone from online star to bashed celebrity

Remember back in February when netizens went gaga over a hunky groom in a local fast food chain’s viral ad? Well, if they couldn’t get enough of him then, all they need to do is tune in to prime time TV starting tonight for a daily dose of Matthias Rhoads.

The Fil-American model, who was quickly snapped up by GMA Network in the summer, is finally getting his moment on television as Marian Rivera’s leading man, no less. He will play an archeologist in the fantasy series “Super Ma’am.”

At the program’s press launch, Rhoads was both excited and extremely grateful for his career’s biggest break so far. This, even as he had already experienced the other side of his online popularity even before the show’s premiere.


Here’s what happened: The new actor posted his promo shot locked in a tender embrace with Rivera on his Instagram account, and captioned it with glowing words for the network Primetime Queen. “Sobrang saya at suwerte ko to be the leading man of this super sweet lady. Hindi lang super ganda, super talented actress pa siya at magaling na chef!”

He ended the post playfully with, “Be wary of our powerful combination. We are both August 12 Leo signs.”

And thus began the bashing of Matthias Rhoads.

‘User’
“There were bashers who accused me of using her [for my own popularity],” the 23-year-old former model related.

At first, he was incredulous over such rabid reactions on what was only meant to be an upbeat and innocent remark.

According to Rhoads, when he thought it through, he simply tried to understand that there can be fans who take their loyalty and admiration to the extreme, and as such, reacted that way to his post.

“Maybe they’re a big fan of her husband’s [Dingdong Dantes], or they can’t believe someone new like me got the part,” he said good naturedly. “I guess, that’s just something I have to understand.”

He was grateful, nonetheless, for the support Rivera extended him over the unexpected issue. As an old-timer in showbiz even at 33, the popular actress advised him there will always be positive and negative feedback in show business. Rivera assured him too that to be talked about in any way is a good sign that his career is moving along.

A receptive person, Rhoads has decided to take everything in stride from hereon, certain he will neither please everyone once his acting gets the spotlight on primetime.

He knows the only thing he can do is to keep sharpening his skills in front of the camera, and of, course, like his leading lady always reminds him, “Keep improving my Filipino,” Rhoads laughed.

Matthias Rhoads first became a household name through a fast food chain’s viral ad

Trivia
As Matthias Rhoads’ star begins its rise tonight, here are excerpts from a GMANetwork.com fun fact feature on the small screen’s newest leading man.

“He’s an artist. One of the jobs Rhoads got into when he was in New York was being a graphic designer. He’s a self-confessed lover of the arts and he grew up excelling in drawing and painting.

“He’s an adventurous eater. Balut is like cake to him. ‘People ask, ‘Have you tried it?’ and I say, ‘Don’t use the word try.’ Do I love it? The answer is yes,’ he shared.

“He used to work in finance. He worked in the insurance industry for three years before he decided to move to the Philippines to pursue his dreams of being in showbiz.

“He’s proud to be Pinoy. The half-American, half-Pinoy is in love with Filipino culture and the overall positivity of its people. ‘We know how to live… We can make something beautiful with the scraps that we’re given and I think that’s amazing,’ he said.

“He’s single.” Well, least as of this feature back in March.

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