In a recent bloggers conference for “A Family Affair,” in which he stars with Gerald Anderson, Jameson Blake, Jake Ejercito, and Ivana Alawi, Sam Milby answered questions about the show, cast members, his relationship with Catriona Gray, as well as healing from his father’s loss.
Sam is no rookie at playing multi-layered characters and doing steamy scenes. Case in point: Halik and Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin where he played the cheating husband. He’s back at it via “A Family Affair.” The difference is now he’s in a relationship with a former Miss Universe titleholder who’s quite new in the world of showbiz. Those who watched the teleserye’s trailer, which garnered 7 million views in two weeks, might wonder how Sam’s girlfriend reacts to his love scenes.
According to Sam, his job as an actor was never an issue in the relationship, although they talked about the series. “She’s just very, very understanding... I think that’s hard to find obviously with someone that’s not in the business, just having that understanding na ito ang trabaho ko, and hindi siya selosa. The trust is there.”
Sam rarely talks about his romance with Catriona, but when he does, every word sounds so sincere and steady. He knows pretty well where the relationship is grounded – their faith in God, which inspires them to be more patient and understanding.
Sam, who considers gifts and acts of service as his main love languages, knows that compatibility is easy to find but it requires work. “Love is a choice, really realizing that over time. You have to make the conscious decision of ‘Hey, I’m choosing you every day. Wala nang iba, ikaw ang pinipili ko.’ It’s finding that person na hindi lang swak kayo, but it’s finding the person that’s willing to fight with you through everything.”
He can be a fighter in love, “Hanggang sa kamatayan. If you truly love somebody, you’ll do everything to fight. Especially as a man, you’d be willing to give your life to the woman you love.” When he was much, much younger, he once gave up his chance to pursue a career in the Philippines for the girl he likes, “Instead of taking all those opportunities, I went back sa Ohio after one month kasi gusto ko siya. But, ang problema, nung bumalik ako, sinabi niya sa akin na may feelings na siya para sa ibang lalaki.”
He can be that intense in love. But he also believes that love means knowing when to let go, “I know when you look at love, dapat ipaglaban mo. But I think there’s a point when you need to know when you need to stop… A part of love is accepting that the woman you love is happy with somebody else.”
Asked about his take on cheating, he answered, “Cheating is cheating. Kung may problema sa relasyon, dapat pag-usapan n’yo, instead of doing that,” although he also believes every situation is different.
These are only a few lessons viewers can learn from Sam’s character, Dave, in “A Family Affair.” While Dave is a seemingly bad guy in the story, he is relatable and worth portraying. “I feel like he does represent those people who are left with the hard choice bilang panganay. Do you choose love or protecting the family? I think there are a lot of people sa mundo na ‘yun ang choice nila, ‘yung sacrifice na kailangan gawin, iiwan mo ang pagmamahal para sa pamilya,” shared Sam.
He said there’s more to the show than just the love angle. It tackles family, especially how individual decisions affect the lives of the Estrella brothers.
Sam was also asked about his reaction to Ivana’s revelation that she had a crush on him prior. He said it was surprising but flattering. “Ivana is very beautiful. And what I have discovered about Ivana is hindi siya maarte, very easy to work with, makulit siya. She doesn’t like any type of exercise… Galante siya. She’s very generous and passionate sa trabaho,” he said of her, adding that fans will be proud of Ivana’s acting performance in the series.
He went on to share some memorable moments on the set like getting attacked by a wild animal during a photoshoot in a ranch, “’Yung saddle ng isang kabayo, naging loose… Habang nagpo-photoshoot, nakita namin ‘yung kabayo tumatakbo papunta sa amin. Wala siyang pakialam, dire-diretso.” Add to that when Ivana wasn’t so happy about the three-hour hike he organized for the cast. “Don’t make her do hiking,” he laughed.
Before filming “A Family Affair,” Sam stayed in Ohio, USA to be with his dementia-stricken father, who passed away in November of last year. He’s still healing from the loss until now. “It’s hard because I’m still in the process. Kahit na nand’un ako nung namatay siya, I witnessed everything, I feel like I’m still kind of in denial... I’m still going through all of that at the moment,” he said.
Looking back, he realizes life is short and he should’ve visited more often while his dad’s condition hasn’t progressed yet, “I wish na dati I should have spent more time with my parents. Kasi medyo mahirap nung may Alzheimer’s na siya. When I visit, he acts like he knows me but kita ko sa mata niya na hindi, eh. He’s just trying to be polite but I can tell na hindi niya ako kilala.”
Despite grieving, Sam will use the heartbreaking experience to fuel his emotions on screen. He considers himself a work-in-progress as an actor. He wants to grow more and step out of his comfort zone by doing at least one international role. But he’s also content with everything, feeling blessed with his still flourishing career as a Kapamilya for 16 years now. “I truly believe that ABS-CBN puts up the best quality, ‘yung best kwento, best shows,” he said of why he chose to remain as a Kapamilya.
In his personal life, Sam is just as blessed and inspired. And he’s delighted to pass on the positive feelings to other people and be a good influence on them, especially when he leads them to Jesus. “I am a man of faith and I want to lead people to Jesus, to that faith. If I can influence just one person, that’s a win for His kingdom,” said Sam, adding that it’s important to seek elderly and Divine guidance in making decisions in life.
Catch Sam in “A Family Affair,” soon, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.