Leah C. Salterio – The Philippine Star

September 21, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Essaying a gay role is nothing new to award-winning actor Christian Bables. Only in his sophomore film outing, he easily embraced playing a trans-woman character in director Jun Robles Lana’s Die Beautiful, a Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry in 2016.

Christian’s much-talked about gay role in Die Beautiful merited him three Best Supporting Actor trophies — from the MMFF, the Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino and from Luna Awards.

No wonder, it is not a tall order to make Christian do another thespic gay character. Just recently, Christian accepted a true-to-life gay role on TV, opposite JC de Vera in Maalaala Mo Kaya on the Kapamilya Channel.

In Viva Films’ latest offering, director Joel Lamangan’s Bekis On The Run, Christian engages in lip-locking scenes for the first time, opposite his male co-star, Sean de Guzman. The kissing scenes were not in the original script. Yet, direk Joel injected the sensitive scenes on the spot as the cast was filming.

Christian and Sean, however, did not complain about the added kissing scenes. They were initially surprised when the scenes were injected, although no one complained. The two, young actors successfully pulled off their scenes. They merely put their full trust on direk Joel, while they were filming Bekis On The Run, that also stars Diego Loyzaga and Kylie Verzosa.

“When you’re already into the shoes of the character you are portraying, kahit saan man dalhin ng director ‘yung ship, masasakyan mo ‘yun,” Christian explains. “Magiging ready ka agad. Nasa character ka kasi. Hindi na mahirap kung ano ipagawa sa ‘yo.”

Christian won another Best Actor award in the Fifth Hanoi Film Festival for his character, Intoy, in director Chito Roño’s Signal Rock (2018).

Aware that we are in a judgmental society, Christian knows the discrimination the LGBTQ community constantly faces. “Mahirap maging parte ng gay community,” he maintains.

“We just have to be constantly careful about the way we treat them. Mahusay sa lahat ng ginagawa nila. Most of the gays I know, they always exhibit their full potential and creativity in what they can really do. That, for me, is really admirable.”

Going to a gay friend for advice is never a big deal for Christian. “My manager, Tito Boy Abunda, whenever I need advice in my work, I always go to him. His words of wisdom, I consider that as my guide.”

Even before he joined showbiz, Christian was already exposed to gay friends. “When I did Die Beautiful, ang reference ko, my gay friends whom I know even before I joined showbiz,” Christian grants. “Sa kanila ako nagtatanong, nagpapaturo kung ano ang tamang gagawin. I have nothing against them even before.”

Despite this pandemic, Christian feels “very blessed” with the projects he has been getting and the roles being assigned to him. He has learned to adapt to the new normal situation and environment.

“That’s my benefit as an artist in this pandemic,” Christian asserts. “Mas naging ready ako as an artist. I’m ready to show the truth in the projects that I’m doing. I’m very thankful to Viva and other film outfits that trust me with their projects, even this pandemic.”

Christian always maintains a positive attitude in every situation. “I always try my best to see the good in every situation. Chaotic lang ng mundo, so dapat, always happy lang tayo.”

Meanwhile, direk Joel commended his lead stars in Bekis On the Run, which is now streaming on Vivamax. “Lahat ng artista ko napakahusay,” direk Joel commented. “Lahat sila ay very professional and they have the correct attitude towards work.”

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