Dingdong Dantes back in the acting groove
The past three years saw Dingdong Dantes focusing more on hosting jobs for television. But now that the local biz is pretty much back to normal after the pandemic, the actor has finally returned to the acting and teleserye grind.
Dingdong is currently filming the murder-mystery primetime series “Royal Blood” and will headline the GMA Public Affairs film “Firefly.” He’s also set to announce other film projects soon, including a rumored Metro Manila Film Festival entry with his wife, Marian Rivera.
“I was supposed to do some of these things when the pandemic hit. I wasn’t very active during those years, so now, todo-pukpok na. Sana tuluy-tuloy na,” he told reporters at his recent launch as the first Filipino global ambassador of the Italian lifestyle brand Police.
Dingdong, whose last soap opera was the Philippine adaptation of the hit Korean drama “Descendants of the Sun,” admitted that he had to feel his way back when he started shooting “Royal Blood.”
“Nangapa sa umpisa, but we’re in the groove now. We’re reaching the peak of our taping,” he said of the GMA 7 series, which revolves around a grisly murder within a family.
“The main characters are siblings. And each one is interesting, so they will carry the story. It’s more focused on the suspense elements, but there’s also some romance. That’s a staple because a lot of Filipino stories center on love, whether for a partner or for your children,” he added. “My character is close to my heart because he has a 7-year-old daughter—just like me in real life.”
The 42-year-old actor also plans to get back to producing movies this year, and hopefully, help enliven cinema-going. “We want to reenergize local cinema. Despite having other options at home for watching movies, I hope people can still be inspired to return to the theaters. It’s still a different experience. But of course, you still have to take care,” he said.
“The goal of most producers, not just me, is to tell our stories to a wider audience, perhaps on a global stage… Theatrical release is just one of the avenues. But I do hope we can still find success in it,” he added.
Dingdong’s bigger acting load doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that he will be setting hosting aside. He will take the helm in the upcoming reality talent search “The Voice: Generations.” The game show “Family Feud” on the other hand, will resume taping in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
“Hosting is also like a performance. I have been loving and enjoying hosting ‘Family Feud. It’s like therapy for me because it’s pure fun. You forget about the things you need to think about on the set,” he said. “But both acting and hosting are important to me.”
Dingdong is set to fly to Japan in the coming weeks for an exclusive Police Lifestyle event, which will be attended by fellow brand ambassador F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton and other influencers. Earlier this month, the actor’s campaign poster was displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square, New York City.
“I grew up in Cubao. I frequented New York street. My mom and I were joking, ‘Ma, I’m in a different New York—Manhattan!’ I’m proud to represent the brand, not just here in the Philippines, but on the global stage. A lot of my friends thought I shot my ad with Lewis Hamilton, but I haven’t met him yet,” Dingdong related. “Looking forward to meeting him, if ever.”
In line with the brand’s 40th anniversary, Police launched a campaign dubbed #AudacityWanted, which stresses that being cool is about going beyond norms.
And as an actor, taking risks is important for growth. “It’s good to take risks, as long as your foundation is already established. You don’t have to take risks every time, but when you do, they have to be calculated because you have to be responsible for them,” he said.
“But as an actor, you have to push your boundaries. If you become complacent, people will just see the same things from you. You have to be bold to discover your full potential. You will never know what else you’re capable of unless you do,” he added.