Coco Martin explains why he turned down the role in Brillante Mendoza's movie 'Prey.'
Even with his very busy schedule, Coco Martin managed to grace the 9th Gawad Tanglaw Awards last March 17 to accept the Best Cinematography Award given to his movie Noy, and the Best Actor Award for his performance in the film that followed President Noynoy Aquino on the campaign trail during last year’s national elections. Coco shared in an interview with Push.com.ph, “Sobrang saya kasi naging sulit lahat ng pinaghirapan namin para sa pelikula. Sinabayan kasi namin ‘yung reality ng eleksyon that time. Marami na-involve na artista, staff at crew. Dine-dedicate ko sa kanila ang award na ito. Masaya dahil nare-recognize ‘yung pinaghihirapan mo. Lagi kong sinasabi na hindi importante kung magkano ang kikitain ko. Ang lagi kong inaabangan is ‘yung recognition para sa pinaghirapan ko. Kaya napakasaya ko kaya lagi akong nakakatanggap ng award.”
Coco currently stars in the top-rating ABS-CBN primetime teleserye Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, and because of the hectic taping schedule for this teleserye, he explained that he barely has time to do other projects, specifically independent movies. His TV work was also the reason he had to turn down the role in Brillante Mendoza’s film Prey which also stars French actress Isabelle Huppert. Sid Lucero was then hired to take over the role intended for Coco.
“Si Direk Brillante na talaga ang kinonsulta ko tungkol sa sitwasyon ko ngayon sa TV at dun sa pelikulang dapat gagawin namin. Sinabi ko na sa kanya na ayoko namang mawalan ng trabaho ‘yung mga kasamahan ko sa teleserye dahil lang umaalis alis ako para gumawa ng ibang pelikula. Ayokong natitigil sila o naghihintay. Alam ko naman na mahirap ang buhay ngayon. Ayoko maging selfish. Ako na ang nag-sacrifice. Alam ko namang makakagawa pa kami ni Direk ng iba pang pelikula.”
Coco was the lead star in the 2009 film Kinatay which earned Direk Brillante the Best Director award from the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The two had collaborated on other past indie movies like Masahista, Tirador, and Serbis. Coco explained that Direk Brillante was very understanding about him turning down the role in Prey. “Naintindihan naman niya agad ‘yung dahilan ko. Siya na agad ‘yung nagsabi na ibang pelikula na lang ‘yung gawin namin.”
The 29-year-old actor added that though he has successfully crossed over from indie movies to mainstream TV, he is still very much willing to act in small-budget films for as long as the material appeals to him. “May mga projects na pino-propose sa akin pero pinagaaralan ko pa nang maiigi. Kung maganda naman talaga, bakit hindi ko gagawin? Kahit hindi pa ako bayaran. Hindi na importante sa akin ang pera. Ang mahalaga is ‘yung end product.”