JC de Vera on drug pusher role, war on drugs
MANILA, Philippines – Actor JC de Vera is set to star in a movie as a gay drug pusher who spends 5 years in jail.
Best. Partee. Ever., which is one of the films in the Circle Competition of the QCinema Film Festival 2016, follows Mikey (JC), who must adapt to life in jail while his case for drug pushing is ongoing.
In an interview with the press after the QCinema press conference on Tuesday, September 27, JC spoke more about the role, which he said he took on because it was out-of-the-box and challenging for him. This is the first time that JC has played a gay character and a drug pusher in a movie.
"'Di ko kasi naimagine ang sarili ko na gumagawa ng isang character na hindi ako talaga kumportable. And 'yun yung first job ko sa paggawa ng film na to na, alam mo yun, kailangan ko gumawa ng something na hindi ako comfortable talaga."
(Because I couldn't imagine myself playing a character that I wasn't comfortable with. And this was my first job in making films where, you know, I had to do something that I wasn't really comfortable with.)
JC shared that he had to rely on the stories of those around him and of director Howard "HF" Yambao, who said during the press conference that the movie was inspired by his experiences with partying when he was younger.
"Mahirap kasi alam ko hindi ako ganoon, diba? Sabi ko, how?" said JC on the challenges of playing Mikey. "Pero yun nga with the help of my director, kinukuwento niya palagi kung ano yung experience and the people around who also dumaan din sa ganoon. So mayroon akong mga tips from them on how to feel, what to feel, yung mga ganyan. Basta masaya ako kasi na-embrace ko siya. Pero sa movie lang ah," he said laughing.
(It was hard, because I know I'm not like that, right? I said, how? But with the help of my director, he would always share his experiences, and the people around who also went through similar experiences. So I had tips from them on how to feel, what to feel, things like that. I'm just happy because I was able to embrace the character. But only in the movie.)
War on drugs
JC was also asked about his thoughts on the administration's war on drugs and its effect on the entertainment industry.
Recently, many celebrities have publicized the results of their drug tests, to prove that they are not involved with illegal drugs.
On the drug tests, JC said he had no problem with it: "Okay siya, I think it's time for everyone to go through that and kung talagang negative ka then siyempre malakas loob mo diba? ... it's time, and naniniwala ako mas maanda ang madudulot nun for everyone."
(It's okay, I think it's time for everyone to go through that and if you're really negative then of course you'll be confident, right? ... It's time, and I believe that it will have a good impact on everyone.)
When asked if he had done a drug test himself, JC answered yes, but did not comment further.
JC is a Star Magic artist, and the management group told Rappler in August that 40 of their artists have undergone voluntary drug tests and tested negative, though they did not name JC specifically.
Following the arrest of radio DJ Karen Bordador, the police have also said that they have a list of celebrity drug users that they will investigate. Actor Robin Padilla has spoken out against publicizing the list of celebrity drug users, arguing that it is the drug pushers who must be punished instead.
When asked about his thoughts on the war on drugs, JC answered, "Mixed emotions kasi for me, honestly may mga type of films na we include drugs in the story and there are some actors actually na hindi nila kayang iportray ganoong klaseng character without trying or using, so I don't know, hindi ko alam yung pakiramdam."
(Mixed emotions, because for me, honestly, there are types of films where we include drugs in the story and there are some actors actually who can't portray that kind of character without trying or using, so I don't know, I don't know how to feel.)
He added that for the his character in Best. Partee. Ever., he would ask for advice from those who have had experience with drugs instead.
During the conference, director HF said that the movie itself is their contribution to the war on drugs: "Siguro ito yung itutulong namin sa war on drugs by educating the youth, na yun yung kabataan ko."
(I guess this is how we can help the war on drugs, by educating the youth, that this was my experience when I was younger.)
Best. Partee. Ever. will screen at the QCinema Film Festival from October 13 to 22, along with 6 other feature films. – Rappler.com