BENCH Meets Cedrick Juan of “Viva Viva Escolta”

c-2

Photography by Arabella Paner
Styling by Ria Casco
Grooming by Anacleta Paredes
Shot on location at The Luneta Hotel

The life of theater actor Cedrick Juan is no one-act play. After several successful productions on stage, the Dulaang UP headliner is taking a quick intermission to star in the QCinema short, Viva Viva Escolta. But he’s not bowing down for the curtain call yet. In between dress rehearsals and whole day tapings, Cedrick Juan is balancing his passions and making the entire world his stage.

Cedrick plays a lost soul wandering the historical streets of Old Manila in the short that premiered at this week’s QCinema Film Festival. BENCH BLOG conjured up Cedrick at the hauntingly beautiful Luneta Hotel for a quick chat where he shared stories about his life on stage, crossing over to the silver screen, and working with the dead.

c-7

Hey Cedrick! Congratulations on the short film! Is this your first time on the silver screen?

Bago pa lang ako sa paggawa ng mga films. Nag-start akong gumawa ng mga films siguro mga 2014 or 2015. Pero ngayong 2016 lang talaga ako nagkaroon ng mga major roles. So ngayon, full-time film, TV, and theater actor na ako.

c-11

c-17

Can you tell us about your life onstage?

Nag-start talaga ako sa FEU Art Theater Clinique noong college ako. Doon ako naging sigurado sa gusto kong gawin. I wanted to act. Siyempre, yung family ko, they wanted me to have a regular job for the stability of my future. Pero hindi talaga ako happy. So hindi ako tumuloy sa dapat na magiging regular day job ko. So noong 2012, I did commercials and nag-VTR ako sa mga agencies. Then parang feeling ko gusto ko talagang ma-hone yung craft ko. That’s why in 2013, I decided na magwo-workshop ako for theater sa Dulaang UP.

When I did my first play with DUP, which was Adarna, I was scared kasi ‘di ko pa alam ginagawa ko. Pero nakikita kong nage-enjoy yung mga tao at andoon din yung mga praises. And then, nanood yung mga magulang at kapatid ko at natuwa naman sila. Doon ko naisip na, I think I’m doing it right. Let’s give it another try.

c-18

c-22

What prompted you to make that transition from theater to film?

Nagthe-theater pa din ako at least once or twice a year. Ayaw kong mawala ang theater sa life ko. Iba kasi yung training, mas intimate sa theater. Malalaman mo yung journey ng character mo through the everyday non-stop rehearsals. Doon ko natutunan kung paano mag-aral ng buong story ng character.

Film naman is a different medium kasi. Before, I thought yung mga theater actors were greater than film and TV actors. But nung nag-start na ako mag-TV and film, doon ko naintindihan na different kung paano mo sila iti-treat. Unang una, stage and camera. Mahirap na kapag natututukan ng camera kasi nagiging conscious ka eh. Tapos hindi chronological order tulad ng sa theater. Pwedeng mashoot muna yung ending, so paano mo mabibigay yung feelings na required kung hindi mo pa nashoshoot yung middle and beginning? So you really have to study the script several times.

Got any other films coming up?

May film akong hindi pa lumalabas tungkol sa extrajudicial killings sa CamSur. Henchman yung role ko dito and kung saan pinatay yung mga minero, doon ko din pinatay yung co-actors ko. It was such a strange feeling and sobra akong kinabahan. First major role ko kasi iyon.

c-bw-1

 

With Halloween coming up, here’s a question: if you had the chance to work with any dead actor, who would it be?

Well, kung local, si Dolphy kasi sa lahat ng genres, comedy ang pinakamahirap. If foreign naman, si Heath Ledger. Iba talaga yung pag-portray niya kay Joker noon sa The Dark Knight. Tapos, kung sa theater, si Mario O’Hara ng Tanghalang Pilipino.

You seem like a pretty spiritual person. Do you believe in ghosts anyhow?

I respect them and other people’s beliefs about them. Pero masasabi ko sa sarili ko na totoo sila kung makikita ko sila talaga. Pero siyempre, huwag sana (laughs). Pero naniniwala ako sa spirits, elements, and energy. Kasi nararamdaman ko talaga iyon and alam ko na hindi lang tayo ang nasa mundo.

c-25

 

My Bloody Balikbayan – a B/BLOG Horror Story
#RAFExBENCH, BACKSTAGE BEFORE THE SHOW