Monday, July 24, 2017

The talented Mr. Martinez

A screengrab from Sir Albert Martinez's first appearance in La Luna Sangre as Prof T.
Recently, I got the chance to visit the set of La Luna Sangre to interview the talented Albert Martinez about his character, Prof T. Read on for a lot of interesting revelations about the show and his bond with KathNiel!

How does it feel to be part of this show?
Honestly, to be part of something with this magnitude is overwhelming. Also, napaka-interesting ng narrative ng soap opera na ito. Magaganda ang takbo ng mga character, kasi bawat isa may kanya-kanyang secret na pwedeng ma-reveal sa proseso ng pagtakbo ng kwento.

Describe your character.
He’s very mysterious. It’s so hard to tell kung black or white character siya. Kaya ako nagkaroon ng interest sa character na ito kasi hindi mo siya ma-timpla. Hindi siya yung klase ng character na pag nakita mo, what you see is what you get. Marami siyang layers na hindi maintindihan ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya. I’m having a great time playing this character because he's unlike anyone I've ever played before.

What’s so different about Prof T compared to your previous roles?
Mysterious siya pero may comedic side siya because of his personality. Ito ang pinakamahirap na ginawa kong role dahil hindi ako comedian. Wala akong inborn talent na magpatawa. So I tried to be as natural as possible and naghanap ako ng magandang peg na pwede kong gawing basis. There are actors I idolize who aren’t comedians but marunong sila magbato ng lines nila in such a way na nakakatawa sila. Like Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars. Yung characters that he plays in those movies are serious at normal kung magbato ng lines, pero ang dating sa audience is nakakatawa. Isa pa, mahirap ito dahil multilayered yung character ko, so ang pinanghawakan ko is his intention, his objective. Kasi kapag nawala yung hawak ko doon, I’ll get confused as an actor.

Tell us a little bit about Prof T’s background. Peel back some of his layers.
Well, parang he’s an overachiever. He studied in Harvard, and he became a scientist at Pennsylvania State University. Natuon na yung attention niya sa biological composition ng mga bampira, so Prof T devoted his life to the study of vampires. Kung bakit, malalaman niyo rin eventually. Maganda ang backstory ni Prof T.

How much of your character’s backstory do you know, and how much of it are you learning at the same time as the viewers?
As far as my character’s backstory, when this project was presented to me, one teleserye’s worth na siya. Ganun na kalalim yung understanding ko sa character na ito. Alam ko na kung anu-ano yung pinanggagalingan niya—yung nakaraan niya, yung connection niya sa mga bampira, lahat. He’s kind of a mad scientist. Kasi meron siyang gustong ma-achieve at gagawin niya ang lahat para doon. He’s the type of person who’s like, ‘Pwede ko nang kalimutan ang lahat basta ma-achieve ko lang ito.’ Not because of his persona, but because of what he’s gone through in life.

Will you be doing any fight scenes?
Actualy, yun nga yung positioning namin as far as this group is concerned. Kami yung pang-action dito sa show. Kung merong army ng mga bampira, ang Moonchasers ang army ng mga humans. Pero yung fight scenes ko may halong humor din. Also, in the future malaaman ng manonood kung bakit skilled fighter si Prof T.

Were you always meant to play Prof T?
I was supposed to play the part of Tristan’s father. Originally yun talaga ang role ko. Unfortunately, nung time na naka-schedule yun, meron na akong ginagawang iba. Hindi kaya ng schedule ko yung sumali sa La Luna Sangre so kinalimutan ko na yun and nag-concentrate ako sa ginagawa ko. Until I believe after the first two weeks of the show, nag-iba sila ng strategy. Ngayon naka-focus na yung kwento sa fight against vampires, kaya naman na-create yung character ni Prof T. 

Why did you choose to use a fake beard when playing Prof T?
At the moment kasi, meron akong ginagawang isa pang project kung saan malinis ang hitsura ko so hindi ako pwede mag-grow ng facial hair. So we decided to use prosthetics na lang. It’s a sacrifice because it takes about an hour and a half to put the full beard on.

In a recent episode, we got a glimpse at a new female character. Is there any connection between her and Prof T?
Ngayon ko lang ito sasabihin. Oo, may direct connection sila, pero nakabalot pa rin ito sa misteryo. Siguro magugulat na lang ang lahat kapag nalaman nila kung sino ba ang babaeng yun at kung ano ang connection niya kay Prof T.

What can you say about Prof T’s relationship with the Moonchasers?
Instrument lang sila for Prof T to achieve his goals. So in a way, he’s just using them. Wala siyang emotional attachment sa Moonchasers. Doon niyo na makikita yung layering niya. Maganda yung pagkakahimay nila ng character. The last time I worked with Kathniel, si Haring Anand was pusong ginto, hindi siya makabasag-pinggan. Punung-puno siya ng pagmamahal sa pamilya niya. Anyway, let’s just move forward. Marami pang revelations. Ayoko naman maging spoiler.

Alright, Sir. How does it feel to be working with KathNiel again?
Long overdue na. Actually, nung natapos nga yung Princess and I, na-miss ko yung team ng buong teleserye na yun. I had been longing na hopefully soon magkasama kaming lahat ulit. Actually, the production staff and most of the actors ng Princess and I nandito, so parang reunion namin ito. It was one of the factors kung bakit ako pumayag na sumali sa show na ito kasi I wanted to work with Daniel and Kathryn again.

What’s the best part of working with KathNiel?
Yung bonding namin nung Princess and I, naging solid. Kaya nung nagkita kami dito, parang nag-continue lang. We were all just so happy to be together again. Mga anak ko na yang dalawang yan eh. Nung ginagawa namin yung Princess and I, mga baby pa lang kasi sina Daniel at Kathryn. Pero ngayon adults na sila pareho, so nakakatuwa rin na they grew up to be very good people. I’m happy na meron na silang sense of awareness, respect and responsibility. They were already professional before, pero lalo na ngayon. Yung passion nilang dalawa for their work is beyond that level na.

Sir Albert as Prof T in a scene with the Moonchasers.
Watch out for Albert Martinez as the enigmatic Prof T in La Luna Sangre, which airs daily after FPJ's Ang Probinsyano. You can also catch the show on iWanTV.

All photos courtesy of La Luna Sangre.

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