Jul 31, 2007

Zanjoe: The limelight needs getting used to

Since he placed fourth in the celebrity edition of ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother, Zanjoe Marudo has faced the fact that he has become a showbiz celebrity with a nonshowbiz personality.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Public adulation, the sole domain of people like him, daunts Zanjoe. That’s why he has vowed never again to get his clothes from Bench (which he endorses) himself. Doing so would only mean attracting fans and curiosity seekers.

“People tell me I must get used to being

being the center of attention,” Zanjoe, who marked his 25th birthday recently, shrugs.

This, he knows will take some time. For now, Zanjoe is not as loquacious as his colleagues. He’s not all over you the way some of his colleagues are. It takes him time to warm up.

Neither does he feel entitled to special treatment.

For someone whose US-based dad used to be a chef, Zanjoe goes for simple viands. “I got used to eating simple fried food before I entered PBB,” he explains.

A fatter paycheck, thanks to ASAP ’07, where he’s one of the Coverboys (together with Rafael Rosell, Victor Basa and Jake Cuenca) and other TV appearances have raised Zanjoe’s food standards a bit, though. That’s his only concession to celebrityhood.

“I want my food piping-hot and fresh,” the Star Magic talent reveals.

Other things about his life, however, have remained constant. The guy from Tanauan, Batangas still sees the same friends he made as an unknown face and struggling model.

Zanjoe shies away from turning his birthday party into a circus. When he turned 25 last July 23, for instance, Zanjoe didn’t paint the town red. He just went out for a quiet dinner with his siblings. That’s big deal for him.

His birthday wish is just as simple. It’s not something ambitious like more projects or a bigger talent fee, although that’s not bad at all. Rather, it’s for continued health because “you can’t do anything if you’re not healthy.”

Zanjoe does need to stay in the pink of health to cope with upcoming projects. He goes offbeat as a boxer-turned-carpenter in Cinema One’s short film, Altar.

The suspense film casts Zanjoe in his first serious role, where he deals with bad spirits haunting what passes off as an altar in the basement of an old house.

Zanjoe will also reprise his role as title roler Makisig Morales’ father in Super Inggo Book 2.

On TV, the towering hunk will soon be seen in Kokey, directed by Wenn Deramas. This time, Zanjoe goes comic as a Kapampangan who goes to Manila to study to become a pilot. Megan Young gives Zanjoe’s character a romantic side.

It’s a far cry from the world Zanjoe knew like the palm of his hand a model for the country’s top designers.

“Modeling gives you in a daily routine. You go home early,” relates Zanjoe.

Showbiz, on the other hand, is a totally different ballgame. Zanjoe’s eyes light up, thinking of how it has widened his social circle and opened his mind to new things, especially in acting.

The pay is better, too. Thus did modeling’s loss turn out to be showbiz’s gain.

Zanjoe knows, however, that showbiz is not a bed of roses. He has to work harder and go home much later, if not early morning the next day.

Despite this, Zanjoe is bent on staying put in the business.

“The longer I stay in showbiz, the more serious I want my roles to be,” he says. Given a choice, he’d like to focus on drama.

“I starred on Maalaala Mo Kaya twice already,” Zanjoe crows.

He doesn’t discount comedy, though, which he agrees is much harder than drama.

So enamored is he about acting Zanjoe dreams of playing the title role in a Baby Ama remake and playing an OFW or seaman.

Still, the former model in him won’t let go. It pushes Zanjoe to experiment with various looks. So he studies Hollywood stars and how they project themselves.

Zanjoe is right, for instance, in thinking that wearing a hat like some Hollywood stars do enhances his looks and makes him ooze with mystery.

Chances are, Zanjoe will change this look when he stumbles on something more exciting.

“Everyday is a challenge,” Zanjoe breaks into a smile.

Inspiring him some more is the fact that he feels more responsible for his family, now that he’s in a better position to help financially. Zanjoe convinced his mom, brother and sister to stay with him in a Valle Verde townhome.

Zanjoe’s mom used to live in Tanauan, his brother was in a dorm and his sister stayed somewhere near her workplace. Zanjoe volunteered to take them all under his wing. Now, they can bond much better and run to each other’s rescue faster when needed.

How’s that for putting your money where your heart is?
Maridol Rañoa-Bismark
Philippine Star

No comments: