A stark contrast to his kontrabida character in the Kapamilya primetime series Huwag Kang Mangamba, Paolo Gumabao is a believer of Divine timing in real life. He recently got an answered prayer by being a bonafide Star Magic artist.
“Weh? ‘Di nga?” said his reaction when told about the good news. Paolo did go-sees for the talent arm before but it was probably not the right time yet. “Matagal kong naging goal na maging Star Magic artist… Ngayon na nangyari na siya parang, ‘Totoo ba ‘to?’ Hindi pa nagsi-sink in sa akin.”
Paolo wanted to be an actor since he was 7, influenced by Tom Hank’s performance in the classic film “Forrest Gump.” “Grabe ‘yung impact sa akin ng movie na ‘yun. Noong napanood ko siya, I was so motivated. I was affected emotionally, and after that, I decided that when I grow up, I want to shoot films also na may impact sa mga taong manonood. Alam mo ‘yun, mai-inspire sila sa mga projects na ginagawa ko,” he shared in an episode of Kapamilya Chat.
His 7-year-old self is sure proud of what he’s becoming as an actor. And now that he recently signed a contract with Star Magic during the Black Pen Day, Paolo is excited to make more meaningful projects, hopefully with his favorites Angel Locsin and Arjo Atayde. He said he loves watching Angel’s teleseryes, and with Arjo, he thinks every scene will be intense and satisfying.
Paolo’s dream role is to play a person with psychological complexities ala James McAvoy in the psychological-thriller “Split.” He would like to explore singing as well, and he plans to attend classes for that.
Paolo proves his grit and boldness in his launching film “Lockdown,” which aims to paint the reality of how the lockdown affected Filipino workers. The rising actor plays Danny Asuncion, an OFW retrenched from work in Dubai. To be able to support his family during the lockdown, Danny is forced to enter the world of cybersex.
“Makikita natin dito ‘yung decisions during the pandemic ng isang tao na hindi masyadong financially stable, ‘yung mga decisions niya para maka-survive ‘yung family niya,” shared Paolo. More than the controversial sexy scenes, “Lockdown,” showing on July 23, is a reflection of love for family.
Not only it’s a showcase of Paolo’s acting chops but also a proof of his determination. Trying out alongside 53 other actors for the auditions, Paolo didn’t really expect to bag the lead role. He just wanted to try, almost getting used to rejections. But, indeed, his best season has finally unfolded. And on his first solo starrer, he worked with no less than veteran filmmaker Joel Lamangan, one of every artist’s dream directors.
“You just really have to be patient, always working hard and willing to learn. You have to arrive sa work mo as an empty cup para pwedeng lagyan ng knowledge,” he said of his journey as an actor.
Not that he wants to be typecast as a sexy actor but Paolo appreciates the daring roles he’s given, from “Mga Batang Poz” to “Lockdown.” He said it pushes him to his limits, and in the process, sharpens his talent that’s why “it’s important for actors to accept jobs that they’re not comfortable doing.”
Paolo is always asked how he prepares for intimate scenes, and the answer is just one and the same.
“Paano ba natin pinaghahandaan in real life when we’re going to be intimate with somebody? Hindi natin pinaghahandaan.” For him, intimacy just comes out naturally when someone shows love and passion for another person, “We just have to do it.”
But to prepare for his character, Paolo built Danny’s persona based on his judgment since the production didn’t hand him a full-blown character sketch. This helped make Danny a multi-dimensional character.
Catch more of Paolo in Huwag Kang Mangamba, weeknights, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.