BACOLOD – One thought occupied GMA 7 actor Alden Richards’ mind – minutes before he went up the stage to perform for Negrense fans during the Bacolaodiat Festival last month.
“I pray that the international screenings of ‘The Road’ will push through soon,” Richards told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He related that the thriller, directed by Yam Laranas, was set to have its international run within this year. “It’s a big deal for us. We’re happy that our movie was noticed by critics abroad. Now we hope more viewers will get to watch our film.”
Laranas confirmed the news that “The Road” will be released in at least “100 cinemas in the United States and Canada sometime in May.”
Also in the works is a “day and date” release on video-on-demand and streaming (which will include Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Facebook, Redbox, among others), Laranas said, adding that “DVD, Blu-Ray, pay-per-view and cable release will immediately follow.”
The filmmaker described the development as a “history-making and pioneering move by GMA Network.”
“This creates awareness for GMA Pinoy TV and will position GMA Films in the international arena,” Laranas explained.
Richards is excited about the impending North American release of “The Road.”
“We worked so hard during the shoot. I’m both surprised and gratified that our film has gone so far,” the young actor remarked.
Laranas said Richards is “serious” about his craft. “He took a risk in this film and it paid off. Most young stars would rather do pa-cute and teenybopper roles. Not Alden. He can certainly become any character he chooses to portray.”
In “The Road,” Richards plays a demented sadist – the silent and deadly type.
It was quite a departure for him, he admitted. “I felt that I was able to accomplish something worthwhile, though.”
He is glad that fans didn’t turn their backs on him even though he played a villain. At the Bacolod fest, he was greeted by swooning girls and gays.
He feels strongly about joining the network’s road tour because it allows him to introduce himself to fans all over the country. “I’ve been to Iloilo, Davao, Cebu, Laoag.”
Next stop for him is the prime-time soap “My Beloved,” top-billed by Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes.
He hopes to do indie films in the future, too. “I saw Coco Martin in ‘Noy.’ I also caught excerpts of ‘Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington’ on YouTube.”
Although he feels he’s not yet that ready to play gay roles, he’s up for any challenge.