If there’s a love team that could instantly bring out the fanboy in Alden Richards, it would be that of Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz.

And now that Bea is officially a GMA 7 star—with John Lloyd rumored to follow suit—Alden couldn’t be more excited about the idea of being together in one project. “To be given an opportunity to work with them… aba po, let’s go!” Alden said in a virtual conference, shortly after his contract renewal with the Kapuso network.

“Mas game pa po sa game … even if we have to quarantine the very next day, I will go!” he quipped.

The 29-year-old actor was already a big fan of the John Lloyd-Bea tandem before he even entered show biz. So meeting them in person some time back expectedly left him starstruck. “A few years ago, there was a Christmas party wherein we had the same styling team. We met each other there. And for the first time in my whole life as an actor, I became a fanboy because I really idolize those two,” he recalled. Although it remains to be seen whether John Lloyd’s alleged move to GMA 7 will actually push through, Alden’s movie with Bea, a local adaptation of the Korean film “A Moment to Remember,” is still a go.

Right timing

“The [work] schedules aren’t set yet and there are still details being finalized. But one thing is clear—tuloy siya,” he said of the project, which will be directed by Nuel Naval and produced by GMA Pictures and Viva Films. Aside from Bea and John Lloyd, Alden is also open to working with other new Kapuso artists. “Doing ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ really opened me to the possibility of working with different artists. There are a lot of potential leading ladies. There are many new good artists here, both veterans and newbies. I’m looking forward to that … I’m not choosy,” he said. “Those collaborations will help me discover new things about them and about myself. It’s just about the right timing.”

Alden recently wrapped up taping for the upcoming second season of his primetime drama soap “The World Between Us,” and he hopes to continue taking on grey or more mature roles similar to Louie. “I’m becoming more experimental when it comes to projects and learning toward acting pieces and new experiences. I want to go edgier and veer away from the usual good boy roles. I want to take risks so I don’t end up boring audiences or making them go, ‘Nakita ko na ’yan,’” he said. “Now is the time for that because I’m turning 30 next January; I’m not getting any younger.”

He also hopes to do films worthy of being submitted to international festivals. “We all dream of going abroad. Being a Filipino is something to be proud of. I want to show how good and how proud we are of our craft,” he said.

Going back to school

On non-show biz matters, Alden is entertaining the prospect of going back to school and earning a college diploma. “I want to finish school. If I ever have free time, I would like to major in business economics. I have taken up interest in the stock market, cryptocurrency and other topics related to the economy,” he said. “There are a couple of universities I’m looking at. But it’s just about time management. I have just finished shooting a soap and I still have a lot of commitments I have to accomplish. I have to find a window,” he said, adding that he wants to do it, not only for himself, but for his father, too. “My mother’s dream was for me to find success in show biz. My father’s dream, on the other hand, is for me to earn a diploma. He always tells me to finish my studies, no matter what,” he said.

Staying true to self

Renewing his ties with GMA 7, together with network executives at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, reminded Alden of how far he has come in life. But he’s still the same Alden.

“Just with better clothes!” he joked. “People who genuinely care for me always remind me to stay true to myself. But it’s OK to change if it’s for your improvement as a person and actor. I want to be a better inspiration to others,” he said.

Alden’s journey wasn’t easy: He started from the bottom, he said, and had to crawl his way up—all the while taking criticisms and negativity from naysayers.

“Nothing comes easy … I went through lows, gapang kung gapang. But that only made my success more rewarding. Because you know you worked hard for it. Hurtful things will be thrown your and your family’s way, but you will have to deal with them,” Alden said. “You have to be really patient. Success may not happen in five years or eight, but your time will eventually come.”

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