MANILA – John Lloyd Cruz was at the peak of his career when he suddenly decided to go a different direction in life four years ago.
Cruz stepped away from the limelight, although he insists that he was never gone because he still kept on doing movies within those years.
Now that he is staging his return to showbiz, Cruz was asked how he feels when people say it’s good to finally see him back.
“Merong isa na nagsabi, dinagdagan niya ng ‘bumalik na sa showbiz.’ 'Yun medyo, oo nga naman. Bumalik ako sa showbiz pero hindi ako umalis sa paggawa ng sine,” he told Karen Davila in her new podcast Thursday.
“Hindi ako umalis sa harap ng camera. Kasi kahit naman tumigil ako noon with my usual work in showbiz, in films and TV, nagtuloy pa rin naman ako but much, much smaller production,” he added.
When asked why he took that path, the actor simply said: “Medyo crowded doon sa isang daan.”
“It’s vital. Sa trabaho namin, napaka-vital nung are you making the right decisions? Are you making the right choices? Are you behaving the way you want to? Kasi talagang binabago tayo ng industriya in many ways na pwede mong ma-imagine. Akala mo you had it all figured out pero biglang may mangyayari sa 'yo and you realize na, ‘Hindi na ako iyon ah.’ And then you take a step back. 'Yung pag-step back ko, medyo lumayo lang,” he explained further.
According to Cruz, he got tired of “fighting for the content that I want to see on a more commercial platform.”
“I felt na we owe it to our audiences, 'yung we make sure na hindi naman kayo pauulit-ulitin. As much as nagma-mature kami or we are growing as performers, siyempre you want to take your audience with you,” he said.
Cruz also said being burned out also contributed to his decision.
“Pwedeng nandoon din siya nakapaloob. But ang totoo is I was evolving I guess and it was too complex for me to understand or comprehend. Calling it burnout would somehow, parang nare-reduce into that. Kasi it was a combination of so many issues. 'Yung pagka-burnout about it probably is one of the indications pero maraming questions, maraming mga discontinued dialogue with certain creators, with 'yung mga nakaupo sa company. I guess hindi lang 'yun napag-uusapan. Hindi lang siya nakikita as an angle. But yeah, being burned out was I guess one of the indications.”
As to those saying one of the reasons he left was because he fell in love and wanted to build his own family, Cruz thinks it is just normal for someone “who got so frustrated and defeated in a bout” to be making those kinds of life choices.
“Tingin ko, 'yung going back to primitive lifestyle or 'yung mas grounded, mas simple, parang I think natural lang siya na mahanap or establishing a desire to have a family. To have your own family unit is a very primitive idea,” he said. “Kaya siguro ako doon napadpad. But that’s not the entire reason kung bakit ako tumigil or umalis.”
Cruz had gone on hiatus from showbiz starting in October 2017, when he was still with Star Magic.
Almost four years since, Cruz said of his return: “May struggle na. It doesn’t feel normal anymore na wala, iniwan mo lang doon 'yung dialogue.”