Zanjoe Marudo stood tall and proud as the lone Filipino nominee at the 45th International Emmy Awards (iEmmys) in New York Monday night (Tuesday morning in Manila). Wearing a white-on-white suit, the 35-year old ABS-CBN talent said he felt like winner just by walking the length of red the carpet along with gifted actors from all around the world.
Marudo was nominated for his portrayal of a single father who raised his children in side a cave after a storm ravaged their home in an episode of “Maala-all Mo Kaya.” He lost to no less than the British multi-awarded actor and director Kenneth Branagh for the UK crime series “Wallander.”
Besides Branagh, Marudo was up against Brazil’s Julio Andrade and France’s Kad Merad.
“This recognition from the iEmmys is a personal milestone for me as an actor and as a Filipino. This is a dream come true. I thank the jurors, the show MMK, ABS-CBN and Star Magic,” Marudo said in statement sent to The Manila Times in October when his nomination was first announced.
In 2016, Marudo’s colleague in Star Magic, Jodi Sta. Maria, was also nominated for the top female acting honors for her role in “Pangako Sa ‘Yo.”
It will be remembered that MMK gave Marudo one of his first acting jobs after his stint in the “Pinoy Big Brother” reality show in 2006. That same year, he starred with Rica Peralejo and Derek Ramsay in the “Love Letter” episode of the anthology. Between 2006 and 2016, Marudo counts a total of 13 MMKs in his body of work.
Marudo said that while this latest validation of his acting skills comes from an international award-giving body, he has also thrived in nominations in the local scene.
The actor was nominated in 2011 for two awards: New Movie Actor of the Year at the PMPC Star Awards for Movies for the Star Cinema Film “You Got Me!” and Breakthrough Actor of the Year at Golden Screen Awards for “Altar.”
In 2011, he took home the 9th Gawad Tanglaw for Television’s Best Single Performance by an Actor for his role in MMK’s “Kuliglig” episode.
Thereafter, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award at the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival for his portrayal as Angel Locsin’s devoted boyfriend in the drama movie “One More Try.”
The same role earned him two more best supporting actor nominations in the 61st FAMAS Awards and the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Movies.
Most recently, Marudo won the PinakaPasadong Katuwang na Aktor in the 19th Gawad Pasado Awards for the movie “The Third Party.” The dramedy was all the more challenging for Marudo as he portrayed Sam Milby’s new love interest. It also marked his second movie with Locsin who played Milby’s ex-girlfriend.