With a decade’s worth of presence in show business, actor Paulo Avelino has been well seasoned and creatively challenged as any artist would hope to be. Devoted to his craft, lauded in the industry (his first ever Best Actor award was granted by the prestigious Gawad Urian in 2012), and striking in the flesh, we find that the 28-year-old star is currently thriving more than ever.
This year alone, Paulo has a handful of exciting projects that are slated to be filmed and released. Among them is a new television series in ABS-CBN with Ritz Azul called The Promise of Forever where he plays a character who doesn’t age. He’s also starring in the period musical Ang Larawan as the young, piano-playing Tony Javier. And of course, the highly-anticipated sequel of Heneral Luna entitled Goyong where he portrays the iconic general Gregorio del Pilar is set to be filmed this summer which will then hit the big screen next year.
Paulo counts the two latter roles to be his toughest acts yet. When asked what draws him to a certain character, he says, “I always want to do something different. I think the reason why I crave for something new is the chance to learn a lot from it. If it’s out of my comfort zone or something I haven’t tackled before, then it means there’s more to discover.”
Come February 15th, Paulo’s latest indie venture entitled I’m Drunk, I Love You will premiere where he plays Dio, the best friend of Maja Salvador’s Carson. Portraying a young musician in the movie, Paulo shared with us that he also performed original songs on set. And with a story that involves music, a road trip to the beach, and the muddle of unspoken romantic feelings, this film is a real bait to the millennial generation’s sentiments. This will be a hit, no doubt, especially around Valentine’s Day.
But before our theory is proven true, we kick back with Paulo (who arrived in a black Murakami shirt on a BMW Motorrad – which says a lot about his hobbies) in the apt setting of an uncrowded bar. Here, we style him in cool, retro-inspired pieces and discuss travelling, his value for privacy, and the merits he finds in acting.
How can you relate to your character in I’m Drunk, I Love You?
In a way, I guess there have been a few girls that I really liked, but it just so happens that the friendship didn’t transcend to the next level.
What did you enjoy most about filming the movie?
I loved working with the whole production team and, of course, Maja as well. She was such a treat to work with. She makes the set lively and happy. And another thing I liked about filming this is shooting in La Union. This was mostly shot in San Fernando, and I just enjoyed being there the whole time.
You also filmed Ang Larawan to be shown as an opening film at this year’s Cinemalaya. What can you tell us about that movie?
It’s something different. I’ve always wanted to do a musical film. But I never imagined it to be this soon. I had voice lessons, and it took a lot of rehearsals with the actors and our director.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?
Hard work beats talent.
What’s the biggest challenge so far?
For me, it’s coping up with the issues. I try to be as private as possible, as much as I can. But in this industry, hindi talaga kaya. There’s going to be gossip. But at the end of the day, I remind myself that if I just concentrate on my work, then that’s all I need to make it in this industry.
Did you ever feel like quitting?
At some point, yes. But it would always hit me that there’s no real reason for me to go away from something that I love doing, something I’m passionate about.
What do enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy most about being an actor is portraying a certain character and being a different person. It’s out of this world to play someone else to the point that sometimes you hardly recognize yourself. It leaves an impact on the real you.
What are the things that interest you outside of work?
Anime, manga, motorcycles, and travel.
What’s been your favorite travel destination so far?
I’ve always loved Europe. You could just cross to a different city, and have a different vibe, a different look, a different feel. The culture there is great. But of course, I’d still choose the Philippines over Europe any time. We’ve got lovely beaches and beautiful mountains. And I guess I’m just really more comfortable here. (Laughs)
Are you the kind of traveler who likes to go on adventures or to just relax?
I do go on adventures. I hate planning, except for one or two things that I really want to tour or visit. But more than that, for me it’s all about going around, meeting locals, and just getting lost in a new city.
So let’s talk about your personal style. What’s your go-to outfit on a casual day?
Just a round-neck shirt, jeans, and comfortable shoes.
Do you consider yourself as someone who’re interested in fashion?
Well, not really. The only time I dress up is when I’m wearing suit, and I’m a bit particular about it.
What do you think are the top five pieces every guy should have in their closet?
A black round-neck shirt, a white round-neck shirt, blue jeans, black jeans, and worn-out sneakers.
What do you think makes a person stylish?
I think you can wear whatever you want. But in dressing up, you have to have the attitude that goes with your chosen outfit. It doesn’t matter if you want to go avant-garde, as long as you can carry it well.
What are your grooming essentials?
Lip balm, moisturizer, and cologne.
When you’re traveling, what do you always pack in your suitcase?
Toothbrush and underwear. Plus a white or black shirt.
How do you stay fit and healthy?
I can say that I’ve always been healthy. I never really liked the sinful stuff. I stay away from fat. I do, once in a while, give in when it comes to sweets. But generally, I’m trying to eat healthier this year and exercise more.
What keeps you motivate to stay in shape?
Aside from work, it’s dressing up. It’s nice to wear a suit when you know you’re fit, when you know it would fall down perfectly on your body.
What’s your goal for 2017?
My goal for 2017 is to finish all of my commitments. I have a couple of films to finish this year and I have some that are going to be shown this year. I’m looking forward to preparing and filming Goyong. I’m hoping that these indie films that I’m doing would do well in the box office and be something that I’ll be proud of.