MANILA -- Back from his family vacation in California, John Arcilla returns to work in another cycle of taping for "FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano" in Malvar, Batangas.
“Manggugulo na naman ako," he told ABS-CBN News Tuesday, laughing at the prospect of another showdown with Cardo Dalisay played by Coco Martin.
What also excites Arcilla is the announcement of Upstream.ph that his movie “On the Job: The Missing 8,”, the much-awaited sequel to Erik Matti’s blockbuster 2013 movie “On the Job,” will soon be shown on the streaming platform.
This time Arcilla, who has essayed many dark and compelling characters, will play Sisoy, a crusading radio journalist caught in the web of crime and political intrigue. He plays opposite Christopher de Leon, Dennis Trillo, Dante Rivero, Lotlot De Leon, Andrea Brillantes, Leo Martinez, Agot Isidro, Eric Fructuoso, Vandolph, Wendell Ramos, Megan Young, Isabelle De Leon, and Levi Ignacio. It’s based on true events about a journalist and a prisoner who are forced to question their loyalty to a local politician when eight people suddenly disappear without a trace.
It’s Arcilla’s fourth film with Matti, after “Ekis” with Sunshine Cruz, “Dos Ekis” with Rica Peralejo, and “Kuwaresma” with Sharon Cuneta.
Matter of factly, Arcilla said it was a pain in the head portraying a radio journalist/small-town media superstar who later uncovers the realities of the system.
“It is kind of tiring and challenging in a very positive sense. Ganun naman kasi lagi ang experience ko kay Erik, that’s why I like his productions. Sumasakit ang ulo ko in a positive sense 'pag si Erik ang direktor ko," he related.
“All your senses are working -- emotional to mental to physical again -- kasi the material and the story itself provide many emotional and motivational requirements. Ang daming crisis na panggagalingan ng intentions and ang objective mo as an actor is to propel your character to move forward.”
Arcilla’s consolation is he and Matti are on the same wavelength as artists. “Sobrang nagkakaintindihan kami. Tatlo lang ang madidinig mo kay Erik, 'John, dagdag pa' or 'BEAUTIFUL!' or 'I LOVE IT.'”
Like other artists, Arcilla has learned to embrace the inevitability of online cinema replacing traditional theaters. “On the Job: The Missing 8” is part of the offerings of Upstream.ph which will go full blast this year with several notable productions.
The list includes Matti’s “Rabid,” a thriller starring basketball idol Ricci Rivero, Kent Gonzales, Vance Larena, Donna Cariaga, Jake Macapagal and other artists; “A Girl and A Guy” a Baguio City-inspired sexy story of relationships among millennials featuring newcomers Rob Gomez and Alexa Miro; and “Runaway,” a romance drama set in New Zealand with “Asia’s Next Top Model" Cycle 5 winner Maureen Wroblewitz and former "Pinoy Big Brother" housemate Kit Thompson.
Matti is also set to reunite with Sharon Cuneta in a yet-untitled upstream.ph drama movie, a follow-up to their 2019 horror-thriller, "Kuwaresma."
Also in the works is a new suspense-thriller movie inspired by the Birkin Scam scandal, starring Bea Alonzo also to be megged by Matti as well.