MANILA — When Boy Abunda began, he was remarking at how this was the first time he got stuck in a traffic jam so horrible that he would’ve actually had to reschedule his interview with actor John Lloyd Cruz, if under normal circumstances.
But since everyone is in the middle of a pandemic and here he was, with just his phone and a laptop, able to stream his talk with the actor from the back of his car.
The setup, normalized in a way by a health crisis that has forced us to distance from one another, drove home the point of just how rare this appearance of Cruz is — Abunda would not dare miss this chance to again talk with an old friend.
“Sobra lang akong masaya at nagkaroon tayo ng pagkakataon na ganito,” he told Cruz.
Their conversation, their first public one since 2017, when Cruz first took his hiatus, lasted for about 40 minutes, and it touched upon plenty of topics such as burnout and how having a baby son changed Cruz.
With regards to the former, Cruz had a bit of trouble explaining why he had decided to leave the network grind, which sometimes would demand a daily schedule, and focus on making movies he thought to be more rewarding.
“Nakakaubos iyong dine-demand ng ganitong trabaho,” he said of being an actor.
“And bilang creator gusto mong makapagbigay lagi ng something worth their time. And kung ubos ka, medyo mahihirapan kang ma-deliver iyon kasi wala nang bagong laman iyong utak mo — wala ka nang maibibigay na tingin ko is worth their time. Kumbaga nakakahiya na lang din.”
He said that he needed to take a step back to clear his head.
Cruz did also admit that he could have planned how he left better, and that even with years to think about it he’s still unsure how to best “articulate” why he felt it was the right thing to do at the time.
When asked about whether he’s “happy,” Cruz said: “Wala na yatang mas liligaya pa pagkamayroon kang maliit na anak, na 2 years old na ang kulit. Wala nang kasing saya. Ang lupet. My little savior.”
Cruz is the father to Elias, his son with actress Ellen Adarna.
The interview with Abunda was held over Kumu, via the FYE Channel, and was shown on Facebook and YouTube.
It also saw the two talk about Cruz’s upcoming new movie with Lav Diaz, “Servando Magdamag,” an adaptation of an award-winning short story written by Ricky Lee.
There’s no release date yet, though Cruz shared that they are nearly done with shooting.
He described the experience of being part of this film a “humbling one,” as it opened his eyes to the history of Filipino violence in the country. “Karahasan, kasamaan —wala ka pa pa lang nakita, wala ka pa palang alam,” he said.
The full interview can be viewed below: