MANILA -- It's hard to imagine watching model-turned-TV host Ion Perez on TV and especially in films without his partner, comedian-TV host Vice Ganda.
Perez is a regular host on ABS-CBN’s daily noontime show, “It’s Showtime,” where Vice Ganda is a mainstay. In 2019, Perez was included in the cast of Barry Gonzalez’s “M&M: The Mall the Merrier,” starring Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda.
But in the forthcoming sex comedy “Kaka,” the launching film of Sunshine Guimary, Perez will play the leading man -- without Vice Ganda in the picture. “Kaka” is slated to start shooting next month with director GB San Pedro at the helm.
This is the first time that Perez is playing the male lead in a film and he is aware about the demands of his role. Admittedly, he feels the pressure that the role calls for.
"Alam niyo naman po kung ano ang character ko sa ‘Showtime,’” Perez told ABS-CBN News. “Nakaka-pressure para sa akin ang role ko dito sa ‘Kaka.’ Unang pelikula na ako ang leading man. Hindi biro ito.”
As the male lead in “Kaka,” Perez is willing to do love scenes with his leading lady, Guimary. “‘Yan po ang aabangan ng mga tao,” Perez said. “Kung ano po ang dapat na gawin, talagang susubukan kong gawing mabuti.”
“Kaka” is the launching film of Guimary. Yet, this early, Perez feels the pressure of his role. “Kilala ko ang sarili ko,” Perez said. “Nape-pressure talaga ako dito, ngayon pa lang.
“Inaaral ko ang script, lagi kong binabasa. Kung paano gumalaw ang isang anak mayaman. Alam ko mahirap dahil first time kong gagawin ang role.
“Laki ako sa hirap. Nahihirapan ako kung paano kumilos ang isang anak mayaman. Hihingi na lang siguro ako ng tips sa mga kaibigan ko kung ano ang dapat kong gawin.”
Although Perez respects his partner, Vice Ganda, he is aware the latter is not one to get in the way of work. “Mahiyaain ako,” Perez said. “Alam din ng maraming tao ‘yan. Pero hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity.”
In fact, Perez asked for the help of Vice Ganda in the challenging role that he will play. “Humihingi ako ng tips sa kanya,” Perez said. “Alam naman po natin si Meme. Pagdating sa ganyan, professional naman ‘siya. Sinuportahan naman ako. Walang problema sa kanya.”
Perez is ready to forge his own path in showbiz. “May panahon at oras para mag-aral sa bawat role na gagawin ko,” Perez said. “Tahimik ako at mahinhin. Ang role ko na Levi dito sa ‘Kaka,’ anak mayaman. Hindi ko pa alam kung paano kumilos or gumalaw ang isang anak mayaman.”
Vice Ganda is apparently willing to give his support to Perez.
“Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Kaya mo ‘yan. Tataya ako sa ‘yo. May tiwala ako sa ‘yo.’ So aaralin ko talaga si Levi,” he said.
Perez’s role calls for intimate scenes, including lip-locking with his leading lady.
“Ako naiilang sa kissing scene,” Perez said. “Pero kung talagang kailangan, bahala na si Superman.”