2 reasons why Aga Muhlach accepted role as a retired boxer in ‘Suntok sa Buwan’
For him to take on another TV project, actor Aga Muhlach, who has not been seen in a teleserye for a long while, said this has to have two important considerations: That it has to be shot in Baguio City where the weather is cool, and that he has to play a conflicted and impoverished character.
Aga said he agreed to do Geo Lomuntad’s “Suntok sa Buwan,” which began airing on July 18 on TV5, because both factors on his list were ticked off.
Shot in the City of Pines, the series features Aga as Jimmy Boy, a retired boxer who is diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. He is conscientiously training his son, Dos (Elijah Canlas), to fight and become a professional boxer as well.
“I remember that it was in a Zoom meeting when this was offered to me. I immediately fell in love with the story. I thought it was different and that the role suited me. I also felt confident that I could portray it. At the same time, I felt happy that Baguio was our set location. In my mind, I said, ‘This is unbelievable!’ After that Zoom meeting, the rest is history,” Aga, who was in Baguio, told reporters during a recently virtual media gathering.
“We’re here now and we’re really excited. I told everyone here with me that we should already give our best at the beginning of taping to make sure that the audience is glued to their screens,” Aga pointed out.
Apparently, this wasn’t the only proof that Aga was very much involved in the series. “I’m actually feeling embarrassed now because I’m aware that I tried to give my suggestions on a lot of aspects of the production—music, editing, scriptwriting and even direction. This isn’t because I want to prove to everyone that I know what I’m doing. I just have this gut feel that this is what my audience would like to see from me.
“I’ve been doing movies all my life, and always, it’s never just about me or what I’ve contributed to the project. It’s about my viewers. I don’t want my efforts to be put to waste if, in the end, viewers realize that they don’t like it, or worst, nobody watches it. My audience is always my priority. I want them to not only understand the story flow, but also to enjoy it,” he stressed.
“This has been my practice then and now. If my ideas don’t work, I can say that, at least, I tried. I’m just applying to this project the things I always do to all my past successful movies,” he explained.
When asked to point out what he thought was the best part about doing “Suntok sa Buwan,” Aga replied: “The best part really was accepting it. I’ll be honest, I was nervous on the first day. I was still trying to feel my way around the set; but because I believed in the project so much, it didn’t take long before I eventually began enjoying it.”
Aga is spending most of his time on the set with Elijah, who at a young age has already won best actor trophies locally and abroad (for Jun Robles Lana’s “Kalel, 15”). Aga admitted that he would be impressed whenever he would sit back and observe how Elijah tried to embody his character.
“Elijah understands his work as an actor and he is really good. To be fair, I was able to work with a lot of talented actors in this industry, but this project is really something good for Elijah. On the set, I would notice that he would really prepare for his scenes. The fact that I know I can rely on Elijah as a coactor made me feel more relaxed working with him,” he said of Elijah.
Aga was never the type who would throw his weight around, he pointed out. “I would never make my coworkers feel as if, ‘O! Ako ang kasama mo!’ I don’t mind adjusting to make others feel comfortable around me. With Elijah, I would always think, ‘He is good. I have to prepare, too, so I don’t embarrass myself.’”
Long, good acting career
Aga added: “Elijah is only 21. If at this age, he already performs this way then I’m sure he will have a long and good acting career ahead of him. I keep telling young actors that as long as they love what they’re doing, as long as they give their best, they will eventually do more, that’s for sure.”
The actor said he considered the role special because, off-cam, boxing is also something that he is very passionate about. “Not a lot of people know this. I hope more people will appreciate the sport through our series. My other goal is to make Elijah really shine as Dos. The whole team is here to give whatever support Elijah needs to be able to play his character more effectively,” Aga said.
“Suntok sa Buwan” airs weekdays, at 7:15 p.m. on TV5. It also features Maris Racal, Albie Casiño, Matet de Leon and Rez Cortez.
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