Piolo Pascual on retiring, calculated risks of producing
We’re now back on track,” declared actor and film producer Piolo Pascual when Inquirer Entertainment asked him to talk about the extremely volatile situation in film production, especially now that his production outfit, Spring Films, is set to release a new one, Sigrid Bernardo’s “Walang KaParis.”
“Nowadays, we take more calculated risks because of the emergence of new platforms. While there were years when we had to sit back and reassess our options, I’m happy to say that we’re back on track. There are still people, investors, who trust us. This is how we’ve managed to survive,” Piolo told reporters during a recent media gathering.
Spring Films is an indie film outfit cofounded in 2009 by Piolo, filmmaker Joyce Bernal and talent manager Erickson Raymundo. It has released over a dozen films since its debut hit project, “Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme,” starring Eugene Domingo. “Walang Kaparis” will start streaming on Prime Video on March 23.
“Just the same, there are risks when it comes to producing. What’s more important to me right now is that there are people who are as passionate as we are and who believe in our products. This is why we keep on going, [even after encountering financial setbacks in the past],” Piolo pointed out.
“You’ll never know when you’ll hit a jackpot, just like when we released [Sigrid’s] ‘Kita Kita’ in 2017. Its success enabled our outfit to thrive. We now have more films lined up. I guess the lesson there is to not only be practical, but also to make sure you are well-informed on the financial risks,” the 46-year-old advised.
Plans to break out internationally
One of the goals set for Spring Films was for it to “champion Filipino content to a bigger market, because that’s what we’re missing,” said Piolo.
“I want Filipino films to break out internationally. This is why we are trying to partner with different organizations to help us get better incentives or bigger budget for our films. This is so that we can come up with better projects, those we can be proud to show to other markets abroad,” he added.
Personally, though, Piolo said he has nothing more to ask for. “I only realized now that this is a kind of question that’s difficult to answer, especially when you feel you’re already complete. May kulang pa nga ba? I’m very much content with my life. I only seek peace of mind and wish to continue being a good example to other people.”
When asked whether or not he is already considering retiring from show biz work soon, Piolo said: “I draw inspiration from the life of tito Dante Rivero, whom I had the chance to work with again recently.”
Dante, at 77, had agreed to take on the role of the priest Mariano Gomez in the upcoming historical film “Gomburza,” in which Piolo is also a cast member. The two actors first worked together in 1998 in “Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako.”
“I asked him, ‘Why do you still do what you do?’ He said it keeps him active, not only mentally but also physically. I used to think I’d retire at 40 because I feel I’d already be settled at that age. Now, for as long as there’s still room for me in this business, I will stay on,” he said. “I also remember consulting Tito Boyet (Christopher de Leon) and tita Sandy (Andolong) back when we were doing a show together. At the time, I was contemplating on not only leaving but also on diversifying, on doing other things. They said, ‘Why would you quit if you’re enjoying what you’re doing?’ That answer kind of inspired me. After being in the business for decades, the couple still has the same passion, dedication and energy.”
Piolo added: “Of course, I will be doing other businesses on the side, just to keep me busy. But for as long as there are good concepts for me to help develop, I’d stay. You can never tell, I just might end up becoming a full-fledged game show host.”
He was referring to the short hosting gig he did during the launch of the “Wheel of Life” campaign of the financial services company Sun Life on Monday afternoon. It’s based on the American game show “Wheel of Fortune,” where contestants win cash and prizes that are determined by spinning a giant carnival wheel. The “Wheel of Life” show, on the other hand, has a wheel featuring the company’s life and health insurance plans.
“In ABS-CBN, I used to pinch-hit for some of the hosts. However, I plan to simply stick to what I know best, which is film and TV acting and producing,” Piolo said when asked whether or not he is keen on becoming a game show host in the future. “If I get an offer for a good material, why not? I also enjoy it. It’s just that it makes me feel like I’m wearing a totally different hat.”
Sun Life’s annual Cycle Ph race will be on April 23 at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite. The “Wheel of Life” pop-up fair will start touring on March 18 in Quezon City and culminate on April 29 in Boracay.