MANILA, Philippines – It's not only the tandem of James Reid and Nadine Lustre that fans are excited about in Till I Met You. JC Santos is getting a lot of buzz as Ali, the best friend of Iris (Nadine), and who forms one of the parties in the central love triangle in the show. (IN PHOTOS: JaDine, cast of 'Till I Met You')
Let's get to know him a little better with a few fun facts about the rising star:
1. JC's family is from Pampanga and his parents are overseas workers. In an interview with Inside Showbiz, JC shared that his parents are working abroad.
"My dad is a seaman. My mom is an OFW based in Las Vegas. Laking OFW ako. My mom left when I was 15. Lumaki ako na seaman na ‘yung dad ko. Umuuwi siya every 3 months. Ganoon ko sila nakasama,” he said.
(I was raised in an OFW family. My mom left when I was 15. I grew up with my dad already working as a seaman. He comes home every 3 months. That's how I grew up with them.)
His family is from Pampanga and he also has a sister, who is graduating from school with a degree in architecture.
2. He started his career in theater. At the press conference for Till I Met You last August 28, JC shared how he got started in the industry.
"Nag start ako [as] a theater actor in UP Diliman. So nag two years po ako sa UP Diliman and then went to Hong Kong Disneyland and I went to Universal Studios in Singapore," he said.
(I started as a theater actor in UP Diliman. I studied in UP Diliman for two years and then went to Hong Kong Disneyland and I went to Universal Studios in Singapore.)
"I was a singer-dancer in Hong Kong. Naging singer din po ako sa Universal Studios. Nag-aral din naman ako ng musical theater sa New York. Tapos bumalik po ako dito dahil gusto ko po maging actor."
(I was a singer-dancer in Hong Kong. I was also a singer in Universal Studios. I also studied musical theater in New York. After that, I decided to go home because wanted to become an actor.)
@Regrann from @anaabadsantos - Catch Cris Villonco and JC Santos in Red Turnip’s 3rd Season finale! Nick Payne's CONSTELLATIONS is "an explosive play about the boundless potential of a first encounter, free will, and friendship." Directed by Rem Zamora. Opens February 12 and runs until March 6 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater in Circuit Makati. Level 2, Circuit Lane, A.P. Reyes Ave., Makati City. Tickets available at all TicketWorld Manila outlets, https://www.ticketworld.com.ph/Online/constellations, or call 891-9999. Email email@example.com for more information. #Regrann A photo posted by JC Santos (@j.c.santos) on Jan 13, 2016 at 5:20am PST
#UniversalStudiosSingapore #2010 #DaddyOs A photo posted by JC Santos (@j.c.santos) on May 29, 2013 at 11:27pm PDT
3. He appeared in bit roles on television and movies. Before landing the role of Ali, JC already started in television and with independent movies. Among the shows he appeared include Floredeliza, Tubig at Langis and Magpakailanman. In movies, he played roles in Esprit de Corps and The Janitor.
#EspritdeCorps Poster by @princeptional ! :) A photo posted by JC Santos (@j.c.santos) on Oct 12, 2014 at 10:40pm PDT
@Regrann from @talabscbn - May nagbabadyang kapahamakan kay Jaime mula sa responsibilidad na iniwan nya sa Australia. Abangan mamaya sa #TALdesperada #Regrann A photo posted by JC Santos (@j.c.santos) on May 23, 2016 at 9:00pm PDT
4. How he got the role of Ali. According to JC, he was invited to audition for the role of Ali. After knowing about Ali's character, he was given a script during day 2 of the audition, where director Antoinette Jadaone was present.
"Nung time na iyon iniexpect ko na okay na ako, kung aawayin ko lang si James Reid dito. Kasi usually po, iyan yung nakukuha kong role, pero this time, gulat na gulat po ako, hindi ako makapaniwala na isa ako sa mga bida. At nagpapasalamat po ako sa pagtitiwala talaga," he said.
(That time, I was expecting, that I was okay if I was going to bully James Reid here. Because usually, that the role I get, but this time I was really surprised, I could not believe it because I one of the lead stars. And I'm very thankful for the trust they gave me.)
5. He's in a relationship. JC has been in a relationship with theater actress Teetin Villanueva for 3 years. In an interview with the Inquirer last February, the two shared that they got to know each other while doing the Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas's (DUP) play Adarna.
:) A video posted by Teetin Villanueva (@teetinv) on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:52pm PDT
6. JC considers Ali a life-changing role in his career. At the press conference, JC was asked if he had a hard time playing Ali. The actor said yes because it the most "challenging role" he's played so far in his career.
While the complete story hasn't yet been revealed, the teasers have hinted at an LGBT love triangle.
At the presscon, JC was asked how he felt about taking on such a big role early in his career and about the possibility of being typecast later on.
"I don't mind. I'm fine. Okay naman ako eh basta may role, gusto ko game. Ganun lang naman ako," JC said about playing the role. (I'm okay with for as long there is a role, I like it, game.)
But in his interview with Inside Showbiz, JC admitted to having some worries about the role.
“Kinausap ko pa ‘yung manager ko, Kuya Andoy [director Andoy Ranay], it’s another gay role,” he said.
(Actually I thought twice about it. I even talked to my manager. Kuya Andoy, it's another gay role.)
According to a press release from ABS-CBN's PR website, JC played the role of a gay best friend in Ipaglaban Mo. He also appeared in a a short film called Basaan, which had an LGBT-oriented storyline.
“Pinag-isipan namin. Na-convince ako ni Direk Andoy to do it kasi bida naman ‘yung role and kung ano man, before that, laging ang mga roles ko sa ABS-CBN, laging nang-aaway ng bida. The usual maamong mukha but is the villain.”
(I thought about it. Kuya Andoy convinced me to do it because it was a lead role and before that, my roles in ABS-CBN were always the antagonist to the leads. The usual nice-looking guys, but you find out is the villain.)
In an interview on TV Patrol, he said he's been overwhelmed with the attention he's getting with the role of Ali. Although the show only began airing last August 29, JC said he's happy with how things are going.
"I don't know what's going to happen to me after this, but I'm living the dream," he said.