What a great article! Kudos to Rowena Joy Sanchez of Manila Bulletin.
Original article: David Archuleta on the joy and art of acting
By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ
February 6, 2012, 11:06am
Honorary Pinoy? David Archuleta, who recorded the OPM classic ‘Nandito Ako’ for his mini-series, has grown to love Filipinos, their warmth, hospitality, and delicacies like laing, halo-halo, adobo, and turones (Photo by ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ)
MANILA, Philippines – Three weeks in the country seem like a short time, but it was enough for David Archuleta to gain heightened interest in acting.
Shooting painstakingly for 15 days for his forthcoming TV5 mini-series “Nandito Ako”—his major acting debut—was “one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” declared the “American Idol” Season 7 runner-up during the press conference for the said show last Feb. 4.
“I’m just looking forward to do more… It’s been so fun. I’m not the greatest actor, and this is a very new thing for me, but I can’t wait to keep going. It’s a lot of work; it takes a lot of people to make something like this happen. But this is something that I would love to keep working on. This is a great thing to share to people,” said Archuleta.
Reeled in by reluctance
It wasn’t exactly the case at the beginning. Archuleta admitted that he was reluctant to take on the project, given that he’s not “much of an actor,” having appeared simply as himself on US teen shows “Hannah Montana” and “iCarly.” He likewise had concerns about being away from home.
His acquiescence to the project had apparently paid off, with Archuleta realizing that “it’s exactly what I needed.”
“[Acting] has taught me a lot about myself as a person, which is weird because I really didn’t expect that at all,” he admitted.
He continued: “Looking back and just going through it each day, it’s been so worth it… just getting to know the people and getting challenged and trying to act and express [feelings] in a way other than just music. Acting is very much an art. I appreciate and respect even more the actors and actresses in what they have to do and what they have to accomplish in order to bring out something that people could feel and understand.”
Recognized for his soulful, heart-tugging singing style, Archuleta found himself stepping out of his comfort zone, playing the role of Josh Bradley on “Nandito Ako,” a Filipino-American international singer who returns to the Philippines to search for the missing pieces of his true identity.
“This is one of those things that I’ve been able to mature and grow up with and be able to say that even though this is not something I can normally do or I don’t know if I’m good enough, I’m wiling to take on the challenge.
“It was hard to get comfortable being open and emotional in front of others at first… but whether it’s being happy or angry or sad, you couldn’t hold back or else you wouldn’t give something to the audience and they wouldn’t feel the story,” he related.
The 21-year-old idol is grateful to his fellow cast members, including his leading ladies Jasmine Curtis Smith and Eula Caballero, who’ve been like a family to him.
“They’ve taken me in, they made me feel comfortable, even though I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m not a good actor!’ They’ve just been so patient with me and always so supportive and encouraging. It helped me do better in my participation in the series.”
“Everyone here on TV5 and on the cast of ‘Nandito Ako,’ they’ve been the ones who I’ve just grown very close to… and I’m going to really miss them. I’m planning to come back [to the Philippines]. I can’t not come back. I just had too much of a great time,” said Archuleta.
He noted his co-star Ana Feleo, his acting coach, as “the one who really made the magic happen for me in coming out of my shell… and to be able to jump into the scene and be not afraid to let go.”
A blessing to others
Although his schedule had been packed since his arrival on Jan. 13—taping for the series, interacting with his fans during mall shows, as well as at his grand fans’ day last Feb. 4—the singer-songwriter made time for some philanthropic activities.
Last Jan. 29, he made a surprise visit to the children sponsored by ChildFund Philippines, the local arm of ChildFund International, with which Archuleta had teamed up during his “My Kind Of Christmas” US tour. The said group encourages individuals to sponsor children who have very little to zero access to food, education, and medicine. Archuleta himself sponsors a child from his mother Lupe’s home country, Honduras.
“We had some free time in the morning and went over to meet some of the kids who’ve been sponsored in the Philippines and see how it’s affected their lives, what they’ve been able to learn, how it’s affected their family as well, and just got to talk to them. It was touching, it was really powerful to get to meet them,” he recalled.
As he shifts to a new chapter in his life—a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Archuleta vowed to make his presence felt by his fans through the songs, which would be released while he’s away. He will resume recording as soon as he returns to the US.
“I don’t wanna leave my fans with nothing. I feel like that will be so disrespectful after everything they’ve done to support me,” he maintained.
Archuleta discreetly left the Philippines for Singapore on Sunday morning for some engagements. He will purportedly return to Manila in the same week to fulfill his remaining commitments.
The primetime series “Nandito Ako” premieres Feb. 20.