Baron Geisler plays bad boy anew in 'Pusoy'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at May 21 2022 12:23 PM

MANILA -- Baron Geisler’s married life was earlier reported to be on the rocks, with his physician-wife Jamie Evangelista, and mother of his two-year-old daughter, Talitha, said to be seeking for annulment after only three years of marriage.

While Geisler admitted there had been a “break” that really happened, he denied about the annulment issue. “I don’t know where that came from,” the actor told ABS-CBN News. 

Geisler recently had a relapse in his alcoholism that triggered a fight between him and Evangelista. Yet, the actor affirmed they are on their journey to recovery.

“My wife and I are working on our 12-step program and counseling,” he said. “We are talking everyday and we are okay now.”

Geisler has been mostly in Manila lately because of work, while his wife and baby are in Cebu. When it comes to his professional career, Geisler has been doing one film after another.

“If I didn’t get to join Viva, hindi ako active sa career ko ngayon as an actor,” said Geisler, who is tagged as the “Johnny Depp of the Philippines” because of his stellar acting and bad boy image.

He returned to school in 2019 and recently obtained his college degree. “Nag-aral ako and after three-and-a-half years, close to four, nakapag-marcha at naka-graduate ako noong April 25,” he proudly stated. “May degree na ako [AB Theology].

Taking the chance and opportunity to study again is the most remarkable move that Geisler has made. He clarified, though, he will not be the next (Apollo) Quibuloy, the controversial church leader of the Davao-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC).

“I was jokingly saying, ‘Theology graduate na ako. Pwede na akong magpatayo ng church. Ako na papalit kay Quibuloy para yumaman ako.’ I was saying it in jest, but somebody took it seriously. I will not do that.”

Geisler topbills the sexy action film, “Pusoy,” to be shown starting May 27 on Vivamax. Megged by award-winning American director Phil Giordano, “Pusoy” has Brillante Mendoza as creative producer.

Geisler worked with Mendoza as director in the film, “Bangsamoro” (2019), where he and Piolo Pascual played brothers affected by the crossfire in a very heartwarming story.

Meanwhile, “Pusoy” is Giordano’s first feature film. The 36-year-old writer-director received his Master’s Degree in Film from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

His short film, “Supot,” had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and gained international acclaim. The script was also the grand prize winner at the New York Screenplay competition. He is also an award-winning commercial director.

“I wrote the first draft of the script of ‘Pusoy’ in America,” said Giordano. “I saw the scene from ‘Amo.’ Also about gambling. I told myself we could explore the story. We built the story. We researched.

“We pitched the story Viva and they were interested. Once director Brillante came on board, he really expanded the scope of the story.

“For this, we had to work under direk Brillante’s umbrella. I wanted to make a film that was in that name. Having my sensibilities and taste, adapting that to how he does things, it was quite different, but I really love it.

“It was so invigorating, so exciting. The actors, the full cast, all nailed it with their acting. They’re so incredible. Everyone is amazing. It made my life really easy.”

Geisler said he and his first-time director hit it off right away. “Direk Phil is one of the most meticulous directors I worked with in my entire life,” the actor granted. “That’s what I love about his style. The close-ups. We get along on and off set.

“I always come up to him to consult him. ‘Hey, direk Phil. What will I do with this scene? Do you have any suggestions? Please give me some notes.’ He’s always generous about suggestions.

“Even if everyone is busy. I’m busy, he’s busy. He will always give me time so I can improve my craft.”

Although he will still give his nod to bad boy roles, Geisler cannot be thankful enough for his co-actors in “Pusoy” -- Vince Rillon, Jela Cuenca, beauty queen Janelle Tee, Raquel Monteza and Madelaine Red.

“Wala pa akong naka-trabaho na pasaway,” Geisler pointed out. “Even Mark Anthony [Fernandez], when I worked with him in ‘Barumbading,’ ang laki ng pagbabago.

“Naniniwala ako na mas matalino na ang mga artista natin ngayon. Nag-e-evolve. Mas dedicated sila sa trabaho, hindi sa fame. Of course, importante sa kanila na makapag-ipon. Hats off ako sa kanilang lahat.”

Geisler cannot be any prouder that he got to work for the first time with the young actors in the cast of “Pusoy.”

“Bilib ako sa instinct ni Vince as a human being and as an actor,” Geisler granted. “Magaling siyang dumiskarte. Grabe ang respeto niya sa lahat ng tao. Vince is a very, very bright boy.

“I’m very proud na naka-trabaho ko ang isa sa mga award-winning, young actors natin internationally ngayon.

“Meron silang mga sariling istilo. I acknowledged the discipline and dedication to the craft of Vince. Si Janelle, nag-aral na pala siya kung paano magbalasa ng cards. We all complement each other, walang nang-aagaw ng eksena.”

Although he got previously hooked on alcohol, Geisler never got into gambling, the heart-pounding theme of “Pusoy.”

“Noong bata ako, never akong pinahawak ng baraha ng nanay ko,” he admitted. “Doon sa mga nalulong noon at hanggang ngayon, may programa kung willing silang magbago. I’m part of that program para maka-iwas kayo sa mga bisyo, kasi disease ‘yan.

“We have to educate people from that mental disorder. We cannot condemn them, but we can care for them. Alalayan patungo sa tamang destination.”

Active in showbiz for more than two decades now, Geisler, who’s turning 40 on June 5, acknowledged he has been in the business for more than half of his life. He started in 1994 in the ABS-CBN kiddie gag show, “Ang TV.”

Asked about his forthcoming projects, Geisler expressed his desire to play onstage artist and hero, Juan Luna. That will mark his return to theater after making his debut in Tanghalang Pilipino’s period rock zarzuela, “Aurelio Sedisyoso” (2017).

“I’ve been talking to [veteran theater director] Chris Millado,” Geisler disclosed. “I want to play Juan Luna, that’s my dream role. I want to collaborate on the story.

“I watched videos and documentaries. I’m very interested about Juan Luna’s personality. He was a very complex person. He was the first artist who put us on the map when he won in Spain for his ‘Spoliarium’ painting.

“Isa ‘yun sa pangarap kong gawin. Kahit paano, I can speak a little Spanish. French pwede naman aralin. Sabi ko, this [Juan Luna] will work if done well.”

Geisler also envisions a film production of Juan Luna. “The playwright, Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, will do the script for the play. We are still working on it. Then hopefully, the film will also be done. I know it will be a long shot.”