After he tackled his first gay role across Martin del Rosario in an episode for GMA Network’s drama anthology Karelasyon in 2015, hunky actor Mark Herras has gotten in touch with his feminine side again.
This time though, Starstruck’s original Ultimate Male Survivor is facing double the challenge as he is expected to reveal his versatility via comedy. Herras plays the title role in the upcoming weekly sitcom Conan My Beautician, and admits that while he is still in character development, he is nonetheless grateful for being given another big break in his home studio.
“Sobra po akong nag-papasa-lamat na after a very long time, ngayon lang ulit ako nabigyan ng role na talagang iikot ‘yung story sa akin,” said the actor at the show’s press launch on June 21 at the GMA headquarters in Quezon City.
In preparing for the role of Conan, a super macho barber from the province who has to pretend to be a gay beautician to make money in the city, Herras related, “Wala naman akong ginagaya na kahit sino or pino-portray na gay. Siguro ginagawa ko lang yung naisipan ko, and at the same time, medyo alam ko na yung ginagawa ko dahil my parents are gay. So hindi na mahirap sa akin.”
The 29-year-old heartthrob jokingly added that also he watched how his girlfriend WynWyn Marquez walked the runway when she joined a beauty pageant to help him out.
[Marquez is the daughter of celebrities Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez. She joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2015 but failed to make it to the winner’s circle, whose queen is reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach].
If he did get good tips from his girlfriend’s beauty pageant walk, then Herras is bound to get more by just watching his leading lady in Conan, 2013 Miss World titleholder Megan Young, on the set.
Like him, however, Young is also a first-timer in the comedy genre but is just as up to the challenge.
“I don’t think I remember doing comedy ever in my whole career so that’s a big thing for me. It’s exciting, it’s fun and I’m looking very much forward to it,” she expressed.
In the sitcom, Conan the beautician—who remains a straight guy on the inside—will find himself falling in love with Ava (Young), the bride he is hired to primp up on her special day.
“It’s a nice change for Mark,” Young said of her fellow Starstruck alumnus’ new role.“We usually see him na parang very manly, and a ladies man so this will really be something different.”
Meanwhile, another cast member, veteran comedian Vangie Labanan sees Conan the Beautician as something more than just a challenging vehicle for Herras.
“Napapanahon ang show dahil pagkatapos namatay ang 49 victims sa Orlando, parang in a very subtle manner, we are calling out to study yung kalagayan ng LGBTs. Hindi ito yung mababasa agad-agad ng mga manonood but with this, as we project the scenes clearly, mapapaunawa natin sa viewers ang isa sa pinaka major issues sa ating society ngayon,” Labanan explained.
Completing the cast of the new sitcom, which will air its pilot episode on June 26 at 5 p.m. are Cacai Bautista, Jerald Napoles, Betong Sumaya, Boobsie, Tetay, Lotlot De Leon, Jay Manalo, Chlaui Malayao, Antonette Garcia, and Balang.
Conan My Beautician is directed by Adolf Alix Jr. with Rember Gelera.