JM de Guzman on portraying his Init Sa Magdamag character Peterson: “It’s a love-hate relationship”

Days before the highly anticipated premiere of ABS-CBN’s newest teleserye Init Sa Magdamag, King of Talk Boy Abunda had the awesome opportunity to talk to one of its stars JM De Guzman through an exclusive one-on-one interview uploaded on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube Channel.

The “direstshang usapan” commenced with Tito Boy praising him for being such a great actor and quizzing him why he is indeed good in acting.

“Siguro acting made me who I am today. It made me know myself more na ang dami ko palang kayang gawin kasi no’ng bata ako, I was a wallflower sa classroom – hindi nag-eexcel sa kung anong field, sports, arts. And when I discovered acting, parang kaya ko pala. Kaya ko palang mag-martial arts, kaya kong tumapang,” the actor related.

As acting has helped him discover more about himself, this also enkindled his “libog” or lust to learn further about this craft and “to own it more”. This pursuit surely scares him, but he just chooses to “dance” with it and transform that fear into an energy that would help him prepare, such as through meditating to clear his mind of unnecessary thoughts.

And since he mentioned “libog,” he was then asked how he utilizes it in his portrayals. He confessed having to feel the excitement in every scene he does that requires it since he’s not keen on faking it. Every time he fails to feel so, he admitted cutting the take and blaming himself for not successfully pulling off the scene.

Tito Boy then veered their conversation to JM’s controversial romantic life by quoting the late Hollywood actress Carrie Fisher, whose remarkable line “take your broken heart and make it into art” was used by Meryl Streep in one of her acceptance speeches.

When asked how he’s able to use the heartbreaks he had in the previous years, he simply said that everything comes from it, and out of the four relationships he had, two of them really shattered his heart that led to his depression.

“[It’s all about] me because I’m dependent and kailangan kong ma-supplement ‘yong void na meron ako. Naging dependent ako sa ibang bagay na ganito, naging dependent ako sa tao na ‘to. Tapos kapag nawawala sila, nandoon pa rin ang void. So, if I’m not doing something about this void, it will just be a cycle. So, I need to do something about it,” the 32-year-old actor disclosed.

Thus, in order to fully distract himself and be not stuck in those bad memories, he chooses to focus his attention on the things that he loves like acting, being grateful for every opportunity that comes, and counting his blessings.

Being single for five years already, JM shyly confessed that he doesn’t know anymore how much he loves. This is also actually his choice for he still wants to savor the things bestowed to him by God at present, to continue working on being the better version of himself, and to prepare for the future.

As Tito Boy took note of these, he reminded him, “But you should also have to remember JM that if that doesn’t happen at a time that you expected to happen, that’s okay because that’s not in your time – it’s in God’s time.”

Even though he’s still afraid to love, the award-winning actor admitted that he couldn’t deny the fact that he already wanted to commit and be in a relationship. But he just lifts that up to God, which is one of the things he learned from his past therapy sessions.

Aside from not easily putting his self in the outside world, another thing that he picked up from those sessions is to confront his issues head on, as well as the people to whom he has problems with instead of attacking them or the behavior that inflicted him pain, insecurity, and other negative emotions. According to him, doing so would prevent one from getting distracted by unnecessary stuff and in suppressing the emotions that needed to be released.

JM also admitted resisting when he was told to enter a rehabilitation facility because he found it difficult to accept and be contained in a controlled environment that hindered him from getting in touch with everyone and everything from the outside world. He recalled a few of his experiences there and how he had to pick up the pieces from there.

When asked what were his realizations from that pivotal phase of his life, he told Tito Boy that first, it’s to “never lose faith” and second is to “protect yourself at all times”, which means putting yourself first above others and loving yourself.

Tito Boy also expressed how much admiration he has for him ever since those days when he was not in showbiz yet and was still in theater.

“I think the public knows that you’re somebody really special because I have so much faith in you – both as a person and as an actor. Dati pa, wala ka pa sa telebisyon, umiikot-ikot ka pa sa teatro. And I’m just so happy about the possibilities that are going to happen and that are yet to happen, ‘di ba?” he told him.

As the host quizzed him how he’s doing right now, JM laughingly responded “pagod”. He continued, “Alam ko naman na napapahinga rin naman nang maigi ‘yong pagod na ‘yan e. Pero alam ko naman na kapag binigay namin lahat ng best namin para sa istoryang ‘to will pay off. Kung ano naman ang binato mo sa universe, ‘yon din ang ibabalik.” 

The King of Talk then made his smooth segue to Init Sa Magdamag by asking him how fiery his nights have become recently, to which he retorted, “Mainit na mainit, umaabot sa singit” and teased how intense was the scenes they’ve already filmed.

“Magiging sobrang challenging for me because I need to research, to listen to the Creatives and magpatulong pa sa Creatives kung ano pang backstory ni Peterson para mas maintindihan ko siya, mas maka-empathize ako sa kanya. ‘Di ko na lang muna siya hinusgahan kasi sa script, as written, talagang medyo buma-black, medyo gume-gray,” he imparted when asked what his reaction was upon reading the script and while studying his latest role Peterson Alvarez.

Since his latest character is deemed as the main villain in the upcoming series, JM revealed that “it’s a love hate-relationship” between him and Peterson. He further related that he loves him when he is in his senses and he is sincere, while he hates him every time he acts like a fool.

Click on this video to find out everything that happened in this fun and insightful exclusive one-on-one interview!

Catch JM de Guzman as Peterson Alvarez in Init Sa Magdamag, weeknights after Huwag Kang Mangamba on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, and iWantTFC.