Eddie Garcia has played a spectrum of characters and undergone numerous reinventions in his illustrious show biz career that spans almost 64 years. He’s been a suave, brooding-voiced ladies’ man, a mustachioed villain, a wisecracking action star and a closeted gay man, among many others.
At a recent press con for his participation in ABS-CBN’s action-fantasy series “Juan de la Cruz,” Eddie was a dashing comic in a pinstripe suit, whose innate charm and mischievous humor had everyone in stitches.
It didn’t take long and it didn’t take a lot of words for Eddie to have the ball rolling. Asked in Bicolano how Manoy is doing these days, his swift and unabashed response brought the house down: “Mabuti naman … Tumutuka-tuka pa!”
And when he proudly announced that he’s been in the biz for more than six decades already, he jested: “I was already in the industry when most of you were just gleams on your fathers’ eyes!”
Here are excerpts from the press’ freewheeling chat with Eddie:
You’re turning 84 this May. How do you stay healthy and strong?
A lot of you are wondering about that. Ipinaglihi kasi ako sa sanggol. At puro ka-anghelan ang ginagawa ko ! If I don’t have taping I exercise and read. I watch my diet. I’m not into meat that much and I prefer eating fish and vegetables. I sleep early and I don’t have any vices.
Doing a TV series is grueling. How do you think you’ll manage?
I’m used to it—no problem. Anyway, we spend more time waiting during tapings.
Do you still have a dream role after more than six decades in the biz?
I don’t think about the roles I want to play in the future. Dreaming about roles that won’t materialize is just a waste of time. I just wait for offers to come.
How do you attack your roles, and do you have difficulty separating yourself from the character?
I just read and study the script and go from there. I always leave my character on the set.
You were one of the most handsome actors back then. So how many actresses of Sampaguita Pictures have you seduced in your heyday?
Mahina si Manoy, paisa-isa lang! I didn’t seduce any actress. Sabi ko nga puro ka-anghelan ako dati! If there’s any, it will come out. If there’s no smoke, there’s no fire!
Malou Sevilla, your director in “Juan de la Cruz,” is quite young. How do you make your coworkers feel comfortable with you?
I don’t intend to intimidate anyone. When I come to the set, I’m an actor playing a role. I don’t meddle with the director. He or she is the captain of the ship. I don’t try to take over. I don’t argue. I simply follow what is asked of me.
Have you undergone any cosmetic surgery?
I don’t have any plans. You don’t need surgery. All you have to do is get clothespins and clip them on your nape before sleeping! Your wrinkles will disappear!
How about stem cell therapy?
No, it scares me.
What’s your take on getting old?
It’s something you can’t avoid. It will come eventually. You just have to accept it.
What’s the secret to your longevity (in show biz)?
I see acting and directing as jobs, and I make the most out of them. I see to it that I give credible performances. Do your best no matter how big or small your role is because a good performance is always the best recommendation for another role.