After infuriating us through his unforgettable portrayal of the treacherous and debauched Joaquin Tuazon in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano and astounding us with his first-ever lead actor stint in Hanggang Saan as the dutiful and strait-laced Francisco “Paco” Alipio, Arjo Atayde is currently impressing us with his stirring performance as Elijah “Elai” Sarmiento on The General’s Daughter.
Thus, ABS-CBN.com Entertainment cornered Arjo on the preparations he did, a few things about his new role, and his reactions on the comments of his legendary co-star Maricel Soriano and of the viewers towards his portrayal.
Since it’s his first time to take on a mentally challenged character, Arjo enumerated the intensive measures he did in order to accustom himself with the way persons with autism talk, behave, and move – he immersed himself, watched a lot of videos online, and researched everything about it online.
Although the preparations he had to do for this completely challenging role were indeed painstaking, the 28-year-old seasoned actor shared that he completely enjoys every part of playing Elai.
“I don't think I don't like anything about him. [The] things I like about him – [he’s] vulnerable, mabilis magmahal ng tao the way he is (on the pilot pa lang nakita na nagbibigay-damdamin kaagad sa isang taong ‘di niya kilala), mapagmahal, and last is masaya kasi gusto ko laging masaya. Gusto ko laging good vibes lang, so the feel ng saya niya, nalalabas din 'yong good vibes sa akin pagkatapos ng eksena,” he related.
Then he added, “Everything was a journey for me. Ninamnam ko every journey of making that character because it's something different; it's something I've never done so wala, as in wala talaga akong naiisip na ayoko about sa kanya. The preparation is part of it. It's a job.”
Moreover, we quizzed Arjo also regarding his reaction on the “Perfect 10” rating bestowed to him by the Diamond Star, who plays his mother Isabelle, during the teleserye’s presscon held few days before the pilot airing.
“Coming from her, it's an honor. Siguro kaya rin ako nabigyan ng “Perfect 10” dahil katrabaho ko siya, number one. Number 2, siya rin nagbabato sa akin, receiver lang ako [and] magaling talaga siya. So nadadala lang ako sa kanya saka kay Angel [Locsin]. Practically, when I'm on the set, yes, I'm in my character pero 'pag nagro-roll na, feeling ko ‘di na ako umaarte dahil napakahusay talaga niya with or without Angel,” he said.
While his staggering performance on the family-action drama definitely received rave reviews from the audiences, it also impressed critics nonetheless. And here’s his message to all of them:
“Thank you sa panonood, una sa lahat. I'm happy na na-touch ko kayo; that's the point of being an actor – to inspire at magkuwento lang ng magkuwento nang maayos. And to the bashers, wala akong pakialam,” he stated.
He ended the interview by promising us more explosive happenings and extra riveting stories that are going to unfold in the upcoming episodes.
Catch him on The General’s Daughter, weeknights on Primetime Bida.