Former leading man does not mind playing support role in ‘La Luna Sangre’
To say that Richard Gutierrez was one of the most recognized leading men of the past decade is an understatement.
At the peak of his career, the former child-turned-teen star became the lead of one TV series after another at his former mother studio GMA Network, where he is best remembered as the purveyor of the ‘fantaserye’ genre. He was the original half-human, half-bird in “Mulawin,” (2012), the ‘chosen one’ in “Sugo” (2005), and iconic Pinoy superhero “Captain Barbel” (2011).
On the big screen, Gutierrez also had his fair share of blockbusters, among them “Let the Love Begin” (2005), “I Will Always Love You” (2006), and “The Promise” (2007) with his long-time onscreen partner, Angle Locsin.
In 2007, when Locsin made her much-talked about move to rival network ABS-CBN, the son of Annabelle Rama and Eddie Gutierrez proved to his critics he is just as sellable an actor in solo projects with hit movies “For the First Time” (2008) with KC Concepcion and “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend” (2008) with Marian Rivera, to name a few.
Moreover, even during his uneventful move to TV5, which wooed him in 2016, his one and only project was still as a lead for “Panday.”
As such, it was but natural for his fans and industry observers to ask the actor whether he is comfortable with a supporting role for his first project with ABS-CBN following a hiatus from TV work. Gutierrez had a low-key contract signing with the network on June 2, after which he was given a solo press conference announcing his part as Sandrino—the vampire antagonist—in the upcoming Kathryn Bernardo-Daniel Padilla fantasy series, “La Luna Sangre.”
“Now that I’ve grown and matured, I don’t really look at it [a supporting role]that way. Rather, I look at it positively because it’s a good role for me. I am working together with a top love team, the best production, and we’re going to offer something great and something new,” the actor confidently said of the matter. “And it’s also been my dream to play the role of a vampire ever since.”
All the same, the actor acknowledged that there came a time during his hiatus—when he focused on being a father to his and Sarah Lahbati’s firstborn, Zion—when he almost felt he would not be able to make a showbiz comeback.
“It’s been a year since I was away and I chose that path to really step back, take look at myself and weigh what really matters to me and to my family. To be honest, during those times when I was away from the limelight, I can’t help but to think, ‘Is this really the path for me?’ May mga times na pumapasok sa isip ko, maybe I could do something else in my life, maybe I could go somewhere else,” Gutierrez confessed.
In the end, when the offer to work with ABS-CBN came, he realized that showbiz still runs in his blood and that acting is what he wants to keep pursuing.
“I guess God has plans for me. I didn’t expect this—this offer just landed on my lap and I’d be stupid to refuse it. I’m happy to be here and I guess this is the path for me now.”
Now at 33, the actor is both happy and secured in his position that besides not minding playing support to Bernardo and Padilla, he feels the urge to give back.
“For the young love team [KathNiel], I will support them kasi pinagdaan ko rin yun eh. I had people supporting me and my leading ladies before so it’s my time to give back,” Gutierrez noted.
Finally, when asked for the best advice he can give to the pair, Gutierrez simply said, “Just enjoy it.”