Rocco Nacino and JM de Guzman -- Facebook fanpage
MANILA, Philippines -- Rocco Nacino has been selected to replace JM de Guzman as Pedro Calungsod in a Metropolitan Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry about the life of the second Filipino to become saint.
Nacino, who previously portrayed the Cebu-born saint in a mini-documentary, will reprise the role in the Hubo Productions film "San Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir."
De Guzman's father had earlier withdrawn the participation of the actor in the film, citing "health problems."
Speaking with entertainment news site Philippine Entertainment Portal, the film's writer and director Francis Villacorta explained their decision to pick Nacino.
"Aside from JM, si Rocco kasi, based on the physical traits, hindi nalalayo kay San Pedro among our actors sa generation nila. Pinoy looks, tama lang ang height, can act, and nakatulong din sa weight ng decision 'yung pag-portray niya ng Pedro Calungsod in television last year," he said.
The director added: "Naniniwala akong given the right motivation, passion, and understanding of the character of Calungsod, Rocco can play the role well, with justice. After all, baka it's God's will talaga na mapunta sa kanya ang role, through the intercession of San Pedro Calungsod."
According to Villacorta, he has already submitted the formal letter informing the MMFF Executive Committee of the casting change.