Broadcast journalist Atom Araullo will make his acting debut in “Citizen Jake,” billed as acclaimed director Mike de Leon’s first movie in 17 years.
In it, the 34-year-old reporter plays Jake Herrera, also a journalist.
In an article on ABS-CBN News, Araullo said his similarity with Herrera ends at their job titles.
“Jake is a completely different person from Atom,” he shared. “He is also a journalist pero magkaibang mundo iyong ginagalawan namin… Jake is a product of his circumstances.”
In a separate interview on ANC’s “Headstart,” Araullo admitted he had a hard time portraying the role as he had to dig deep and find connections from and within his own experiences. He confessed having a hard time transitioning into an actor.
“I thought that it would be easier but during the process, I found out that actors and reporters have totally different tendencies. It took a while for me to kind of break down all of these barriers for me to at least achieve the minimum competency for acting.” he said.
Now that he has starred in his first film, is he willing to do another?
“I don’t know. Parang at this point, I just want to finish this film,” he said.
A teaser for “Citizen Jake” was unveiled late last month, which gave fans a glimpse of the enigmatic title character, who also appears to hold a vile perception of local politics. An official synopsis has yet to be released for the mysterious flick as of this writing.
Araullo, who is also the film’s co-scriptwriter, described the movie as “courageous” in tackling subject matters that, he said, will resonate with many Filipinos today.
Araullo said he would love to have “Citizen Jake” included in the official list of entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
“Sana lang magkaroon ng puwang para sa mga diverse na pelikula. Tingin ko, serbisyo iyon sa mga tao eh na mayroon silang opportunity to watch films of all kinds,” he was quoted to have said.
However, Araullo reiterated that they didn’t submit the film’s script to the festival, this contrary to reports that came out earlier.
“Hindi talaga nag-submit ng script because I think ang pananaw ng director namin and also the producer that if it’s going to be a film festival, the submission should be a finished film and not just the script. That’s why the team decided not to submit the script. He’d rather submit the finished film. ’Yun lang naman ’yun. We didn’t join the first round of selection,” he said.
Will they submit the finished version of “Citizen Jake” for consideration at a later date? Araullo said the decision is not really up to him.
“I don’t know. That’s not my decision really. There are a lot of things to consider. Some of those considerations, I don’t understand kasi I’m just an actor. It really depends. Ako personally, I hope we make it. If that’s not the best option for the film, okay lang din.”