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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mark Herras matures as an actor

After winning StarStruck in 2004, Mark Herras’ first roles on TV (Mga Mata ni Anghelita, Fantastic Man) and in film (Let the Love Begin) were tailored fit for a matinee idol.

Five years later, we find Mark taking on roles that are different from who he is in real life. On GMA 7’s Ikaw Sana, Mark plays Michael Olivarez, a father who is torn between his love for half sisters Eliza Montemayor (Jennylyn Mercado) and Sofia Montemayor (Pauleen Luna).

“The challenge was finding inspiration from outside of me. I’m not yet a father so I do not know firsthand how a father thinks, acts, feels. I had to study the role carefully and keep in mind constantly what motivates a father so that I keep in character and grow with it as the Ikaw Sana story evolves,” Mark said.

He relishes the privilege of having a job that he actually loves.

“It’s so easy for an actor to forget why he’s here in the business once the money comes in. But not everyone is given the privilege to entertain people and that’s why I don’t want to waste the opportunity.”

It helps that Mark shares
the fruits of his labor to his loved ones. He said whenever he feels lazy, he thinks of his family and, voila, he’s already out the door.

Given the chance, Mark would like to portray roles with a physical or mental illness. He recalls the Aga Muhlach film Sa Aking Mga Kamay in which the actor plays the role of a serial killer with double personality. “I admire the way Aga was able to make people believe that he’s a good person when he wants them to believe so, and then a bad person whenever the other side of his personality takes over. I like characters with complex personalities,” he confessed.

Mark also admires Robin Padilla whom he has worked with in Joaquin Bordado. He said Robin may be the Bad Boy of Philippine Cinema but he always portrays his roles with an understated sense of humor that endears him to the masses.

“The characters he does have flaws but people love them anyway because Robin gives the characters a heart so they become relatable. Robin’s strength is in his ability to show that his characters, no matter their shortcomings, always come from a good place,” he said.

Asked if he thinks being part of a love team may affect his bid to be further recognized as a serious actor, Mark replied, “Good acting is not dependent on whom you’re acting with, let alone with whom you’re paired. With or without an onscreen partner, if you portray your roles well, people would see that for its merit.”

The biggest factor that made Mark to go beyond his matinee idol image is having a clear idea of who he is and where he wants to take his career.

“I now know my strengths and limitations so the formula I follow is simple: I will continue doing things where I excel in, even as I find ways to improve in my craft, whether by undergoing workshops or through mindset and discipline. People have asked me why I don’t seem to get worried even with the appearance of new faces in the scene. I no longer think of competition. My only competitor is myself. I have to be better than my last project. I do not aim to become a bigger star, but only a better actor.”




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