Before the press conference for his new series on TV 5, we asked Martin Escudero via Facebook how’s the shoot for his movie in India was coming along. He did not answer.
When he faced the media to drumbeat “Positive,” he recalled that a scary hostage incident while filming “Mumbai Love” happened. However, just minutes after the story created a hiss, director Benito Bautista sent a clarificatory statement via text to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other media outlets, quoted by GMA News Online.
“The statement from Martin Escudero as one of the actors in our film project in India was a misinformed statement. First of all, no hostage situation took place. What happened was there was a disruption in the production shoot due to a misunderstanding with a certain film union in Mumbai. However, our aligned Mumbai unit was able to resolve the situation. After this disruption, the rest of our filming days went smoothly. Our Mumbai production unit took great care of our team and we are very happy and grateful with our collaboration. The city of Mumbai is a beautiful place blessed with a rich culture and good-hearted people.”
In “Mumbai Love” Martin plays Mark, a company photographer sent to different countries for assignment. It’s supposed to be released only internationally, but plans changed and it’s going to be shown locally, too.
Since the focus is “Positive,” let’s dissect the story and what Martin has to say about his role. Note that Martin received two Best Actor awards for essaying the grown-up cursed boy in “Zombadings1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington.”
In the series, which has never been tackled on Philippine television, Martin plays Carlo Santillan, a 26-year-old operations manager in a business process outsourcing (BPO) company. He is married, his wife is pregnant, and he’s found to be HIV-positive. How and why he contracted the disease? The story traces back to his promiscuous teenage life–parties, drugs and sex.
As he shared about his character, Martin said he had to do plenty of research to play Carlo effectively. He spoke to several people working in call centers, mostly women and some bisexuals.
Will he then have sex with gays or transgenders?
“In what we have done there’s none so far (of such sexual encounters). Originally, my character was gay but they changed it. There’s been a lot of changes and I don’t know if that’s going to be tackled,” he said in the vernacular.
He expounded that this is his biggest acting challenge, even more challenging than “Zombadings,” as it’s emotionally draining. He now understands how AIDS-stricken people are coping with their lives on a day-to-day basis.
“I can’t imagine how would it be if I were in their shoes, or how their families are coping with the stigma. It’s hard to let go of it, my chest felt so heavy, I was carrying the load for many days.”
The wisdom he learned and continues to learn from the series is how one has to be more responsible for his actions as there are always consequences.
“One mistake and you can never go back,” he said.
Also playing important roles are Rufa Mae Quinto as Mariciris (whom Carlo meets thru Facebook), Alwyn Uytingco as filthy rich gay Jeffy, Helga Krapf as Carlo’s wife Janis, Bing Loyzaga as Carlo’s mom Esther, Malak So Shdifat as Miles (team leader under Carlo and the first suspect as source of the dreaded disease), Bianca Manalo as yoga instructor Ann and Felix Roco as Carlo’s best buddy Peejay.
“Positive” starts airing October 17, 2013, Thursday, 9:30 p.m.