July 18, 2018, 6:23 pm
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Lizardo is a dream role for Jake Cuenca

Jake Cuenca fully immersed himself in his dream role - the Lizardo character - for the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival entry, “Ang Panday.”

“In my fifteen years of acting, this is my favorite role,” says Jake of the devilish Lizardo, the archenemy of Coco Martin’s Flavio III. “I’ve won awards in the States, I’ve won awards abroad, but this is my most favorite yet.”

The preparation was not easy. Cuenca had to create a Lizardo look - complete with his distinct laugh. But he believes it is all worth it. He considers playing Lizardo as an achievement, and credits Coco, also the director and producer of the film, for letting him play the character the Jake Cuenca way. Lizardo is one of the most popular local comic villains and has been essayed by several actors, starting with Max Alvarado to award winners Phillip Salvador and Christopher de Leon. It was tempting to pattern the role on other villains, most noteably Jake’s favorite, the Oscar-winning take of Heath Ledger as Joker.

“The biggest challenge was to come up with something different, something new, that I can give to the viewers. An original performance,” Jake shared.

“And I think I came up with that,” he added. “I’m so happy with what people are saying, congratulating me. I’m so happy about it.”

Lizardo, whom he based on The Doors’ lead singer James Morrison, won’t be the baddie that he is without the perfect hero. Cuenca heaps praise on Coco, calling the latter an actor’s director.

“You can’t do a movie with Coco Martin as an actor and director and not do good.”

He is looking forward to them sparring in the screen again.

“Marami na kaming pinagdaanan,” he said of Coco, “Eversince, first big soap, first break ko sa ABS-CBN was with him. Siya ang kontrabida ko, then ako naging kontrabida nya.

“Sobrang honored ako to do [Panday] with him and I hope to do another movie with him in the future.

“[Since we’ve worked before] There’s so much clarity in his direction and I knew what he wanted right away.”

Will he also try directing in the future?

Yes, he answered.

“But I will study first,” he added.
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