Julio Diaz’ near brush with death over an aneurysm raised some alarming concerns for his co-actor Kristoffer King in the indie film Maratabat, the debut film of director Arlyn Dela Cruz.
I first met the talented actor Kristoffer King years back through fellow columnist Dennis Adobas who was then is manager. The departed director Mario O’Hara and Adobas gave Kristoffer his first big break in the international scene via Breakwater, which received glowing reviews in the Director’s Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival the year it was produced.
Later Kristoffer won two local and international Best Actor awards for Oros, a Cinemalaya project, followed by another one in 2015’s MMFF New Breed Category for Maratabat in which he starred with Julio Diaz as a power-hungry and drug crazed father-and-son in a fictitious embattled bailiwick in Maguindanao.
Maratabat was the directorial debut of Arlyn Dela Cruz, who came to me concerned about Kristoffer’s problematic state these days. She convinced me to meet a Silliman University alumnus in Psychology, Sunny Garcia, whom she says stands as a “second chance dad” to the actor.
Apparently, Garcia came at the right time when the actor’s career had almost nosedived due to alleged attitude problems and drug-related issues. Moreover, his father died of diabetes midway through his blooming showbiz career, which was most likely the culprit of Kristoffer’s troubles.
What sort of an animal is a “second chance dad?” I asked.
“As one of Boknoy’s (Kristoffer’s moniker) godfathers, I’m now taking after his father’s role; that with the help of some colleagues who are ‘life specialists,’ we make him to be more cognizant and appreciative of his own potentials and value as a person, and rediscover his inner strengths and beauty of the soul. The bottom line is to re-strengthen in him the notion of self-worth and self-preservation, sustainable co-existence, and a dignified way of conducting one’s life in the apparently predatory world of showbiz,” Garcia explained.
In terms of career management, Garcia clarified that he does not hunt movie assignment nor act as manager for the actor, but he inculcates in him the value of work ethics in dealing professionally with agents, producers, and co-workers.
Better said than done, one hopes that Garcia can face up to the tough challenge of guiding Kristoffer who is literally oozing with talent.
Garcia, however, is honest to admit that the task ahead of him and his ward is daunting. Dela Cruz and had to tell Garcia that he was not the first to try helping Kristoffer, as there were a few good Samaritans before him who miserably failed.
In the meantime, Garcia was happy to share that Kristoffer is well on the road to recovery, be it in his personal life or his career.