On the surface, Arjo Atayde seems quiet and shy. He even said that interviews like the one he had with Gail Banawis in this episode of Tatak Star Magic: Celebrity Conversations give him jitters. But the truth is being someone like him means having to wear many hats and doing them all with passion, empathy, and responsibility. He is willing to take on anything – whether as a leading man or villain – as long as it satisfies his soul as an artist. And he will do it in the most impactful ways possible.
Arjo started as a commercial model. He's not a stranger to repeat auditions and rejections. The turning point in his career was joining a Star Magic public acting workshop ten years ago. He fell in love with the craft, thanks in part to the encouragement he got from Director Rahyan Carlos, one of the facilitators.
At the end of the workshop, the participants had to act out a script. Star Magic team was impressed by his performance, so much so that they sent his videotape to Star Creatives’ Malou Santos, who took a chance on him.
When he joined showbiz, Arjo was still finding his niche. Naturally, with his charm, he was pegged into rom-com roles, hence his initial dream to become a hit leading man. However, as he matured in the industry, he realized that becoming a master of his craft is more of a journey than a destination, and part of that journey is searching for new experiences, hence his versatility.
He observed that acting is a great way to understand humanity. Then, it dawned on him: “Ayaw ko maging leading man, gusto ko kahit ano.” He meant he is willing to accept any role that the management sees fit. After all, the more you work, the more you learn. And he believes that variety will help him maintain balance as an actor.
The “Bagman” and “Cattleya Killer” star is proud of his body of work, as every project brings him lessons that he can carry on to the next. He appreciates even the mistakes, for he’s able to learn from them. Ultimately, his goal is to do at least 250 roles in his lifetime. He still has a long way to go, but with his talent and attitude, we can say that he’s getting there.
Asked the greatest lesson he picked up from movie and teleserye sets, he talked about respect, “Doon nagsisimula ang kabutihan… Iba-iba lang ang trabaho natin but we’re all human beings. Respect should be given.” The greatest gift would have to be the friendships he’s built. Moreover, acting helped him hone his ability to understand people more and the grit to put action where it’s needed – traits he carried with him as he stepped into the world of politics. “Never stop learning,” is the message he’d like to tell his future self.
Outside his busy life as an actor and public servant, Arjo spends downtime driving alone, playing football, and going to the beach with his family and girlfriend Maine Mendoza. Of course, he’ll always love dancing. Friends are asking him to try out for theater, but he couldn’t seem to conquer stage fright.
Asked to describe his relationship with Star Magic, he called the talent management arm his second home, his second family. And family is whom he gives his loyalty.