Enrique Gil on role in ‘I Am Not Big Bird’, being the ‘bigger man’
Enrique Gil didn’t have any second thoughts saying “yes” when he was offered the roles of Luis and Big Bird in his new film “I Am Not Big Bird,” which hopes to define what it means to be the bigger man.
The sexy comedy centers around Luis Carpio (Enrique Gil) who jets off to Thailand with his friends to heal from a breakup. There, he finds himself in a moment of confusion — and many slaps from angry women — after he was mistaken as the locally famous porn actor Big Bird.
“It was an immediate yes,” Gil said when asked if he ever had any doubts about accepting the role in a press conference at the Dolphy Theatre. His openness in taking such roles was apparent as he even rode along with the string of bird- and size-laced jokes.
“I wasn’t really used to these types of projects but sabi ko, ‘I’ve been out for so long and if I come back with something I’m used to doing, it doesn’t really make sense. Mahilig ako sa comedy kaya sabi ko, ‘Tara, gawin natin ‘to,’” he continued.
(I wasn’t really used to these types of projects but I told myself, “I’ve been out for so long and if I come back with something I’m used to doing, it doesn’t really make sense.” I love comedies so I said, “Come on, let’s do this.”)
The movie marks Gil’s third time doing Valentine-centered films after “My Ex and Whys” and “Alone Together,” both of which star his longtime girlfriend Liza Soberano.
While the “I Am Not Big Bird” puts the spotlight on the actor, he said he doesn’t feel alone as his “bird-kada” was with him — referring to his co-stars Nikko Natividad, Pepe Herrera, and Red Ollero.
“Doing this without Liza and coming back was an adjustment for me to get back on track,” he said. “Before I was paired up with Liza in our love team, I was paired up with someone else and I did a lot of movies on my own. Of course, it felt weird and different but it wasn’t so alien to me… We just had fun.”
Gil also shared that comedies had always been his method of escape so the opportunity of having “a crazy adventure comedy movie” in his filmography was right up his arsenal.
“Ever since, I always wanted to do films that I like watching. Not necessarily like [fully] comedy, but I always wanted to do a crazy adventure comedy movie, like ‘Hangover’ and stuff. I always wanted to have that [film] in my list of projects and other genres. When this came up, I knew I had to do this,” he said.
Being the ‘bigger man’
Gil, along with the cast and production team, said the Victor Villanueva-helmed film is more than just being the literal definition of a bigger man. It also touches on a man’s insecurities while “accepting” who he is.
When asked if there were moments where Gil showed he was the “bigger man,” he said he’s the type of person who puts his pride aside in relationships especially when it comes to arguments.
“Kapag nag-aaway — kahit minsan hindi mo kasalanan — but we have to be a gentlemen,” he said without mentioning anyone in particular. “Minsan din with my mom, na even if I know na tama ako, I’d rather step back and be the bigger man.”
(When fights happen — even if it’s not your fault — but we have to be a bigger man. Sometimes when I get into fights with my mom, even if I know I’m right, I’d rather step back and be the bigger man.)
Laughter erupted in the venue, however, when the leads were asked whether a man’s size or performance mattered in a relationship.
Gil, who jokingly responded with “both,” said having a great sense of humor is more important than a man’s physical attractiveness.
“If you can make a girl laugh then you have the biggest package in the universe,” he said which drew applause from his co-stars and the film’s production team.