With a storied career spanning 56 years, screen veteran Ronaldo Valdez considers his ongoing series, “2 Good 2 Be True,” as “one for the books” for many reasons, including his newfound family and his well-loved portrayal of “Lolo Sir.”
“Almost everybody outside calls me ‘Lolo Sir’!” an amused Valdez told ABS-CBN News, referring to the term of endearment for his character, Hugo Agcaoili. “It’s flattering. That means they’re involved with the show. They identify. It feels good.”
The primetime drama sees Valdez, 74, as the real estate magnate whose worsening bout with Alzheimer’s disease risks him losing his empire, with Bernardo as his nurse-turned-guardian Ali and Daniel Padilla as Eloy, a con artist who is revealed to have ties with Hugo.
Valdez credited the creative team behind “2 Good 2 Be True” for his lauded performance of an otherwise astute businessman whose condition suddenly surfaces.
“I don’t have a technique,” he said of portraying Hugo’s abrupt shifts in behavior. “I guess I immerse myself in the story, in the role. It’s really a big help na ang ganda-ganda ng script nito, especially ‘yung mga lines. The scenes are easy to do kasi you feel the situation.”
“Aside from the lines and the scenes na medyo malalim, may drama, at the same time meron ding mga cute, kilig moments especially with the two,” he added, referring to his co-stars. “Sila KathNiel, nakakakilig sila panoorin!”
Audiences, too, are evidently moved by both Valdez as Lolo Sir, and KathNiel as “LoyAl.” Since its May premiere on Netflix — where it releases advance episodes ahead of ABS-CBN platforms — “2 Good 2 Be True” has consistently ranked in the top 10 TV shows on the streaming service in the Philippines, frequently placing No. 1.
No stranger to achievements as an actor for five decades, Valdez still relishes starring in a hit title, especially one where he continues to earn praise.
“Meron kang feeling of fulfillment, na okay ‘yung ginagawa ninyo, ‘yung trabaho niyo, it’s appreciated. Masarap ang feeling. Hindi naman dumarating doon sa, ‘Hay naku, ewan ko, wala na akong pakialam diyan.’ It’s always a nice feeling,” he said.
Aside from Valdez, the cast of “2 Good 2 Be True” includes other senior performers: Gloria Diaz as Hugo’s scheming sister Helena, as well as Bodjie Pascua and Leo Rialp as Bart and Jimmy, Lolo Sir’s loyal friends.
“I feel so blessed because up to now I’m still active,” Valdez said. “I’m really thankful na I still get to do this job that I really love I think for more than five decades, and I still get to work with fantastic actors.”
Especially fulfilling for Valdez, he said, has been working with Bernardo and Padilla, whom he described as “brilliant” actors. Beyond their characters’ close relationships on screen, Valdez shared that the real-life couple, as well as the entire team of “2 Good 2 Be True,” have become like family to him.
“This show is really, for me, one for the books. Ang saya. It’s my second family. The work doesn’t feel like work. Para lang kaming nag-i-excursion. Napaka-nice ng mga tao rito. I could even say na spoiled ako, e. I’m showered with food and love and affection. It’s really one big happy family. Even the work feels light, kasi nga brilliant actors ang mga kasama so madaling mag-interact within the scene.
“Napakasarap kasama ni Kathryn. She’s such a nice, sweet, young girl, tapos ang galing-galing pa, so ano pa? Si Daniel — I don’t know why — parang real lolo and apo kami, e. Sometimes we are enjoying our break… Strikto sa akin ‘yan, e. He’s concerned about my health,” he said.
With half-a-century of experience as an actor, Valdez sees long careers ahead of Bernardo and Padilla, who recently marked their first decade as a screen pair.
“They’re not just the heartthrobs na effective sa fans; malaking plus ‘yung magagaling sila, e. Ang galing nila. Sometimes I get to watch ‘yung scene nila, silang dalawa, ako mismo kinikilig, e! …They’ve come a long way, they’ve evolved,” he said.
Directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar, “2 Good 2 Be True” also airs weeknights on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC and TFC.