After having won his first international award as Best Actor in a Leading Role at this year’s Asian Academy Creative Awards for his role in the iWant digital series Bagman, Arjo Atayde said it was an unexpected blessing considering he wanted to quit showbiz already earlier this year partly because of the ABS-CBN shutdown last July.
“Siguro given everything that’s happened, it affected me so much that I was just like, ‘You know what, I’m out. I don’t want it anymore.’ I don’t want to do showbiz because of this damage that they’ve done because it was this massive damage not only to me but to a lot of people. Ayoko ng pahabain basta I was just so affected that I wanted to quit and then I actually told several people already. It was already maybe one last year in my head. I was thinking, ‘This is just crazy. I can’t accept it. It’s either were complete or I don’t want na,’ parang ganun.
“And then I didn’t even ask for a sign. This is it. I was just hopeless. And I always tell people, despite the negativity I had, I just keep staying positive. It was so hard to stay positive. But you have to, you have no choice. So that’s the story behind that and I’m just thankful for my support system, for my cousins, my sisters, my family, and everyone who believes in me. They were like, ‘Don’t do it. Think about it. Don’t do it.’ And then it worked,” he shared.
Winning the award ended up being the sign Arjo was looking for to keep him from saying goodbye to acting altogether. The 30-year-old actor admits his only plan after showbiz was to get into business.
“I didn’t even ask for a sign. This is the biggest sign. This just came up. It was amazing. I can’t even explain of how it began nine or eight years ago, it’s crazy,” he said.
After receiving the award, Arjo said he is not pushing through with his initial plans. “I wasn’t fighting it. It wasn’t a decision na talaga. I was slowly accepting it in a way until this happened. But I don’t think I’m going to stop any time soon. So I’m going to continue learning because it’s what keeps me alive anyway, this acting. So I’ll stick to it,” he admitted.
Having done roles that range from drama to action to thrillers, Arjo said he does not want to ever be typecast in doing just one genre. “I would do whatever genre they want me to do. I will never get stuck doing just that. Hopefully I get to explore more, I get to learn more, and I get to widen my range from there. Whatever way it is, you’d grow but it’s slower than you should. I think learning always has to do with just unlearning what you learned and start from scratch and just do another character. And that’s the most interesting thing I have to say about my eight years, all those characters,” he explained.