MANILA -- Departing from his child star image took quite a while for Jairus Aquino. Audiences always associated him with his early roles on TV, starting from his acting debut where he captured everyone’s heart as the lovable Pareng Jomar, Budong’s sidekick, in the hit series, “Super Inggo,” with Makisig Morales in the title role.
After the success of “Super Inggo,” which ran for two years, Aquino went on to do several other TV projects, like sitcoms and teleserye on ABS-CBN – “Kung Fu Kids,” “Mutya,” “May Bukas Pa,” “Luv U,” “Nathaniel” and “Pamilya Ko.”
Before ABS-CBN was shut down and the lockdown was declared, Aquino was part of the stellar cast of the late-afternoon series, “Pamilya Ko,” with Joey Marquez, Sylvia Sanchez and JM de Guzman, among others.
“Marami akong natutunan sa kanila when it comes to acting,” Aquino told ABS-CBN News. “They taught me a lot how to be successful life. Sila talaga ang tumatak sa akin lately, na bitbit ko ang memories and all the lessons I learned.”
The 22-year-old actor wants to depart from his teeny-bopper image and do more mature roles now. “Sometimes, people still see me as a teenage star,” Aquino lamented. “I hope they eventually see the different type of Jairus that they can also discover and watch.”
Growing up in showbiz gave Aquino an advantage that he carried as he got older. “What is important is how you mingle with people through the years,” he maintained. “People behind the camera, in front of the camera, artists and staff.
“The advantage is that you know better how to work with them. Another thing, the lessons you get from your fellow actors in terms of acting and how to be successful in life are important.”
Aquino is so buffed these days, although he insisted it was not a conscious effort for him to work out. “Maybe, I just really want to veer away from my teenage image,” he explained. “I am no longer a teeny-bopper, which I did in ‘Luv U.’ I want to do more mature roles.”
Fifteen years of being with ABS-CBN is not easy to just set aside, let alone ignore, for Aquino. He started with the network from his childhood to teenage years and on to his young adult stage, doing TV shows and films where he made his mark.
Now that he recently transferred to Viva Artists Agency, Aquino does not deny that he has been having separation anxiety after he moved.
“I had so many opportunities with ABS-CBN. Pamilya ko ang ABS-CBN for 15 years. Naging tahanan ko ang network. But it was time to move forward,” he said.
Aquino is not closing his doors to working with ABS-CBN again in the future. “If I will be given an opportunity to work with ABS-CBN again, why not?” Aquino said. “Kung nasaan ang trabaho, I will go there."
Aquino wants to explore the action genre, with films like “John Wick,” starring Keanu Reeves. “Mas realistic si Keanu gumawa ng action scenes,” Aquino remarked. “Totoo lahat ng fight scenes niya. Nauubos ang bala sa encounters niya. Tinatamaan siya, nasasaktan, nabubugbog, natatalo din.”
Another actor Aquino idolizes is Denzel Washington, whom he specifically remembered in “Equalizer” and its sequel, megged by Antoine Fuqua. “May distinct [thing] na maaalala ka sa kanya,” Aquino said of Washington.
“In ‘Equalizer,’ even his fight scenes, he was timing it. He was so organized in that role. Ganoong kaganda ‘yung napanood ko sa kanya.”
When it comes to local actors, Aquino looks up to John Lloyd Cruz and Jericho Rosales. “Grabe ‘yung impact kapag gumawa sila ng movies or teleserye,” Aquino said. “Tumatatak talaga ang mga ginagawa nila.
“Alam ko naman na ‘pag nilagay ako sa harapan nila, kakabahan ako dahil mahihirapan akong makipagsabayan. But that will be a challenge for me. I really want to work with them.”
Aquino expressed his desire to finish his studies. Before the lockdown was declared last year, he was attending – and enjoying – face-to-face classes at Meridian International College, where he is taking up film.
When it comes to work ethics, Aquino insists on being “responsible and disciplined” that will carry him to the next level in his career. “In all my actions, I always want to be responsible and sa lahat ng oras laging maging disiplinado.
“You’re an influencer, somehow. Everybody looks up to you. It doesn’t mean I have to be somebody different. You must be responsible with the things that you are doing. That will be something that I can carry with me.”
Aquino wants to make a name for himself as someone who really knows what to do in his life and his career. “I want to be known not as someone who is really famous, but one who is really successful in his line of work,” Aquino concluded.