Actor John Lloyd Cruz. File photo/ABS-CBN
MANILA -- John Lloyd Cruz, who has played a variety of characters on screen in the last 15 years, considers his role in an upcoming film one of his most difficult yet.
The 30-year-old actor shared details about his character in the Chito Rono-directed movie on Tuesday, on the sidelines of a press conference for his recently renewed product endorsement.
"'Yung tawag kasi dati [sa character ko], 'MR,' or mentally retarded. Pero ngayon kasi, ang sinasabi ng mga professionals, ang mas politically correct term daw is 'developmentally delayed.' Iyon 'yung DT," he said.
When asked if he considers his latest portrayal challenging, Cruz drew a comparison between his character and the titular character played by actor Gerald Anderson in "Budoy," a 2011 series produced by ABS-CBN.
Budoy was born with Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by "a happy, excitable demeanor with frequent smiling, laughter, and hand-flapping movements," according to the US National Library of Medicine.
"Mahirap siya because it's not Budoy," Cruz said. "Hindi siya 'yung talagang kitang-kita mo. Ang mahirap dito hindi malalaman na meron siyang case ng DT hangga't mag-engage kayo sa isang conversation. So mukha siyang normal."
No other details for now
On the subject of the film's story, Cruz declined to share details, noting there might still be changes over the course of shooting the project.
"Unang-una, kaka-start lang namin. So wala pa akong masyadong mai-share about it. Alam ko lang is 'yung final cast, of course 'yung director namin si Direk Chito. Pero story-wise, wala pa ako masyadong mai-share sa inyo eh, kasi alam niyo naman, pag ganyan, paiba-iba," he said.
Earlier announced to be part of the project were Gretchen Barretto, Richard Gomez and Jessy Mendiola, but Cruz opted not to confirm this when asked, citing his previous experience of divulging details about his projects.
"Minsan kaya sobra akong hesitant mag-share ng cast, kasi pwede mapalitan," he said. "Based sa experience ko dati about giving information or details about projects na ginagawa ko, medyo nakakadala na, because nahihiya kami sa mga fans na umaasa na, 'O, akala ko ba sinabi mo may project ka with this actor, this actress?' Tapos hindi nangyayari."
Aside from the new Star Cinema movie, which is still untitled, Cruz is busy with the ABS-CBN sitcom, "Home Sweetie Home," where he co-stars with Toni Gonzaga.