Sam Milby celebrated his 27th birthday last May 23, and he shared what special gift he got from international singer Marie Digby. “She and her sister nandito sila. She gave me, sabi nila, ‘yung favorite nilang men’s cologne. I’m sorry I forgot the name, ha ha ha! First time that I heard of it.”
The heartthrob actor and the Irish-Japanese singer met and dated last year. At first, Sam was hopeful that the distance and their work wouldn’t hinder them from having a serious commitment. But towards the end of 2010, he revealed that he and Marie decided to be just friends since their busy schedules had prevented them from being together more often. “Friends lang talaga. I saw her on my birthday. Before that she’s been here for three months, but I’ve only seen her three or four times. I think she’s leaving in two or three weeks, I think she’s going back to the States. Last year we’ve decided na friends na lang. So far we’ve been enjoying the friendship. We get to talk but not all the time.”
No reason to be sad though because according to Sam, he and Marie are happier now with being friends since there are no expectations for a commitment. “I could say na we’re better now as friends. Kasi nung dating kami, parang nagkaroon ng mga expectation. Ang hirap kasi we were living so far apart. Ngayon there’s no expectation at all. We’re just enjoying the friendship.”
While he has no girlfriend at the moment, Sam said he is devoting his time to work, particularly the Star Cinema movie Forever and a Day with KC Concepcion and preparing for the teleserye Alta with KC, Gretchen Barretto, Angelica Panganiban, Zanjoe Marudo, and Luis Manzano.
But he still took he time to meet reporters to promote his independent film Third World Happy which is showing from May 25 to 31 in SM Cinema North EDSA, Megamall, Manila, Marikina, Southmall, Sta. Mesa, Fairview, Cebu, and Bacoor. This film, which was part of last year’s Cinema One Originals film fest, was Sam’s second independent movie starring after 2008’s Cul De Sac. He said that doing indie films, apart from being known for his blockbuster mainstream projects, helps him grow as an actor. “I think it’s important to do indie films because you get to do out-of-the-box roles and you get to improve in your craft. When I met Direk EJ (Salcedo), he told me na nung sinusulat niya ‘yung script, wala na siyang naiisip na ibang actor to play the role of Wes than me.”
Direk EJ wrote and directed Third World Happy based mostly on his experience spending many years in the US and coming back home to be reunited with family and friends. The director thought of no other actor than Sam to play the lead role Wes because according to him the slang Tagalog-English of the character must sound natural, and that Sam very much understands how it is to be a balikbayan since the actor grew up in the States.
Direk EJ noted the big advantage of having a famous star like Sam top-bill an indie film. “Having a big star like Sam of course attracts attention. The challenge for me is because most of Sam’s movies are love stories and happy endings, I want him to do something different. At first I thought his fans would get mad at me because in the movie Sam appeared with no makeup, he has a goatee, looking tired with eye bags. But what he was able to achieve was to look very sad. The movie is about loneliness. I’m happy that I was able to get those viewers who want to see a different Sam on screen.”