Sam Concepcion stars in 3rd season of HBO Asia’s action-fantasy series ‘Halfworlds’
Like many Filipino artists, Sam Concepcion aspires to pursue international projects. And with streaming media opening up and blurring geographical boundaries in the entertainment industry, that dream no longer seems far-fetched.
“As artists, we want to go as far as we can go … The interesting thing, from what I observe, is that a lot of things are opening up in the Philippines. HBO is here. Netflix is here. Amazon Prime is here. The world is more open to creating content here and working with our artists,” Sam told the Inquirer in a Zoom conference for his contract renewal with Viva Artists Agency.
“This is good for the scene in general. Many artists are being given breaks and are getting recognized. And we see them in great material that we get to watch over and over because of streaming … I hope I get to play a part in that,” he added.
And that he will. Sam is one of the lead stars of the third season of HBO Asia’s action-fantasy series “Halfworlds.” Directed by Mikhail Red, the show’s engkanto-themed new installment is the first HBO Asia production shot entirely in the Philippines.
While the show’s premiere date has yet to be announced, Sam said he’s looking forward to seeing the final product. “We had been working on it, but the pandemic affected everyone’s timeline. It’s now in postproduction, I believe. It’s action and fantasy—that’s all I can say for now,” he said of the show, which also features Bianca Umali. “But it was exciting and super fun to shoot. We had a great director and cast, so for sure, it’s going to be a good one,” Sam said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it.”
Sam is one of the few artists in show biz who can sing, dance, act and easily shuttle between television and theater. As such, he doesn’t want to limit the kind of work or projects he does.
“I feel like I’m not the type of artist who can stay on only one lane. The challenge now for me is portioning my time—knowing when to do theater, music or films,” Sam said. “It’s about juggling all these. And I don’t think I will ever find myself doing just one thing.”
In November, the 30-year-old artist will reprise his role as Joseph in another run of the musical “Joseph the Dreamer.” “We had to pause our original run in 2020 because of the pandemic. But we finally continued this August. And then we will do another run next month,” he said. While theater is where Sam started, he admitted that it’s the field that challenges him the most. “In some ways, I’m comfortable in it because it’s where I got my start. But in some ways, it also pushes me out of my comfort zone. The discipline, the time that it requires is challenging. It’s hard, but fulfilling at the same time,” he said. “I want to do more shows if there’s an opportunity.”
Music-wise, Sam has a new single, “Ikaw Ang,” and scored a hit in the hip-hop and R&B dance bop “Diwata.” He also recently headlined an intimate birthday concert, titled “The Get Down.” “Music is always part of my core. And I will continue releasing new music and doing concerts,” he said. “I hope to work with some of the best producers and artists here.”
Some followers think that Sam has yet to fully realize his potential or reach his peak as an artist. He sees that as a good thing.
“If they think that’s the case, then that’s good. If you have already hit your peak, there’s nowhere else to go; there’s nothing more to do. But now I feel like there are so much more to learn and experience,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a good position.” INQ