IN October 2012 BusinessMirror did a photoshoot with Alden Richards at the Quezon City headquarters of media giant GMA Network Inc. After nabbing the male lead role in Alakdana, he became one of the rising stars of the so-called Kapuso Network. Back then, he was a leading man in One True Love and playing support in My Beloved, while basking in the critical acclaim accorded to his breakthrough appearance in the film The Road.
By the time the profile was published on April 22, 2013, in “Tota Pulchra,” my weekly column for the paper, Alden was starring in the prime-time soap Mundo Mo’y Akin and Sunday All Stars. Of course, we all know what has happened to his career since he was paired with Maine Mendoza, aka Yaya Dub, in the “Kalyeserye” portion of long-running noontime show Eat Bulaga, to form the phenomenal love team AlDub.
Since it was near impossible to pin him down for another round of questioning, busy as he was finishing and promoting his Metro Manila Film Festival entry My Bebe Love, D+ conducted a virtual interview with Alden, starting where we left off from our BusinessMirror feature.
“Every decade has its fair share of matinee idols but one inevitably stands out. Ric Rodrigo ruled the 1950s, Eddie Gutierrez the 1960s, Tirso Cruz III in the 1970s, Aga Muhlach the 1980s, Romnick Sarmienta the 1990s, and Piolo Pascual in the 2000s.
“The current decade is quite young, but the reigning matinee idols are holdovers from the previous one: Dingdong Dantes, John Lloyd Cruz, Richard Gutierrez, Coco Martin and Gerald Anderson. Now, they’d better watch out for their most potent contender: Alden Richards.”
How do you feel now that your turn has finally come?
It’s overwhelming. Because I waited in patience, waited in prayers, and it was given to me in God’s perfect time.
Is fame easy?
No. It’s a lot to take in.
Is this something you ever wanted and imagined?
When I entered show business, I only wanted to help my family financially and give them a good life. I never expected that I will be blessed so much the way I am now and for that, I’m very grateful. There’s no one to thank but the Lord, and I want to give it all back to Him.
“I got drawn to Alden when I saw his breakthrough performance in the Yam Laranas psychological thriller, The Road. It was always his dream to portray a sociopath, but given that he was groomed to become a matinee idol, the role was a risky proposition. The gamble paid off big time. Alden won the Golden Screen Award for Best New Actor, and the Amazing Male Newcomer award at the first Yahoo! OMG Awards.
“‘I want to do a Johnny Depp style of acting but in a Silence of the Lambs type of movie. It’s not to copy his style of acting, but to pick up pointers on how best to attack a role,’ Alden says of his dream project.”
You’d most likely be stuck for a while on your goody, matinee-idol image. How would you transition back to being a serious actor?
I always believe that actors should be flexible in portraying different roles or characters.
What kind of roles would challenge and interest you?
Roles that delve into the depths of emotions.
“Before his breaks on television, Alden dabbled in modeling for print and commercials, belying his comfort and ease in front of the camera.”
Before accepting a new endorsement, what questions/considerations do you first ask yourself?
Is it aligned with the career path I’m on? Will it be beneficial for me and for the brand that I’m going to endorse? As long as I believe in the product, I’d definitely say yes.
“Alakdana was soon followed by My Beloved and One True Love, with guestings here and there. Alden was well on his way to attaining stardom, something that his deceased and dear mother had presciently and unequivocally said he would.”
Besides your showbiz success, what other things would have made your mother proud of you?
I never forgot her. She knows that I’m doing all this for my family.
Who were her showbiz heroes, and have you met or worked with them?
Actually, no. Because mahilig siya sa mga telenovelas, the Mexican ones. And she was really a fan of Thalia—I think she was her showbiz hero.
“The towering Santa Rosa, Laguna, native, looks up to John Lloyd Cruz [whom he is willing to kiss if a role calls for it] and his My Beloved ‘brother,’ Dingdong Dantes as inspirations. ‘I have asked Dingdong for tips on how to be as good an actor as he is. He has told me to be good to people I work with and to have a good attitude. He has been in showbiz for so long that he already knows the do’s and don’ts,’ Alden shares.”
At Eat Bulaga, besides honing your hosting skills, what other lessons have you imbibed from the Dabarkads?
It’s to be true to yourself because people will love you for who you are.
You are devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. How important is faith in your current state?
You (and Maine) are 2015’s Entertainers of the Year. But how were you entertained this year (movies, music, TV, video games, pets)?
Despite our busy schedules, we were very much entertained with everything that has happened to our lives. We’re so blessed and we didn’t expect anything like this to come our way.
How is your interaction now with your peers such as Derrick Monasterio, Kristoffer Martin, Hiro Peralta, Louise de los Reyes, Lauren Young?
Nothing has changed. We still contact each other, though sometimes our schedules don’t meet. I’m glad there are ways to catch up with them.
How did you spend your last day-off?
I spent it with my family.
What will be your plans and wishes for your 24th birthday (January 2)?
Just good health, stability and sana ’yung faith ko, mas lalo pang maging strong.
What do you wish to achieve, personally and professionally, by the time you’re 25?
What are your wishes for your family?
I wish for good health, continuous love, support and understanding.
And may they always be guided by the Father Almighty.
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