Martin Escudero goes from ‘Positive’ to ‘Obsession’ with ‘Mumbai Love’ in between

After essaying the role of a person afflicted with AIDS in Positive, Martin Escudero essays another challenging role in Obsession.

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Positive ended on January 9 on a high note, and Obsession starts on January 23. It’s still a once-a-week Thursday fare on TV5.

Sharing stellar billing with Martin are former Kapamilya-turned-Kapuso stalwart Marvin Agustin and Bianca King, herself a Kapuso star. Adding sizzle to the cast of obsessed characters is Neri Naig, the controversial girlfriend of Parokya Ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda.

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In between these projects, Martin shot a movie in India, Mumbai Love – a cross-cultural film about finding love in the most unusual place between a Filipina tourist played by Solenn Heusaff and half-Filipino half-Indian played by newcomer Kiko Matos. Martin plays a photographer assigned by his publication in Manila to capture the intricacies of the Hindu culture.

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Late last year, to drumbeat Positive, the StarStruck alumnus shared with the media his harrowing ordeal of being hostaged for six hours in a remote location of the shoot. He said he thought they could no longer get out of the situation alive.

Hours later, director Benito Bautista clarified the PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) report that was already circulating on social media that there was no hostage that happened. It was a miscommunication and that the actors organization in India demanded a fee since the stars of the movie were foreigners doing the shoot in their land. The Indian counterpart reportedly paid an undisclosed amount and so the shoot went on smoothly after that.

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Mumbai Love opens on January 22, said to be an early Valentine’s treat for everyone who has fallen in love, currently in love and those who are yet to experience romance.

A number of entertainment writers and columnists, some editors included, reacted when they saw the poster of the movie. Understandably, Martin was abased, insulted, not properly credited and relegated to a minor support when he should be one of the come-ons of the production.

He has proven himself in Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington, a gender-bending characterization that won for the mestizo actor Best Actor awards from Gawad Tanglaw and ENPRESS.

Martin, whose real name is Mark Butler, the same name he used when he first set foot in the business thru ABS-CBN and became Mart Escudero and stayed as such when he was with GMA7, also became a major draw in big productions afterwards, notably Moron 5 and Shake, Rattle & Roll 14 The Invasion.

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“It’s sad that since he is on his own now, no one would fight for his proper place in billing,” said one writer who sympathizes with Martin. “Imagine, Jayson Gainza is even ahead of him in the billing!”  he continued his litany.

Martin used to be managed by the same person who’s been handling the careers of Dennis Trillo and Marian Rivera, who until recently also left the stable and now under APT, said to be her discoverer and original handler. APT is behind the longest-running noontime show on Philippine television, Eat Bulaga.

At one point, Martin let the cat out of the bag the reason why he decided to leave Popoy’s management. “He did not want me to share my earnings with my family. The reason why I’m working hard is for my family, why should I be prevented to share the blessings with them?” the 23-year-old thespian said undauntedly.

Since Martin is not afflicted with billingitis (a manic disorder of stars who are so particular with their names in the posters, trailers and ads – either their names are above the title, ahead of this and that star or appendaged with the & or and), he is seen as the heir-apparent to Eddie Garcia, the most enduring actor of all time.

Garcia has practically essayed all characters in every genre there is in the industry, be it in the movies or on TV, not minding where they put his name. Because of that, the respect and courtesy accorded to him is beyond compare.

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And Martin, well, he said that when people get to watch the film, they’d forget about the billing issue.

Playing other important roles in Mumbai Love are Raymond Bagatsing, Jun Sabayton and Romy Daryani.

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Martin has another movie, Musiko, with Melai Cantiveros and Tommy Abuel. It has a February 15, 2014 playdate in Toronto, Canada

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