Supermodel turned actor Rocky Salumbides won the best actor trophy in “Lily” in the 2016 Cinemaone Originals filmfest.
This year, he is proud to announce that he has an entry in the 5th QCinema or Quezon City International Filmfest, Circle Competition category.
He is in the cast of Mikhail Red’s Neomanila, an urban thriller where he essays an important role.
“Ako iyong masel ng team. Si Eula ang utak. Ako iyong gumagalaw, kasi mga hitmen kami,” he shared.
According to Rocky, the movie has a very timely and relevant theme.
“Tungkol siya sa mga biktima ng society, ng lipunan. Iyong present na nangyayari na may kinalaman din sa war on drugs,” he said.
It’s his first time to work with his girlfriend and Urian award-winning actress Eula Valdes in a full-length feature.
“Iyong buo, yes, first time ko siyang makatrabaho,” he remarked.
He confessed though that he is pressured to work with his partner.
“Siyempre, lagi naman akong pressured. Every time naman na may ginagawa ako, hindi nawawala iyong pressure, kasi may mga expectations ang mga tao. Nadaragdagan pa siya siyempre kapag ka-eksena ko si Eula at dahil na rin sa mga expectations ng mga tao.”
However, he said he’s able to overcome his nervousness because of his mindset.
“Kapag nandoon kami sa set, hindi kami magkakilala. Iyon kasi ang mindset ko lalo na kapag in character kami,” he said.
He also feels blessed to work with acclaimed director Mikhail Red (“Birdshot,” “Rekorder”).
“Na-rattle ako kay Direk lalo na noong pinanood ko ang “Birdshot” kaya nga bago ko ito ginawa, hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko, pero naitawid ko siya dahil inalalayan ako ni Direk.”
Between acting and modelling, he prefers working on-cam.
“Mas gusto ko ang acting. Kasi sa acting, masyado siyang malawak, may lalim siya kumpara sa modelling na project-project ka lang, lakad. Sa acting, mas may challenge at mas masarap ding ikaw ang nagiging instrumento para maibigay iyong gustong ipalabas ng istorya,” he explained.
Regarding their screen chemistry, he wants to leave that to the viewers’ judgments.
“Tingin ko. Ang huhusga niyan ay iyong mga manonood na,” he said.
He is also happy to say that he’s quite getting along well with Miguel (Eula’s 22-year old son to Ronnie Quizon).
“Parang magkapatid lang kami sa bahay. Actually, related din iyong kurso niya sa filmmaking. May project din siya. Meron na din siyang ginagawa ngayon. Kapag may dumarating na iskrip sa kanya, nagtatanong siya at nagbibigay naman ako ng tips,” he concluded.
Neo Manila is a closer look on the violent war on drugs waged in present day Manila.
It tells the story of a teenage orphan who gets recruited by a notorious death squad headed by Irma, the group’s leader, who soon becomes a maternal figure to him. As the two form a familial bond, their loyalties will be put to the test when one of their targets turns out to be a familiar face.