Actor Gerald Anderson, who broke up with girlfriend Kim Chiu last year, is convinced that they’re better off as friends.
“We used to spend a lot of time together, kaya halos wala nang mapag-usapan,” says the star of ABS-CBN’s “Budoy” drama series. “Now our phone conversations are more substantial. We keep each other updated about work.”
Gerald and Kim were both contestants on the first season of “Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition,” which Kim won. They first worked professionally in the movie, “First Day High,” in 2006. They went on to appear in more TV shows and films, the last of which was the romantic drama, “Till My Heartaches End,” in October 2010.
“I still miss her,” admits Gerald. “Malalim ang pinagsamahan namin. I’m often asked whether a reconciliation is possible and I keep saying, ‘We’ll see…’ We really can’t tell. This space from each other is doing us good. It seems we’re better off as friends.”
Gerald points out that he still gets to be with Kim on the Sunday variety show “ASAP.” He adds, “I hope we could go out soon, but we’re both busy—she’s doing ‘My Binondo Girl’ (where Kim plays sister and brother Jade and Yuan.) She’s so handsome (as Yuan). Nakaka-insecure.”
Love is not his current priority, Gerald, 22, says. “I’m open to it; I just don’t have time right now. But if I come across someone I like, I will not stop myself.”
The actor says his attention is focused on making “Budoy” engaging for TV audiences. “It’s a good project. I said yes to it immediately and lost no time in researching.”
Gerald shed 15 lbs, grew his hair and now has to wear thicker brows and fake teeth to transform into the mentally challenged Budoy Reyes. He watched over 20 movies on the subject, among them “Rain Man,” “I Am Sam,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “Of Mice and Men,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Powder.”
In the mood
Initially, he confessed, he didn’t know how to attack the character. “Once I got the hang of it, it was smooth-sailing. I’m more in the mood to work now because I receive praise from colleagues.”
Gerald also visited a school for special children in Montalban, Rizal. “I observed them in class. I talked to some of them, their parents and their yayas. I wanted to learn how the kids behave when they’re at home and when they’re in public places.”
He finds his leading lady, Jessy Mendiola, “refreshing.” He adds, “She’s professional, quiet, but sometimes, makulit din.”
He says directors Ruel S. Bayani and Tots Sanchez are very supportive. “Direk Ruel was my mentor when I did ‘Tayong Dalawa.’ I learned a lot from him. He and Tots are very keen on details. They let me be, but they watch my every move.”
Gerald considers himself lucky to be working with a formidable cast that includes Zsazsa Padilla, Tirso Cruz III, Christopher de Leon, Mylene Dizon, Enrique Gil and Janice de Belen. “Tita Janice brings food for everybody. She’s very kind.”
(“Budoy” airs weeknights after “100 Days to Heaven” on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.)