I’ve known Richard Gomez ever since his early years in the biz. His manager, Tito Dougs (Douglas Quijano) and my mom were the best of friends. Celebs would come in and out of our place to pay my mom a visit.
Goma is one of the few actors who really has such a striking presence even when he was still a newbie. After all these years, the Adonis of local show biz could still knock us off our feet. Taller, darker and handsomer than ever…
What do you think is the secret of your staying power in the biz?
I really can’t say for sure. But even very early on I realized that longevity is very important in show business. An actor will not get to enjoy that if he were to rely on looks and luck alone. Real talent is what makes you stay and survive so I always give it my all. That is the training I got from my lola. She always taught me to give my 100 percent in all that I do. I am also blessed to have been given the chance to work with the best talents in the industry—coactors, directors, producers, crew. I love my work and when you love something it loves you back.
Tell us about your coming movie with Dawn Zulueta and John Lloyd Cruz?
It is a love story. [It tells] how the harsh realities of life can bring back the love they (the couple) had found but lost somewhere along the way.
What makes your love team with Dawn still click after all these years?
Maybe the fact that we were once upon a time a real-life couple and the fact that we have remained friends. A big part in resurrecting our love team was the success of “Walang Hanggan.”
How does your wife Lucy manage to remain unaffected by your love team and on-screen chemistry with Dawn considering that Dawn and you used to be a couple?
Lucy understands my work as an actor. And she has openly said that she is a Richard-Dawn fan.
What’s the secret of aging gracefully?
Positive thinking, the Avon Anew face cream that Lucy has positioned on my bedside table, the Belo sunblock that Lucy insists I apply before I engage in my outdoor sports, proper diet and lots of physical activity.
How has Lucy “tamed” you?
In so many ways! We complement each other in more ways than one. We talk about what’s good for us, how we can improve ourselves in things we do. We dream together, we laugh together. She also tells me what’s good for me.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
ebay, amazon.com, auctions!
You’ve always been an adventurer. Is there anything you’re afraid to do?
Just don’t bring me close to cockroaches. I hate them!
Are there days when you feel ugly? How do you deal with that?
Hmmm… not much. I smile and bahala na where that smile will take me.
Is there anything that annoys you that you want to get rid of?
My allergy from dust and pollen makes my nose itchy. When cold air hits my chest it makes me cough.
What’s the hardest part of being Richard Gomez?
My being stubborn at times [and] my low tolerance for inefficiency, although that has been tempered significantly through the years.
What’s the best thing about being Richard Gomez?
My positivity and I always stay on the fun side of life.
What was the worst intrigue about you and how did you handle it?
So many na, I can’t even remember which one hurt me the most. But I’ve always been one to count my blessings so in that sense no intrigue will succeed in having absolute power over me.
What would you want to change in the show biz system?
It is fun the way it is. It’s survival when you’re down. It’s party time when you are up.
What was the turning point of your career and your personal life?
I would say “Palibhasa Lalake” was a turning point. It affirmed that we (the show’s lead actors) had made it. We were just having fun on TV, and maybe that translated so well to the viewers that they ended up having just as much fun watching as we did. It was a reality show of sorts, kahit di pa uso ’yung reality show because there were many times when we veered away from the script. The Bench rowing ad was also a turning point. It was a very memorable campaign.
My personal life? That would have to be when I married Lucy. I knew then that my life would never be the same again. My sense of responsibility and purpose just became deeper instantly. Life became bigger, more beautiful.
What was a life-changing moment for you?
Juliana’s birth. I was with Lucy in the delivery room and I saw this tiny person come out into the world. I was never into kids before but at that very moment my capacity to love just grew exponentially.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
A lot. Although I am not very easily embarrassed, honestly Hahaha! I know how to let things roll off my back.
You’ve come a long hard way to get to where you are now. What are the most significant lessons you learned in your journey?
The cliché—“Make hay while the sun is gay” is very true. Save. Have a body of work that you can be proud of. Take nothing for granted, count your blessings. Be good to people. Enjoy life.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a good friend—somebody who cares for others and someone who loves and knows how to have fun.
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PERSONAL: Happy birthday to my beloved friend from way back, Louie Heredia!