Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Indie Bravo!

John Lloyd on int’l nod: It utterly blew my mind

/ 12:40 AM January 26, 2018

In Venice for “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (from left): John Lloyd Cruz, Charo Santos and Lav Diaz —BABY K. JIMENEZ

John Lloyd Cruz believes this latest blessing, a nomination for best supporting actor from the International Cinephile Society, is personally and professionally significant—if only for the chance to be mentioned in the same breath as an Oscar-winning legend.

“I think this is the closest I’ll get to Daniel Day-Lewis,” John Lloyd sheepishly told the Inquirer via text message.


John Lloyd scored a nomination for best supporting actor for Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” while his acting idol got a nod for best actor for his work in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread.” (The English actor received his sixth Oscar nom for the same film this year.)

“It is totally unbelievable,” John Lloyd said of the citation from the critics’ group. “It utterly blew my mind, and it’s profoundly humbling.”


John Lloyd, who is currently on a hiatus from show business, explained his mixed feelings about the international recognition. “To be completely honest, I never thought of reaching this honorable moment in my career through ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo.’”

He pointed out that, for him, the creative process was more important than the critical plaudits.

“The magic isn’t really here right now,” he clarified. “The real essence of the experience I shared with Lav Diaz happened during the process of preparation. It was during the time when I was doing all I can to lose myself into the character.”

The matinee idol, who has built a career playing charming swains in romantic comedies, went against type and valiantly played transgender streetwalker Hollanda in “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” which won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2016.

Transforming himself into the troubled, tragic character was a mighty challenge, he admitted.

“It was tough. I wish I could do it all over again,” he remarked. “But that kind of magic you can never simulate or recreate. That kind of magic is something special and sometimes rare.”

He noted: “I am truly honored by the nomination. I feel like I’ve already won something [just] reading my name alongside such important [artists] in filmmaking.”


The other nominees in the supporting actor category are Willem Dafoe for “The Florida Project” (who also got an Oscar nod for the same role), Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg for “Call Me by Your Name,” Barry Keoghan for “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and Arnaud Valois for “BPM.”

John Lloyd is the only Asian actor on the list.

John Lloyd asserted, however: “Awards and recognitions are just mere celebrations of taste and execution. I am after the rare kind of magic.”

“Ang Babaeng Humayo” also received nods in two other categories: best foreign language film (or film not in the English language) and best adapted screenplay (for writer-director Lav Diaz).

Established in 2003, the International Cinephile Society is an online group composed of a hundred journalists, film scholars, historians and other industry professionals from all over the world—from countries as diverse, such as Serbia, the United States, Peru and France.

Winners in the 15th ICS Awards will be announced on Feb. 4.

As Lav Diaz’s latest film, “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw,” premieres in the Berlinale’s main tilt next month, “Ang Babaeng Humayo” is also having a theatrical run throughout Germany at the same time.

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