After reaping awards here and abroad for his critically acclaimed film “Die Beautiful” in 2016, Paolo Ballesteros’ career shifted to high gear. In fact, he went from being an “Eat Bulaga” mainstay to lead actor in one movie after another.
In 2017, he shared top billing in the comedy film “Trip to Ubusan” with Bulaga co-hosts Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola, and simultaneously inherited the iconic Barbi franchise from veteran comedian Joey de Leon in “Barbi D’ Wonder Beki.” These two movies opened only a week apart just as Ballesteros turned 35 in November.
Shortly into the new year, he remains revved up as ever with his next big screen outing, “Amnesia Love,” opening today from Viva Films.
“Mas natatakot akong mamatay sa pagod kesa sa over exposure,” Ballesteros said in jest when asked if he isn’t afraid of his fans getting weary of his constant projects. “But seriously, I really believe that all of the work I am getting are blessings, so when I get offered a project, dapat hindi tatanggihan.”
“Amnesia Love” begins easily enough for Ballesteros. His character is gay and outgoing, a busy bee in the city who looks forward to a short getaway only to meet an accident.
The next time he opens his eyes, he’s been washed ashore on a beach where a compassionate couple takes him in, only to find out that unexpected guest cannot remember a single thing—not even his name.
The couple’s daughter, Doray, (Yam Concepcion) is skeptical about the stranger who claims he doesn’t know who he is but is left with no choice but to let him stay on her parents’ will.
Now a couple, Doray can’t help but wonder why her boyfriend seems to be distracted by the sight of good-looking men. And when someone from Macky’s past finally finds him and his amnesia starts to wear off, the movie’s conflict begins. Will Macky embrace his new self and his love Doray or will he go back to being gay?
“As you can see, my role here is quite different from my last few movies because for the most part of Amnesia Love, I’m a straight man. I even got intimate with my leading lady here, which I haven’t done in long time!” he hooted at his revelation.
He went on to admit, “Honestly, mas comfortable ako sa gay role kasi yung creativity ko as an artist mas nalalaro ko kumpara sa straight men roles. So just to get over my love scenes with Yam, I had to channel my past self, yung dating ako!”
All the same, Ballesteros promised that just like Trisha in Die Beautiful—which earned him Best Actor awards from the Tokyo Film Festival, Metro Manila Film Festival, the Entertainment Editors’ Awards for Movies and Gawad Urian—Macky gives his audience a meaningful take away in the end.
“Si Macky kasi, meron siyang pagpipiling gagawin. So he’s harboring this inner struggle throughout the movie dahil sa dalawang pagkatao niya. Eventually he has to choose between the two and show that whatever decision we make in life, we need to own it and we need to be responsible for its consequences.”
Directed by Albert Lagnitan, Amnesia Love also stars Lander Vera Perez, Maricel Morales, Polo Ravales, Vandolph Quizon, Geleen Eugenio and Sinon Lloresca.