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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A milestone of triumphs and trials: Dennis Trillo 20 years later

Dennis Trillo 
Dennis Trillo (Photographs BY CENON AND MAV / @CENONATMAV)

There are loads of highlights to understand and savor from Dennis Trillo’s 20-year journey as a Kapuso artist. The initiatives that instantly come to thoughts are his first movie, “Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita,” the primary gay-themed TV sequence on primetime TV “My Husband’s Lover,” his offbeat “vanishing act” in “On the Job: The Lacking 8,” the trendingly widespread historic sequence “Maria Clara at Ibarra,” and “Love Earlier than Dawn,” his first telenovela with Bea Alonzo.

However once we just lately spoke to GMA Community’s prime dramatic actor in regards to the aforesaid milestone, he stated that there are additionally teachable moments to remove from his bittersweet recollections as a struggling newcomer in ABS-CBN’s “Tabing Ilog” or “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” when he started pursuing an performing profession recent out of faculty within the early 2000s.

“In these days, when Jericho [Rosales] and John Lloyd [Cruz] had been already primed for greater and higher issues, I’d seem in just one scene not figuring out if I’ve had sufficient correct coaching to tug it off,” Dennis recalled. “I didn’t like the sensation of uncertainty. It was like a sink-or-swim second after you’re thrown into the ocean. And also you ask your self if in case you have what it takes to be of their footwear. So, my intuition was to study to outlive.”

Certainly, the award-winning actor doesn’t take something as a right, recounting each triumphs and trials with related fondness and perception. In reality, Dennis took us additional down reminiscence lane as he recalled the primary time he noticed performing as a career price pursuing.

First function

“Truly, I acquired my very first function — for a business — after I was in Grade 5,” he stated, laughing. “I used to be paid P2,500 to fly a kite within the background. You could possibly hardly see me, however I used to be over the moon as a result of I assumed that was the beginning of my new profession—meron na akong sideline, as a result of I used to be nonetheless at school on the time. Then, the small roles stored coming till I used to be observed by anyone from ABS. That’s how it began.”

Following his pivotal switch to GMA Community in 2003, Dennis’ profession acquired a giant increase quickly after he was forged in his first movie, Joel Lamangan’s 2004 interval drama “Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita,” and received a string of performing accolades for portraying a trans lady in love together with her greatest buddy’s (Judy Ann Santos) childhood sweetheart (Raymart Santiago).

Requested how his performing strategy has advanced since “Aishite Imasu” and 2005’s “Blue Moon,” Dennis stated, “The teachings I decide up from one performing project to the following, I apply to my succeeding roles. Then, I used to be in a position to refine what I knew. Each character I play helps increase my confidence, however I nonetheless get the jitters each time I act — which is an efficient factor … as a result of it retains me from slacking off or dropping my guard.

“Kailangan huwag kang maging kampante. You at all times need to do your greatest as a result of the function wasn’t given to different actors — it was entrusted to you. You don’t need it to be a missed alternative.”

At which level in his profession did Dennis notice he might be good at performing? He answered, “I feel some degree of consolation comes with being acknowledged, and I felt that after I received awards for my first movie. That’s after I felt, ‘Hmm. We might be on to one thing right here…’”

However whereas he works laborious to breathe life into his characters, the actor additionally attributes his longevity and drive to his residence community.

“GMA has at all times taken excellent care of me. They’ve at all times made me really feel essential,” he identified when requested why his loyalty with GMA by no means appeared to falter by means of the many years. “Additionally, I don’t recall having had issues with our bosses. In addition to, I wouldn’t final this lengthy if I didn’t really feel I used to be being handled effectively.”

Once we spoke to Dennis, he was the epitome of a contented man who’s grateful for the blessings that proceed to return his approach and optimistic about his aspirations for the individuals expensive to him.

It takes a village

As the pictures captured for this piece deftly convey, Dennis acknowledges that it additionally takes a village to tug off the form of success he’s having fun with. As an illustration, the blokes answerable for the picture session embrace Cenon and Mav (@cenonatmav) for the photographs, Eugene David (inventive route), Aj Alberto with Ian Vinarao (stylist), Rick Calderon (make-up), Darla (hair), and the Aguila Artist Administration crew composed of Becky Aguila, Katrina Aguila, Jan Enriquez and Hey Fairly Studios CEO Anne Barretto.

One other milestone, albeit of the private kind, that’s price mentioning occurred in November 2021—when Dennis married actress Jennylyn Mercado, with whom he has a 1-year-old daughter named Dylan.

“No marriage is ideal on a regular basis,” stated Dennis when requested what his takeaway is from being a married man. “You’ll need to kind by means of misunderstandings and battle every now and then. However your love for one another ought to at all times win out in the long run.

“Marriage has taught me to be extra affected person. Mas lumawak ang pang-unawa ko sa mga bagay at sa ibang tao. You study to regulate and adapt. However what’s extra essential is you by no means hand over on one another. You might want to at all times talk. Teamwork is essential in marriage and elevating a household. Kailangang magtulungan kayo palagi (you have to at all times assist out one another).”

