Filmmaker Mike de Leon took a risk when he chose real-life journalist Atom Araullo to portray the role of a reporter in his comeback film Citizen Jake. After several meetings, Mike finally announced that Atom is “firmly on board, having been given the all clear by his bosses” in ABS-CBN.
“I just couldn’t say no to Mike de Leon. I am taking this leap of faith because I believe in his ability to produce films of exceptional quality that are always imbued with social relevance,” Atom told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Atom would not only be an actor but would also contribute to the “creation of the screenplay” with reporter and writer Noel Pascual. Atom also shared some of his ideas to Mike.
“Our discussions have been rather intense, but enjoyable. Mike is a genius obviously, and I’m just trying my best to keep up. I really appreciate the trust he has given me in helping shape the script and its message,” Atom said.
On the other hand, Mike described the reporter as “a very intelligent person, with a deep social conscience—and he writes very well.”
The director also stressed that he doesn’t consider Atom a part of showbiz.
“Atom is not show biz. In the film, I am not using ‘starring Atom Araullo’…but ‘featuring Atom Araullo,’ instead,” he said.
“This is a strange, but interesting experience for me…not only because it will probably be my last film, but because I’ve got an interesting subject matter,” he added.
The title of his film refers to “the world of citizen journalists, social media and politics.”