Ex-'PBB' housemate Josef Elizalde goes the sexy route

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Apr 30 2022 10:17 AM

Josef Elizalde with first-time leading lady, Denise Esteban in 'Doblado.' Handout
Josef Elizalde with first-time leading lady, Denise Esteban in 'Doblado.' Handout

MANILA -- Actor Josef Elizalde started early in showbiz. As a teenage housemate on the reality competition “Pinoy Big Brother,” he finished high school then made his entry to the showbiz world. 

Earlier in his career, Elizalde essayed supporting roles in TV dramas and big screen projects. He was in FPJ’s “Ang Probinsiyano” (2019), “Angelito: Batang Ama” (2011), even in a number of episodes in “Ipaglaban Mo” and “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” 

He did Antoinette Jadaone’s “Never Not Love You” (2018), Irene Villamor’s “Sid and Aya: Not a Love Story” (2018) and “Ulan” (2019), Mark Meily’s “Squad Goals” (2018), Eduardo Roy, Jr.’s “Last Fool Show” (2019).

Last year, Elizalde appeared in GB Sampedro’s “Kaka,” Joel Lamangan’s “Bekis on the Run” and Nuel Naval’s “More Than Blue” (2021).

This year, however, saw a different genre for Elizalde. For the first time, he gave his nod to doing sexy roles.

The first sexy film that Elizalde did, Lawrence Fajardo’s “X Deal 2,” did not have the blessing of his mom, talent manager Marinez Carvajal-Elizalde. “Hindi ko sinabi sa kanya kasi alam ko na ang sasabihin niya,” he smilingly disclosed.

“Sinabi ko na lang after we shot the movie. Hindi naman siya nagalit. Alam naman niya na matanda na ako and I know what I’m doing with my career. I told her this is something that I’m really open to and I’m willing to try.”

Spending nearly half of his life in showbiz, the 31-year-old Elizalde admitted to exploring new avenues in his acting career. After “X Deal 2,” he goes daring onscreen anew in Sampedro’s sexy thriller, “Doblado.”

“I want to experience everything sa pagiging artista,” Elizalde asserted. “So, for me to do that, I need to do sexy roles. As far as Viva is concerned, when they offered me to do sexy projects, I was hesitant at first. Siyempre, kinakabahan ako.

“Puro pa-cute lang ako dati. Pa-comedy. This [sexy route] is a new environment for me. It’s a different style of acting also.

“I had to seriously think about it kung magagawa ko ba at kung kaya ko ba. So far, nag-e-enjoy naman ako. It’s challenging and fun at the same time.”

Elizalde never got to finish college. He was an incoming senior high school, only 16, when he joined “PBB.” But he did get to finish high school before he joined showbiz.

“After I finished high school, I stopped for four or five years,” he disclosed. “Then nag-plateau ang career ko, I decided to go back to college. I had to think about my future. So I wanted to do my second dream job which was being a flight attendant.

“Requirement there was at least two years in college, so that led me back to school. I did two years of college then when I returned to showbiz, I transferred management to Viva. Bumalik ang career ko.”

Elizalde had projects again, so his dream to become a flight attendant was put on the backburner.

His dad, Route 70 co-founder Butch Elizalde, who is a musician, surprisingly, never influenced him to take the musical road. “Me and my brother, walang nakakuha ng passion for music ng dad ko,” Elizalde said.

Essaying the daring scenes for his character Ronan in “Doblado” is no longer that hard for Elizalde, compared to the first time he did a sexy role.

Ronan is a lovable person and rich kid. His character is one of the dream roles Elizalde aspired for before.

“Since both of my parents are in the [entertainment] industry, alam naman nila that it’s also part of my job as an actor to do this,” Elizalde maintained. “I told them ‘Doblado’ is not just a sexy film. Like what direk GB said, it’s an art.

“It’s still considered acting. Both my parents are okay with me doing sexy roles. Sabi ko sa kanila huwag na lang nilang panoorin.

“Ako, ‘pag dating ko sa eksena, it’s not Josef who’s there, but Ronan. I guess confident level naman ako. Nandoon naman siya.

“You just need to set aside your personal life. So ‘pag sumalang ka sa eksena, hindi mo kailangang isipin kung confident ka ba sa katawan mo or what not. It’s more about you portraying your character.”

Admittedly, Elizalde initially had hesitations in accepting the project. “Ayokong ma-disappoint si direk GB, baka hindi ko ma-portray ang character since it’s challenging. The fact that I accepted the role, that already is the biggest challenge for me.”

No one was more surprised in Elizalde’s re-invention as an actor than himself. “Nagulat ako the first time I watched myself,” he admitted. “Ang hirap.

“Every role I get, hindi naman kailangan na tanggap lang ako ng tanggap. Kailangan ko din isipin ko rin ang epekto niya sa career ko at pagkatao ko.

“For X-Deal 2,’ ang daming nagulat. Mga friends ko, they messaged me. I got a lot of messages from members of the LGBTQ community. They were telling me their fantasies. I also got indecent proposals if I was willing to do it in real life.”

Elizalde is undoubtedly proud about “Doblado,” where he is paired for the first time with Denise Esteban. The sexy thriller is slated to start streaming on Vivamax starting May 6.

“Seeing the trailer alone, you would be intrigued about the story,” Elizalde said. “This is one of the few projects that I’m really proud of and I can say I’m part of the movie. Sana matalo namin ‘yung mga nag number one sa Vivamax.

“I’m really happy and blessed where I am now. It was a rough road for me to get to where I am now. I think God will not put me in different paths na alam niyang hindi ko kakayanin.

“I believe God put me in that rough path before to be where I am now. To make me the strongest person that I am. I’m happy and blessed to be where I am now.”

Crucial for Elizalde is how to connect with his leading ladies working on this sexy genre, where they had to do steamy scenes.

“It’s important to connect with your leading ladies para makita ang chemistry niyo,” Elizalde explained. “Dapat natural ang acting at bitawan niyo ng linya. Kapag wala ang connection, madali din makita ‘yun.

“Wala ang spark at wala ang connection niyo. That’s what’s crucial to me, between you and your partner.”

Also in the cast of “Doblado” are Mark Anthony Fernandez, Stefani Raz, Kier Legaspi, Johnny Revilla, Carlene Aguilar, Mickey Ferriols, Gian Arroyo, Gwen Garci and Lander Vera-Perez.