Known mostly for doing comic roles in films like Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap and Jack em Popoy: The Puliscredibles, Jelson Bay tries his hand in the light family drama Finding Agnes this year where he plays the role of successful businessman Brix who searches for the reason why him mom Agnes walked out on him and his father when he was a young boy.
The 42-year-old Finding Agnes star started out in acting on stage through the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) resident theater group Tanghalang Pilipino.
“I think si Brix yung drama niya sa buhay ginawa niyang hagdanan yun eh. I think kaya siya ganun eh, pagdating sa goal niya, cold-blooded siya sa drama. Isang tabi natin yan kasi kailangan may mangyari. Eh ako ganun din, kapag may gusto akong puntahan, pagka may family matters na, teka muna. Pag dun siya pupunta, dun siya pupunta. Serious siya. Pero si Brix kahit ganun siya ka-stiff, expressive naman siya. Yun yung nagustuhan ko kay Brix eh. It was very challenging. At the same time fun naman kasi na-realize ko na kaya ko naman pala din. Kumbaga nagkaroon ng statement,” he shared.
In the search to know more about why his mother went missing for a big part of his life in the film, Brix admitted he had to unearth painful memories from his own childhood in order to create a believable performance onscreen.
“Yung mga hinanakit mo nung bata ka, kailangan mong hiramin ulit. Even yung I imagine my mom black and blue because of my stepfather, kailangan kong balikan. Yung mga naipagpag mo na sa buhay, kailangan mong balikan ulit para maging mabigat ulit. Mahirap yun eh kasi pag dumikit ulit yun eh babalik ulit sa ‘yo. Lalo na yung mga visual mo nung bata, malinaw yun eh. For me yun yung pinakamahirap. At saka kumain ng shawarma ng isang linggo,” he explained.
Viewers of the film online will have a lot to think about when it comes to their personal and professional success according to Jelson.
“After watching the film idi-define mo yung success. Ano ba yung success di ba? Yung statement ng film is yung success nasa loob eh, yung kapayapaan mo and picking up the pieces of yung kapayapaan mo sa buhay. At saka yung origin mo, bilang Pilipino until now hinahanap mo yun eh, yung origin mo. That’s why you lost your nationalism di ba? Kasi nga medyo lost ka dun eh. Kaya kailangan mong balikan yun kung saan ka galing. Pag di mo alam yung pinagmulan mo, sabaw ka nun eh,” he said.
The film was partly shot in Morocco which Jelson said is one of the most beautiful places he has ever visited and enjoyed the cool weather. “Para silang may national aircon. At saka yung lugar nila, kahit hindi ka photographer, pag nag-picture ka para kang photographer. Kasi parang lahat art eh. Galing! May mga nagbebenta doon ng mga giveaway, para lang maka-connect sa amin, sinasabihan kami ng, ‘Philippines! 7,000 islands!’ Gumaganun sila. Sabi ko yung 7,000 bawas na islands natin (laughs),” he adds.
Finding Agnes is now available on Netflix.