Richard Gutierrez to sons copying his fight stunts: We only do that to bad people
Actor Richard Gutierrez said his two sons, Zion, 10, and Kai, 5, follow his action-drama series “The Iron Heart” so closely that one day, when he came home from work, one of them greeted him with a strong kick in the stomach.
“I don’t get to watch my own series every night because I would often be busy taping, but the boys are always updated. They like copying the fight scenes I do in the show, especially my youngest. I tell Kai, ‘We only do that to bad people. Don’t do that to your classmates.’
“One time, he did a side kick that hit me on the stomach. He did this to me when I arrived home, without saying a word. I tried to tell him it wasn’t good, but I’m now seriously considering enrolling him in martial arts class. Between the two boys, Kai is more physical,” Richard told Inquirer Entertainment over lunch recently.
The 39-year-old dad said Zion is more interested in performing onstage. “In fact, he was the one who asked me if he could enroll in the voice class offered in school. He’s also part of the theater club there,” the proud dad said. “He was just 4 or 5 when he started singing Elvis Presley songs with my dad (Eddie Gutierrez). He was never afraid to be in front of people. That was when I realized that my son could be interested in performing.”
If he had his way, Richard said he wanted Zion to finish school before joining show business. He also said that his eldest is a caring and doting big brother to Kai. “Just like most siblings, the two still fight over the littlest things. Overall, he is a good kuya. I noticed this especially when we traveled during the Holy Week. They really bonded. He is very hands-on. He would always offer to help his younger brother,” Richard recalled.
When it comes to disciplining them, Richard said he makes sure he and wife Sarah Lahbati are on the same page. “We try to agree on one thing so that it will not be confusing to the kids. Also, I was never the type who would hit a child as a way to punish or discipline him. Besides, they are already afraid of me when they see me looking so serious. I never really had any reason to spank them. I just talk to them firmly,” he shared with reporters.
Richard added that he doesn’t get angry with the boys that often. “I don’t get too high up on my emotions when it concerns them. I try as much as I can not to get angry. I don’t want them to fear their father, especially since they see me on TV looking really mad,” he explained.
Every two or three weeks, Richard flies home from the “Iron Heart” taping bubble in Cebu to be with his family. “Actually, all the cast members who already have their own growing families would tell you that this is our toughest challenge. We don’t get to see them for almost a month. We are always raring to finish the taping cycle so that we can finally go home,” he said. “The good thing is that we are starting to become familiar with the city. Some of us check out tourist spots when we don’t have work.”
‘Beautiful and engaging’
There was a time when he would make his family fly to Cebu just so he could be with them. “I ask them to come over and spend a night or two, especially when I realize that I’m already becoming cranky on the set. Of course, they prefer that I work in Manila, but Sarah understands that Cebu, the place, is also one of the factors that makes the series beautiful and engaging,” he pointed out. “It was tough for us in the beginning, but eventually we all learned to enjoy being there. It’s also good for us to reconnect with the Rama clan. We’ve not seen them since the pandemic began.”
The actor’s mom, Annabelle Rama, was born and raised in Cebu City.
Meanwhile, Richard was asked whether he was ever offered to run for public office in his mother’s home province. “I will not deny that there have been offers for me to join their political teams. But I’d rather stick to the arts than politics. That’s not my priority right now. I still have a lot of things I want to do as an artist,” he said.
“Although you can’t tell what will happen in the future. Besides, I have cousins who are taking up law and are being groomed to be the next persons in politics there.”
Richard also disclosed that the show’s production team is considering transferring the set from Cebu to another province. “Yes, they have something planned, although I’m not allowed to say anything about it. All I can disclose is that Ian Veneracion, who has been our guest on and off, will be seen in the program once again. His character will be given highlights. The story will focus on him and the core characters. The audience will have to watch out for the action scenes we will be doing together,” Richard said.
Now that the show is already on its second season, Richard said a “creative meeting on the trajectory of the story” has been set while they’re on taping break. “We don’t want to drag the storyline too much,” he pointed out. “I will sit down with the producers and the creative team before I return to Cebu about this. Based on that meeting, we will be able to determine, more or less, how long the show will run.”“The Iron Heart” airs weekdays at 8:45 p.m. on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z and TV5. INQ