The remainder of our Q&A with Dennis:

To pay tribute to your important triumphs as an actor, do you thoughts “revisiting” a few of your most celebrated roles and film/TV initiatives? What do you fondly bear in mind about them?

With Crisostomo Ibarra (for “Maria Clara at Ibarra”), I bear in mind many nights of finding out and doing analysis. It’s one of the vital tough roles I’ve needed to essay. So I did loads of studying and stored memorizing my strains. It’s a job that I needed to know by coronary heart as a result of you may’t make a mistake. Ibarra has been portrayed so many occasions up to now so that you’ll find yourself getting in comparison with these, or bashed when you don’t put within the effort to do it proper.

In “Aishite Imasu,” it was like I used to be strolling on eggshells as a result of Direk Joel (Lamangan) has a fame for being a terror director on set (laughs). One time, I acquired to our Laguna set late as a result of I got here from a taping for “Mulawin,” and I bear in mind being so scared to get screamed at.

However after I acquired there, Direk Joel simply hugged me—and I used to be so pleased and relieved! That concern taught me a lesson … to by no means be tardy once more, primarily as a result of I didn’t need to stress him out or trigger issues for him. That’s what’s essential about making errors, you need to study from them.

“Blue Moon” was important as a result of it was my first time to work with two of my idols: Christopher de Leon and Eddie Garcia. It felt like I used to be in a masterclass — I realized a lot [about the discipline of acting] simply by watching them work.

So far as my characters in Erik Matti’s “On the Job: The Lacking 8” and Michael Tuviera’s “The Janitor” are involved, they’re offbeat roles that I actually loved doing. I like enjoying all these characters as a result of they’re additionally the kind of films I take pleasure in watching, helmed by very cool administrators. They’re breathers from the standard roles I get requested to play.

There could also be one thing darkish about these two characters, however I began “creating” them as quickly as I learn the script. As you undergo the scenes, you add increasingly more particulars into your understanding of him, and also you react to the dynamics that play out between him and his scene companions. The extra you perceive him, the tighter your grasp is of your characterization.

As for taking part in Eric in “My Husband’s Lover” (MHL), I bear in mind initially getting supplied Tom Rodriguez’s function—a “closeted” man who’s in a relationship with a girl. However I used to be simply coming from a present, “Temptation of Spouse,” the place I portrayed an identical character — and I didn’t need to repeat myself. So, I requested for the function of “the opposite man,” which offered a brand new problem for me.

In 2013, MHL was groundbreaking for primetime — for the Philippine TV business and for me. On the time, I used to be feeling that my profession trajectory was on a plateau, so I didn’t know kung might i-aangat pa pala s’ya! I feel I used to be in a position to faucet into a unique form of viewers due to that function.

After which, there’s “Love Earlier than Dawn,” which is critical as a result of it’s my first challenge with Bea Alonzo after 20 years. She was the largest draw for me. This present is a testomony to the ability of camaraderie and chemistry. However I might have completed any present so long as it was with Bea.

We’ve been seeing a lighter, extra enjoyable and extra self-deprecating facet of you thru TikTok. How did these laugh-out-loud movies come about?

Matagal ko na s’yang na-discover, however I didn’t actually act on it as a result of, as you may see, I’m not the standard TikTok consumer — I don’t dance, I don’t take selfies, at hindi ako mahilig magpa-cute for the cameras.

I used to be requested to think about getting on the bandwagon when my former supervisor stated that social media was turning into increasingly more part of a celeb’s instruments, particularly the place endorsements are involved. However I resisted.


In 2022, nonetheless, I spotted that I wanted to have an open thoughts about it. And after I lastly succumbed to TikTok, I spotted how pleased these movies made individuals—nagugulat sila, natatawa at natutuwa. And it’s an effective way to share some positivity to others. On the identical time, it permits me to snigger at myself—and that makes me pleased, too.

Which of your difficult roles was hardest for you?

“Felix Manalo.” My strains from the script had been so lengthy, so I couldn’t simply go to the shoot with out having labored on my scenes the earlier night time. Naaalala ko that there was a lot footage kaya umabot hanggang seven hours ang authentic working time! So, they needed to trim it right down to about three hours!

As an actor, what else is in your bucket listing?

I’d love to do extra villain roles—they’re at all times enjoyable and difficult.

Understanding what you realize now, when you might speak to your youthful self in 2000, what recommendation would you give him?

Be affected person—huwag kang mainip. There’s a proper time for every thing. There are nice plans for you. Simply at all times do your greatest in order that when the time comes, you’ll be prepared to just accept the issues which might be meant only for you.

You and Jen are each very profitable as actors. However what occurs if you argue? Who will get the final phrase?

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She at all times wins (laughs)! S’ya ang panalo. As they are saying, “Blissful spouse, pleased life.”

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