Two years into formally joining the local show business and theater actor Pepe Herrera is best appreciated for his character Benny, the funny sidekick of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano lead character Cardo, played by Coco Martin.
But behind the actor’s seemingly chill façade, with his signature curly hair, jetblack beard and poker-chinito face, is actually a notable achiever.
This weekend, Pepe opens up his life filled with a pile of enviable feats, talents, credentials and perspectives that he has silently perfected and culled over the years.
When you have then president and now Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio as the person who invited you to join the mainstream show business, you know it’s a call that you just have to heed. Such is what happened with Pepe Herrera or Jose Nikolas Emmanuel Pacifico Herrera in real life.
The famous call that invited him to be part of the Kapamilya network happened in 2014, after Ma’am Charo, along with the Magdayao sisters, caught one of his performances during the first run of the highly acclaimed musical play Rak of Aegis.
When he first set foot into the network’s office, he met with Star Magic bosses Mariole Alberto and Johnny Manahan and ABS-CBN TV production head Lauren Dyogi.
At that time, Pepe openly took the opportunity to be part of the network because it would allow him to conquer “all platforms.”
But before everything else, Pepe is a thespian. His love for theater formally began in 2012 after ending his first job at the cruise ship.
While aboard the cruise ship, Pepe eventually ended up being friends with performers also known as the “show team” who are responsible for performing theater excerpts on the ship. “Everytime I watch them, doon ko na-realize na ‘Ah I want to do this for the rest of my life,” he said.
Pepe especially appreciates how the theater allows a performer to receive instant and raw responses from its audience. This fact somehow distances theater from TV, as it is something more of an experience than just a mere show. But Pepe praises the fact that TV has a wider reach than theater. Nevertheless, Pepe says that both platforms require the artist to become alert and perceptive
Prior to joining Star Magic and while he was part of the hit show Rak of Aegis, Pepe was actually teaching music.
But when he was offered to join the primetime soap Forevermore, which starred Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, he decided to let go of the position to focus on TV acting. But he made sure to retain being part of Rak of Aegis.
Thankfully, his passion for theater performances and his budding love for TV acting coexisted harmoniously.
Pepe became known in the show as Cesar Bernales, the father of twins Clauie and Judy Bernales played by Joj and Jai Agpangan. They are part of the people called on the show as La Presans.
For his second mainstream show, Pepe luckily became part of yet another primetime show. This time, it was the TV adaptation of the 1997 film Ang Probinsyano by the late Da King, Fernando Poe Jr., which starred Coco Martin.
Pepe took on the role of Benjamin Dimaapi, better known as the child-like yet very loyal and lovable Benny whom the audience came to adore.
His character Benny became a household name as the show consistently dominated on its timeslot ever since it debuted on primetime in September 2015.
According to Pepe he never expected to get another awesome role after receiving a good one in Forevermore.
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