AFTER much delay, the gay-themed Joven Tan movie Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako is finally hitting the theaters on June 8. The movie was based on a hit entry in Himig Handog.
Edgar Allan Guzman plays the lead role as the closeted gay in love with his best friend (played by Michael Pangilinan).
Edgar said he was somewhat worried that the movie whose shooting was finished last year, took time to get a play date. “It was a big role for me and a career break. We gave our best but the movie was having a hard time getting play date. I had been asking Direk Joven when the movie would be released. I felt sad thinking that movie might no longer be shown. It was not sure if our movie would get a play date,” said the former Mr. Pogi winner of Eat Bulaga.
He had every reason to be worried. Edgar had finished a movie with JM De Guzman titled Papa’s Boy for a sister film outfit of Star Cinema, but it was shown on the cable channel via download rather than for general theater release. By luck, Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako had an advance screening at the UP Film Center some two months ago, and the screening drew a good crowd. The film got very good reviews and was picked up for distribution by Viva Films.
“That the movie was picked up for distribution by Viva really made me feel good. I feel the timing of release was just right and would be good for me and Michael’s career. I haven’t had a movie for quite a while. I am only seen on TV via the series Doble Kara on ABS-CBN,” said Edgar who won two best actor awards (Cinemalaya and Golden Screen Awards) for his first solo starrer Ligo Na U, Lapit na Me.
For the first time, he is playing the role of a closeted gay person and he believes many can relate with the character.
“I am very sure many can relate with the closeted character here, particularly those who are really suppressing their feelings and can’t come out to their parents, to those they love. I hope that after watching the movie, they will find the courage to come out and admit their true self. Maybe the person whom they love is just waiting for them to speak out. For the parents, I hope that after watching the film, they will know how to deal better with their gay child,” said Edgar.
Do you have a gay friend in real life (who is hiding in the closet) that you felt have feelings for you?
“Hindi talaga kaibigan. Yung mga nami-meet mo lang. Tapos hihingin number mo, tapos kinabukasan aayain kang lumabas kayo for dinner. Pag ganun, alam ko na yun. Ako pag ganun, ini-entertain ko pa rin pero may limitation. Hanggang text lang, I will respond politely. Pero pag dinner na kaming dalawa lang, I say no. Pero kung marami kaming kasama, sige, why not.”
Has anyone told you that he will bring food to your condo?
“Hahahaha! Hindi pwede kasi wala akong condo eh. I tell them naman in a nice way or pinaparamdam ko sa kanila na hanggang dito lang tayo. Pwede maging kaibigan. Malapit ako sa gays kasi nga may kuya akong gay. Hindi ko babastusin ang mga gays.”
Do you think that showbiz will survive without the gays in it?
“I don’t think so. Kasi iba yung mga bading. Sa showbiz sila yung bibig at utak. Sila ang may hawak sa mga sikat at sila talaga ag marunong magpasikat at tumingin kung sino ang pwedeng sumikat, nakakaisip ng magagandang kwento, mga kwelang salita. Nakakapag-alis ng problema. Malaking bahagi ang mga gays sa industriya.”
But Edgar is not open to engaging in a gay relationship.
“Kasi ako ang gusto ko talaga babae. Even if I am playing gay roles in TV or movies, I am very sure that it is a girl that I want to be with. No one has offered me to be on a gay relationship. I haven’t encountered such kind of proposal but if ever there will be one, I will turn it down nicely. I can be friends with gays and that’s all that I can offer.”
He is enjoying portraying gay roles and he has no qualms about it.
“Some people tell me that I am probably gay because I am very good in portraying gay roles. My job is an actor and part of it is to portray any role well, the best way I can. I know within me if I can do a role or not. I am not afraid to be typecast because I am playing a gay role and investing it with the needed emotion. Whenever I am offered a role, I always go for something that is different and will challenge me as an actor. Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako, is not comedy but drama. I really love my character here as Mark kaya iba ang hugot ko sa emosyon,” Edgar explains.
In fact, Edgar said, he didn’t find any difficulty in doing the scene where he finally revealed his true self to Michael (who plays his best friend Red), that he is gay and is in love with him.
“That was shot on our last shooting day. Direk Joven asked me if I am ready for the scene and I said yes. He blocked the scene and told me bahala na ako how I want to do it. Direk Joven told me he wants me to cry like a kid who admitted to his parents that he has done something wrong. It was done in one take and just needed another take for another angle. Naitawid naman namin,” Edgar said.
He has high regard for the members of the LGBT, not only because he has been playing gay roles but also because he has an older brother who is gay. “Accepted namin ang brother ko for what he is. I never got mad at him. I didn’t look low of him when I learned that he is gay. In fact, I even loved him more because I understood him. I never had this feeling that I should distance myself from him because he is gay. I didn’t have that feeling towards my brother. I appreciated him and more so after I did this movie.”
Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako also stars Katrina Legaspi, Joross Gamboa, Matt Evans, Miggy Campbell, Nikko Seagal, Ana Capri and Ms. Nora Aunor in a special role. It opens in cinemas on June 8.