Aug 25, 2007

Richard Gutierrez talks about family, Angel, and the environment

Richard Gutierrez was calm and collected when we ran into him during a recent GMA-7 provincial sortie. It struck us how unaffected the dashing actor was even when he was besieged with touchy questions involving his controversial family—from his tabloid-magnet sister, Ruffa, to his consistently quotable mother, Annabelle Rama.
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The young actor is charmingly accommodating, andhis answers are surprisingly straightforward, but he also knows when—and how—to evade potentially combustible questions about volatile issues.

He readily admits that he’s been in a two-year relationship with Georgina Wilson, who’s currently studying in Australia, and he’s quick to defend the beleaguered Angel Locsin, whom he considers “a dear friend.”

Colorful love life

But, he also knows which battles to fight—and he chooses them well. For instance, he is understandably mum about his elder sister’s colorful love life, although he also delivers a short albeit brisk pep talk about his being “supportive of whatever decisions would make Ate happy.”

Richard discloses: “Ate Ruffa is busy again—she just signed a three-picture contract with Regal.” Is it true that his mom will also be acting in one of those films? He answers, “Apparently, she is! (Laughter) It’s just weird to see my mom doing that, because she hardly dabbles in acting. Pero maganda at nakaka-aliw ang project, and people should watch out for it!”

Mom Annabelle is always in the news: She’s opinionated and feisty—a character with a colorful vocabulary. Is that how his mom is at home? Does she meddle in his personal affairs? Richard replies: “No, she doesn’t really meddle—she dispenses advice, yes, but whose mother doesn’t? And they’re not unsolicited. You’d be surprised to know na hindi sya ang tipo ng nanay na kumokontra. —At least, sa akin, ha! Ewan ko lang kay Ate! (Laughter)”

Does he miss acting with identical twin brother, Raymond? He beams, “You know, I don’t even remember how it was working with him, because back then, it wasn’t really work—para lang kaming naglalaro!”

Screen partner

That was then, and this is now. At 23, Richard is one of GMA-7’s biggest draws. And, although his most popular screen partner, Angel Locsin, has left their erstwhile mother studio, the actor remains close to the beleaguered actress. We spoke to Richard even before the big hullabaloo about Angel’s imminent network transfer was blown out of proportion—and he was quick to defend her.

He explains his gallant stand: “I understand where she is coming from. Hindi kasi nila alam kung ano talaga ang nararamdaman ni Angel. Some people don’t realize how hard some actors work—mentally and physically. All the public sees is the glitzy, glamorous aspect of this business. But, the down side to that is, we keep very long hours, and we juggle film and TV projects nonstop.

“I’m not privy to all the details of the issue. But, I feel bad about the incessant rap that Angel has been getting, because she’s a good person. I admit, mas lamang ako ng pahinga sa kanya. Siya, tuluy-tuloy talaga! Ako, merong one or two months’ off from work. So, I understand how she feels. She confided to me about how tired she was, so I told her that the London trip would be a welcome break for her. I don’t think this would affect her popularity at all!”


Another battle that Richard is more than willing to face is geared for his latest advocacy—the environment. To say the least, the “greening” of Richard Gutierrez is a pleasantly surprising image-tweaking turn for the actor, who’s known more for his conformist ways than his activist streak.

Richard is now a spokesperson of the environmental group, Greenpeace! But, stranger things are known to have happened in show business.

Richard explains: “Greenpeace’s main concern is the preservation of our environment. It pushes for non-violent direct action against environmental abuse and destruction. For sometime, I’ve been wanting to do something that would make a difference. When you know what you do affects people in a positive way, it makes you feel good!”
Rito Asilo

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