Currently shooting his first international film Glitter and Doom in Mexico City this month, actor Alex Diaz shared his experience being the only Filipino cast member in the whole production.
“The biggest difference from local productions siguro is that I was the only Filipino so navigating this landscape and the trials of work while not knowing how to speak Spanish was interesting! I realized that in the Philippines we have this deeply rooted Asian culture of not speaking up too much for fear of being branded as ‘difficult’ or ‘mahirap katrabaho’ which may lead us to lose more opportunities whereas having observed my co-stars from different countries out here, there is a standard of voicing out concerns that inhibit them from performing properly on set—it’s even encouraged. Though at the same time there is also an expectation to know your work as an actor inside and out.
“Things move very fast out here and there’s very little tolerance for time delays on anyone’s part. It’s been a great lesson in work ethic. However, the production team and crew is very much like in the Philippines. Everyone is very kind from every department. We have become very close, very quickly. Language is not a barrier to a kind heart,” he shared in an exclusive interview with PUSH.
The 27-year-old actor, who came out as bisexual in 2019, said he looks forward to auditioning for more diverse roles in and outside the country in the coming years.
“I would like to continue working on international films and hopefully be given more trust locally to do bigger projects without being put in a box because of my sexuality. I’d like to see more diverse content in the Philippines, especially for non-heterosexual people. I think it’s time to graduate from just telling coming-out stories or love stories on-screen and to start assimilating the diversity of Filipino culture and the creativity of non-mainstream writers into the kind of content Filipinos consume. As for me, we’ll see what the future holds! My biggest challenge from this project was definitely the circus acts that included fire. My biggest takeaway from this project is my renewed confidence in my talent and discipline,” he shared.
Having spent the lockdown last year in Manila, Alex explained why he has also become more vocal about sharing his political beliefs and social commentary.
“The pandemic alone has challenged myself and so many people mentally, physically and spiritually on a global scale. Locally, not only have we struggled with this deadly virus but we are also at the mercy of our administrations ‘Strong Men’. The poor pandemic response from many in our government has not only crippled and killed so many people but it has also destroyed so many dreams.
“After such a challenging time, it has further ignited my love for my country which is why I’ve been more vocal about my political views. The Filipino people deserve the very best pandemic response and governance. We deserve to see our tax-paid money going to real solutions, we deserve complete transparency and true public servants. I am not the same. I am different. So different. So much wiser, so much more brave and so much more secure in myself and my craft,” he said.
As for the upcoming holidays, the Cornerstone Entertainment artist said he can’t wait to be back with his loved ones after shooting for almost a month in Mexico City.
“I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family both in the Philippines and in Canada. I’m looking forward to seeing my two cats and my dog, my friends and loved ones and also my management,” he added.
Glitter and Doom is directed by Tom Gustafson from a screenplay by Cory Krueckeberg. It stars Alex Diaz, Alan Cammish, Mina-Na Wen, Missi Pyle, Tig Notaro, Lea DeLaria, and Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the American folk rock duo Indigo Girls.