Fortune and fame aside, this simple thing would make Vice Ganda truly happy
In spite of being on top of his game, comedian-TV host Vice Ganda admitted that he still continues to work hard for things he doesn’t have, something that, at this point, has to do with time.
“I’m in constant need of more time. If I could only ask God to add more hours to a day, more days to a week, more weeks to a month, more months to a year, I’d definitely do it,” Vice told a group of writers over lunch recently.
“People will probably react to this article and ask, ‘You’ve already been given so much in life, but you’re still unhappy?’ I tell you, not everything is about fame and fortune. Sometimes, the simplest things are valued, like time—time to be silent, time to just be myself, time to talk to myself and, most of all, time to be unfunny,” the comedian pointed out.
He said that because of his work, people expect him to be funny all the time. “I don’t always allow this. Sometimes, even though I know people will get disappointed, I become unfunny just so I’d get my personal space,” he pointed out.
“Just like most people who work so hard, I also wish to have time to go to the beach, soak in the sun and feel the sand and water inbetween my toes. I also want time with friends, something I rarely have now because I need to protect them. It’s hard to do this, especially whenever we go to public places. I know that I also have to have time with my partner (Ion Perez), but because I’m doing two TV shows (‘It’s Showtime!’ and ‘Everybody, Sing’), a movie, some endorsements, and concerts, we hardly see each other,” he explained.
“Now, the time I give for my mother is another thing. I always have to chase time for her. She once called to ask me if I could come over to play bingo with the family—they have sessions every Wednesday and Saturday—but I said I couldn’t and would just send her money. She said she already has money. What she wanted was for me to be there, so she could cook for me,” Vice recalled.
The comedian said he was surprised to discover that this is also what his next movie, “Partners in Crime,” is all about. “Sometimes, I suspect that Star Cinema purposely made this story for me,” Vice said, laughing. The film, directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina and also features Ivana Alawi, is an entry to the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival.
“It may be a comedy film, but it’s also about an over-achiever who has unconsciously set aside his family, or people who truly matter to him, because he was too focused on achieving his dreams or serving other people,” he said.
Turning serious, Vice recalled the time he asked to be excused from work because he had to be at home to celebrate Ion’s birthday. “I understand why the team didn’t want me absent at work, it’s because we’re so delayed with the shoot. So when they asked me, “Can we meet halfway?” I said, “OK. I can only stay until 7 p.m.” Yes, there are a lot of times when I would feel guilty because I know that when a shoot gets packed up, we lose money; when I’m not present in ‘Showtime,’ they’d tell me the ratings dipped. I’m very concerned about those things, too.”
Vice admitted that he would often feel the heavy weight of pressure on his shoulders. “I would just cry it out. I’d say, ‘Deadma na! I’m able to provide for my family, anyway; or, I have money, anyway!’ I’d tell myself, ‘It’s OK. You’re able to entertain people, make them happy. You can’t be selfish!’”
Explaining the film’s concept further, Vice said: “It’s about one’s struggle to figure out what really is of value in life. It’s how one personally discovers when to take a pause or stop. I’m really convinced that the writers purposely wrote the story for me. There were some scenes that would make me pause because they hit so close to home.
“The last scene was really something. Direk Cathy had to ask me to do a Take Two because, she said, it was too sad. I cried too much, and they were unable to stop me. Members of Direk Cathy’s staff, na puro barako, were all crying, too,” he recalled.
Vice said he really prepared for the final scene, even watched a video that made him recall a specific time in his life that’s similar to it. “That’s why when I was finally doing the take, I wasn’t just telling a story, I was reliving the moment. It took me 10 minutes to repeat the scene.”
Source of happiness
Vice was also quick to point out that there are a lot of things that make him happy, too. “My family makes me happy, that’s a given, but doing ‘It’s Showtime!’ is also my source of joy. Its set is my safest place, aside from my actual house. Even though I would quarrel with the staff, sometimes—this is normal because ours is a live show and I’m head of creatives—I would automatically feel happy when I’m already holding the mic and talking with people.”
Vice plays Jack to Ivana’s Rose in “Partners in Crime.” They’re an ex-couple who got involved in a crime. With the help of friends, they struggle to clear their name while, at the same time, they try to resolve unsettled past issues.
“Ivana is very cute,” Vice said when asked what it was like to work with the social media superstar in a movie. “She feels insecure because, she said, she is really not a funny person. I would sometimes feel the pressure on her, especially when she gets told how to deliver specific lines. This is why I told her, ‘You don’t need to be funny. You’re fine the way you are. You look cute and sexy onscreen.’ She was able to deliver what was expected of her, that’s fine.”
Meanwhile, Vice said he personally asked Star Cinema for a chance to work with Direk Cathy. “I wanted to be ‘cathyfied.’ Throughout the shoot, when she would ask me to preview a scene and consult me, ‘I’d say, if it’s OK with you, then it’s already OK with me.’ If I kept on insisting on what I wanted and didn’t follow what she asked me to do, then that’s me ‘vicifying’ her. I was really conscious of that,” the comedian explained.
He also claimed to have discovered a lot about Cathy in their first collaboration. “That what people are saying about her is true—she is actually scary sometimes. She has a very strong personality, and that’s what I like about her. I respect people like her—she is good at what she does. I yielded to her, and that was very humbling. It was an experience that gave me a lot of wisdom,” he said. “I prefer working with someone who is good, but a little crazy than someone who is just kind to me. I want to work with someone who’s badass, and she is nothing but that.”
“Partners in Crime,” coproduced by Star Cinema and Viva Films, will start screening in local cinemas nationwide on Christmas Day. INQ
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