Magta-tatlong taon pa lang sa showbiz si Tony Labrusca, kabilang na rito ang pagbibida niya sa isang commercial ng McDonald’s noong 2016, pero agad na naging maingay ang pangalan niya after niyang gawin ang May-December affair movie na Glorious, kung saan marami siyang steamy sexy scenes with Angel Aquino. The film, which was shown on the streaming plaltform iWant in November 2018, instantly made Tony into a sexy-dramatic actor.
And why not when he’s sexy and, for a relatively newbie, he can act.
But Tony, to this day, remains uncomfortable with the tag.
“You know siguro everybody who gets labeled as a...—well, not everybody, I know kasi some people who do want to be labelled as sexy actors and sexy actresses—[But] for me, that’s not something that I was ever really comfortable with...” panimulang paliwanag ni Tony na naka-usap kamakailan ng pikapika.ph sa story conference ng first Viva Films movie niya na In Between Goodbyes.
Quickly, he adds: “And I know that might sound contradictory because I do pose topless pictures sometimes? But I think siguro for me, I’d like to consider myself as well as a creator. You know what I mean? I like to curate how I want people to view me. You know what I mean?
“So when I pose a picture that seems—quote-unquote—sensitive... that’s because I feel really good about myself in a... let’s say, superficial way. When I see a picture or a video myself, that’s... I’ve captured a moment that I really want to share with my audience.
“Now, when I hear an audience now label me as this sexy actor...you know, it can’t be helped. I don’t blame them ’cause I took Glorious and that one was really a sexy movie. It can’t be helped because I took that job.
“But at the same time, I guess it’s because it’s so new to me. You know what I mean? I never expected that I would be labeled as a sexy actor so fast...”
Hindi raw kasi ito ang na-project or inisip niyang pupuntahan ng career niya after niyang sumali sa reality/talent search show na Pinoy Boyband Superstar, also in 2016. Bagama’t hindi kasi siya nanalo doon ay nagbukas ito ng daan for his acting career via La Luna Sangre.
“To be completely honest, how I viewed my career... I’ve kinda wanted it to go this way...I wanted my career to go this way along with everybody who was my contemporaries as well. But I noticed that my career started going this way. You know what I mean?” very animated na dagdag esplika ni Tony.
“Lahat ng mga ka-batch ko was doing something completely different from me. I don’t wanna namedrop, but sa mga boyband, I mean, wala naman sa kanila na-label as sexy actors...I mean, I’ve worked with Kisses [Delavin]...
“So, it was a little interesting for me kasi usually when you’re called as a sexy-dramatic actor, medyo may-edad ka na rin, marami ka ng experience...so for me, I guess it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s more of I’m a little overwhelmed. At the same time, when you get labelled that, ang taas na ng expectations sa’yo.”
At dito daw sa mga expectations na ito siya nalulula at hindi sa bilis ng pag-angat ng career niya.
“I’m not scared...it’s not of fear. Actually, when I felt na ang bilis nga ng mga nangyayari sa career ko, it was exciting for me and it’s still is very exciting for me, you know? It just... it’s something that I’m very grateful for...
“I get nervous because you’re only as good as your last project, you know? And because my career has gone so fast, the expectation gets higher and higher each time...and I’m going to be completely honest, the expectation was so high on me when I did Sino ang Maysala and I was so scared that I was gonna fail, you know? I thought did I fail actually. I thought I let everybody down during that project. I’m happy to whoever appreciated my role there naman, but you know...”
But he’s taking the challenge. In fact, kino-consider niyang another milestone ang paggawa niya ng pelikula sa Viva Films (dahil hindi naman daw siya exclusive contract star ng ABS-CBN). Bukod kasi sa makakasama na niya sina Lovi Poe at ang man of the hour na si Marco Gumabao, madi-direct na raw siya ni acclaimed director Joel Lamangan.
“It’s exciting but at the same time, it keeps you on your toes...and fear is what keeps people alive so...It’s a dog- eat-dog world here in showbiz, you know? That’s what we signed up to do. So I can’t complain. I can share my sentiments with you guys as a human being. But at the end of the day, I can’t whine and—excuse my language—bitch about my job. Because this is what I signed up for.”