JM de Guzman's dad: I want my son back

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2013 06:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2013 02:56 AM

JM de Guzman's dad: I want my son back 1Actor JM de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines -- The father of JM de Guzman has expressed concern for the well-being of the 24-year-old actor, whose "health problem" forced him to withdraw his son's participation in an entry to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Ronniel de Guzman had recently informed film director Francis Villacorta that his son, JM, will no longer be able to take on the title role in the biopic "San Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir."

Villacorta, the writer and director behind the MMFF entry, earlier said he has accepted the withdrawal, but expressed his regret that JM, who he considers "ideal" for the role, will no longer be part of the project.

On Thursday, Ronniel, in a post on social networking site Facebook, said actor Rocco Nacino is being considered to replace JM in "Batang Martir." He added that his younger son, Matthew, might be tapped to portray a small role in the film.

In a report published on the same day on Yahoo! Philippines, Ronniel explained at length his decision to pull out JM from the project, citing the move as imperative to help his son "heal his wounds."

"May pinagdadaanan siya. May health problem siya. But he’s on his way to recovery... He's been on a sabbatical for two weeks now," Ronniel said.

According to the report, Ronniel said he would have allowed JM to continue being part of the project had its filming schedule been shorter.

The film, which chronicles the life of the second Filipino to become saint, will premiere on Christmas Day along with the seven other competing MMFF entries. Shooting for the project, according to Ronniel, will reach until October.

"I want my kid back," Ronniel said. "I want him to be much better, magkaroon ng responsibility. He has to fix himself, conquer his own demons. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Dapat pagbalik mo sa showbiz, mas may tools ka na.'"

JM's comeback

JM's last regular TV project was the series "Angelito: Ang Bagong Yugto," which ended in December last year. His last film, "The Strangers," was released in the same month as part of the 38th MMFF.

Once his son fully "recovers," Ronniel said he is confident that the actor will successfully return to showbiz.

"Pag-arte lang naman ang gusto niyang gawin," the older de Guzman said. "Kahit bigyan mo lang 'yan ng piso at ilang tao lang ang manonood, aarte siya."

He added: "Kahit anong mangyari kay JM, you can't take away his talent. Paano ka magiging tunay na artista kung hindi ka sensitive sa feelings mo?"

In recent months, JM and his former girlfriend, actress Jessy Mendiola, became the subject of headlines even if they never confirmed that they were in a relationship.

Last week, Mendiola addressed speculations that her decision to break up with JM negatively affected the actor's well-being, and by extension, his career.

"Tinanggap ko na lang ang sinasabi ng tao na, 'Ah, pinaasa mo lang siya, sinira mo ang career niya, 'yung trabaho niya.' Gusto ko lang malaman ng ibang tao na nagmahal din po ako at masasabi ko din po na inalagaan ko din siya.

"So ngayon po kung ano ang nangyayari sa kanya I really hope all the best for him kasi napakagaling niya ang aktor at napakabait na tao," the actress said.