Gerald Anderson admits playing a gay man was also one of his dream roles.
In a press conference held inside the ABS-CBN compound on December 10, actor Gerald Anderson said that his role in the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya
(MMK) that will be shown this Saturday, December 12, is challenging for him because he will be portraying the role of Bert, a gay elementary teacher that was diagnosed with X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP) at the age of 33.
He shared that before shooting for the episode he was able to meet Bert in his house and had a talkwith him. Gerald described Bert as a very positive person despite his illness. Bert never had a boyfriend for his focus was purely on his family.
Gerald then told the press that his portrayal in the now defunct series Budoy is different in his character in MMK.
“Malaki [ang difference], not even, not even [close] malayo siya actually mas malapit pa siya dun sa isang episode na ginawa ko ito kasi involuntary movement of the muscles so hindi po niya kontrolado yung nangyayari sa kanya, Budoy is a special child but it was very challenging for me kasi it could look the same but inalalayan naman po ako ng staff, ni direk (Nuel Naval), may doctor po kaming kasama sa set.”
He also added that one of his dream roles was to play a gay character.
“It’s a very challenging episode para sa’kin dahil may XDP po ‘yung character ko at bading siya so ito po ‘yung first gay role ko tapos nagkasakit pa siya,” he said.
When asked about his experience in doing the character he answered, “Masaya, unique, kakaiba yung ano eh, actually dream role ko rin ‘yun hindi ko lang in-expect na may ganung challenge pang kasama, XDP na kasama sa first gay role ko pero gusto ko maranasan yung nararanasan ng mga gays, kung ano ‘yung pakiramdam nila everyday.”
In Gerald’s previous interviews, he stated that his plan was to clear out his December schedule to make time for a vacation with his family but this MMK role was an exception. He then explained why he said “yes” to this project.
“Hindi ko po alam kung ako ‘yung first [choice] pero sobra po akong nagpapasalamat na sa akin po binigay. Actually naka vacation mode na po ako eh, like I said sa mga previous interviews ko hiningi ko ‘yung December para mag vacation and nung in-offer sa akin ‘to [it] was 3 hours before the flight, may flight ako papuntang Guam napa-oo kaagad ako kasi ang ganda ng storya, kung baga na drawn kaagad ako sa energy ng story, sa character niya and sa mga posibleng pwedeng mangyari.”
This episode also aims is to raise awareness for the XDP or also known as Lubag Syndrome. During the press conference, it was announced that there will be a fundraising for the Lubag Syndrome patients and Bert will be the face of the said movement.
Gerald said that they wanted to help remove the stigma for the patients. Based on scientific research, Filipino men are more prone to this illness and the symptoms usually show when they are 30 years old and up. It is also hereditary and as of the moment there is still no cure for this illness.