Leo Martinez considers retirement ‘an ordeal’


‘ACTING is my life.’

In the black comedy movie “Tuhog,” actor Leo Martinez plays an old family man who finds himself jumping out of bed at the sound of a ringing alarm clock every morning, only to be reminded at the breakfast table that he had long retired from his job.

Though he thoroughly enjoyed playing the role and being in the shoes of someone seeking self-fulfillment after retirement, Martinez said that he didn’t want to go through such an ordeal in real life.

“I’m lucky there’s no such thing as ‘retirement’ here in show biz. Otherwise, do I just spend the days drinking?” he told the Inquirer in jest.

Martinez has been acting professionally for over 45 years now, and has no intention of hanging up his boots anytime soon—or ever. “I don’t see myself retiring. Acting is my life, and I will continue to do it as long as I can. Look at Eddie Garcia,” said Martinez, who started as a theater actor. He cofounded Repertory Philippines in 1967.

The veteran star has been quite busy lately. Aside from “Tuhog,” Martinez is also part of the GMA 7 afternoon drama “Kakambal ni Eliana,” and appeared in recent films such as “On the Job,” which was shown in the Director’s Fortnight of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and “Alagwa.”

“I’ve also finished shooting ‘Ibong Adarna,’ directed by Jun Urbano,” reported Martinez, director general of the Film Academy of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Martinez enjoys teaching the craft, and sharing his wealth of experience with young actors, as much as he loves acting in front of the cameras or onstage.

“If I can contribute anything to the industry, it would be teaching. It’s my way of giving back,” said Martinez, adding that one of his goals was to craft an acting/education program for local TV networks.

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