After more than two decades in showbiz, Cris Villanueva said he always considers it a blessing when he is given a new and challenging project just like his role in the hit horror flick Maria Leonora Teresa. “When first offered the role I was very, very excited. I thought I was very lucky kasi actually nung kinu-kuwento sa akin yung story and I was chosen na, when they first suggested my name, marami yata kami eh. I felt really lucky. Ang role ko dito ay si Manolo, isa akong psychiatrist na nag-suggest na para mawala yung pangungulila nila sa mga anak nila ay palitan ng doll. Nung una hindi tinanggap yung tulong kasi di ba weird naman talaga na merong lalapit sa iyo na tanggapin yung isang manika kapalit yung anak mo, parang ganun. Para makalimutan mo yung anak mo, manika na lang. Yung mga babae hindi nila matanggap yung idea,” he said.
Even though his last project under Star Cinema was also in the same genre, Cris said they are two very different storylines. “My last movie was The Healing na horror din and from doing that to Maria Leonora Teresa, both are great projects. The other one maganda rin yung role but this one is different because this one has a twist and I liked it very much. Isa akong psychiatrist na ako yung nag-suggest na magkuha sila ng doll para mawala yung pangungulila sa mga babies nila,” he explained.
Although he rarely does movies anymore, the former matinee idol said he is always thankful to his loyal supporters. “Hindi ako masyado visible sa big screen pero I'm always on TV. Actually ngayon lang ako napahinga after eight years na dire-diretso with teleserye. Napahinga ako kasi I was concentrating on a film. Thank you very much that your still there and you trust me. I still get compliments kapag nakakabunggo ko isang tao sa labas, they say they like how I do my work. Thank you very much form my bottom of my heart kasi talagang pinaghihirapan ko yun eh,” he added.
Outside showbiz, Cris admitted he enjoys indulging in his other artistic pursuits. “I also do paintings. I normally do exhibits also. But the last exhibit I did was a very long time ago because I haven't been concentrating on it. I do a piece at a time now parang minsan minsan. My medium is oil on canvas. Sometimes kasi nakaka-miss gawin eh. I don't have the time but I still do one every six months, ganyan,” he admitted.
The accomplished father of five said he also feels very fulfilled at home. “My family life is great. Parang ngayon marami pa akong natututunan up to this date sa mga anak ko. I have five kids. Three boys and two girls [aged] 21 years old to one who just turned six years old this July,” he shared.
At 40 years old, Cris said the secret to his youthful look isn't just about working out regularly. “I still do gym. Actually ngayon mas active ako. I do cross-training for the past two months straight na three times a week. I don't really do lifting, but I do a lot of cardio exercises. But I think just staying happy and easily accepting things. Sa akin kasi, ‘pag may masamang nangyari, I just accept it as if it's meant to happen,” he said.
The Maria Leonora Teresa actor also shared that keeping in touch with old friends in showbiz also helps keep him positive. “Actually I still meet up with sila Romnick Sarmenta. Talagang best friend ko yan si Romnick eh. We don't see each other as much but the last time we saw each other parang two weeks ago we had dinner together to catch up,” he said.