UNCUT with Timmy Eigenmann aka Sid Lucero
By Mikael Daez
To date, I can’t really say I’ve interviewed a lot of people. For my column alone, I’ve only had a handful of interviewees and in my lifetime, not much more than that. But, I must admit I love talking to different people because I expose myself to all these various personalities and opinions. I say this now because of all the people I have had a chance to talk to, Timmy stands out in very specific areas. He answers my questions with unreserved candidness and though that description may be redundant, it is only because I want to emphasize it. He tells his story and although I had heard snippets of them while we were working together last year, I wanted him to share it again for everyone to know. It’s a great short story with numerous insights which make it even better to just think about and marvel at.
A glimpse of the beginning
…on how he started acting
“I really didn’t want (to act). High school pa lang, I didn’t know what I wanted so I got into commercials first. Trip, trip lang ‘yon, cash in the pocket and stuff. And then, I took up philosophy in Ateneo and told myself that was stupid. So, I took up technical theatre in CSB and when I got there, I still didn’t like school so stupid pa rin. So I eventually told my manager, I think I’m ready to act but it was still just to make money really.”
…on how he fell in love with his craft
“My manager got me a workshop with Peque Gallaga and Gabby Fernandez. It was a 10-day crash course of “being” which I didn’t know was also an audition for a show Hanggang Kailan on GMA. 2nd day ng workshop pa lang, I realized I really wanted to do this and forever na. I got reprimanded nga because I took a shot because I was so nervous. But, ever since that day I fell in love with it and tuloy tuloy na. “
Like I said, I had heard this story before and I remember exactly when it happened. It was my first taping day in our television show together and somewhere in between, we got to talking and this story of his just stuck to my head. I guess it stuck to me because I could relate to it to a certain extent. From never really wanting to act to suddenly jumping head first into it, it’s nice to hear how drastic changes aren’t necessarily turns for the worse.
Love for acting
…on the relationship between his life and acting
“Forever. Whether it is in front of the camera of behind. Forever na ‘yan. I cant imagine doing anything else. I don’t see myself doing anything else— just this. “
…on what he wants to do beyond acting
“I want to direct. I want to make films. End goal, I’m trying to learn as much as possible in front of the camera so I can bring it with me behind. I don’t have the luxury of going to school anymore. I have to pay rent, I have a dog, I have to take care of the house. I can’t just stop working and do whatever I want. I’ll try to hit two birds with one stone.”
…on other things he is passionate about
“There’s nothing else. After acting kasi, wala na. End of the world na. After a really good movie, it’s a good day to die na! It’s funny because my passion is really making movies and the job is television, that’s what I do on the side. There’s nothing else for me to do. That’s it.”
…on being critical about his own work
“Yeah I’m critical, but not as much as I used to be. I think yung pinakasakit ng lahat ng actors is they’re never happy. You want to be as natural as possible in a scene but when you do it and you’re on your way home, you think ‘I should’ve done this or should’ve done that.’ Sometimes you start not caring, you stop watching what you just did. You just do it then wala na. I don’t care if I think I did good or bad as long as the director said good take. Im fine with it because they usually see something different eh.”
…on rating himself on a recent project he did
“I’d give myself a 2 because I was never really able to study the script. Siguro mga first four weeks lang then next thing you know I just got tired because we really didn’t know where we were going. That’s really hard. There’s no distinct arc. U know the backbone but u don’t really know how high or how low. There are times when you go to work, you’re just not in the mood. No matter how hard you try you just can’t get into it. It becomes robotic because you are so concentrated on what you have to say. It becomes routine na. There’s nothing in it anymore. I just walk onto the set and sleep to fast forward time. Yun, I kind of feel bad about it then again I don’t want to think too much about it because I don’t want to feel bad.”
Personally, my favorite part when it comes to reading through Timmy’s answers is that it feels as if he is really sharing his thoughts with you. As he goes through his memories and ideas in his head, it’s like they seamlessly translate into his words and answers during the interview.
Also, how you can you not respect the love he has for his craft? He had so many memorable quotes and you could really feel the finality of his responses when he would talk about acting taking a big chunk of his life. He would even go as far as using the word “forever” which, if you think about it, people don’t use a lot. It’s because it holds so much meaning and carries a lot of weight. He, however, just casually throws it around when he talks about acting. Beyond his love for it, it seems already built in to him, like he is ready to take it with him as far as his life will allow it. I find it inspiring because it isn’t everyday that you meet a person who is so set on what he wants out of his life. I mean, he went as far as saying that beyond acting, it’s the end of the world!
In terms of success, it’s no wonder why he has gotten so much praise. He has won numerous awards during his eight year career but, when you live and breathe your work, there’s usually no other way to go than up. In my eyes, his border-line obsession to acting just keeps him going and going. At the same time, he is constantly challenging himself to do more regardless of the difficulties that lay ahead. It’s a mindset that isn’t very common, I think, but is definitely worthwhile when you see it in action. It’s the type of drive that can inspire which is why I feel very satisfied sharing to others my interview with him.
…on talking about making movies and television shows
“It’s really hard to be completely fulfilled in TV eh. They really don’t give you much. You don’t have time. You want to study the script but you only get it when you get there. You have so much to remember, it’s really deep pa and its not your first language. Plus it doesn’t help that everyone else does it in a snap. The pressure is there. “
…on the state of Philippine television and cinema
“I think we have a lot to go through pa before we grow up. I think the mainstream side of our industry is very afraid to take risks. I think Amaya was the first major risk that any network has done. They usually like to follow a formula that people want. However, you can still see the formula in Amaya– the love story and all.”
…on what can be done about Philippine television
“Recently, there was an influx of legal shows in Hollywood. They have to means to teach people. Like, everybody in the United States is suing people now. Us naman, we had a show on law but instead we focus on the love story. I think we need to balance the educational part. Sayang because they have that power and everybody watches and listens.”
Given that he is an actor and, to his defiance, a showbiz personality, I couldn’t resist the urge to pick his mind and ask him what he thought of the Philippine television industry. I was slightly surprised with his answers but after a little thought, it made sense. Television production in our country is extremely fast-paced. There really isn’t much time between taping days and airing dates that work just rushes by you. From my experience, there isn’t much time to sit, reflect and criticize yourself because another taping day is probably coming around the corner while you haven’t even physically recovered from the previous one. To my knowledge, we are the only country with this kind of schedule and maybe, it is a sign that there is still a lot of growth to be had for us. In relation to Timmy, he really likes sinking his teeth into his work and the environment in television just doesn’t give him that luxury. Like he said, his passion lies in making movies where he really gets to show off his acting chops. More than that, he gets to immerse himself in the characters that he plays without being held back by anything else.
All in all, it’s nice to know that we have people like him doing the rounds in our television industry. In as much as Timmy pushes himself to do better, I believe that, in the long run, his attitude will rub off on people and influence them to start pushing the envelope as well. It’s a winning situation for everyone. We all get to enjoy the work of a great actor while he also looks to develop an industry that has so much potential. More for him, more for us! J
Photographer: Gabby Cantero
Make Up: Joyce Platon and Carla Avancena
Hair: Chris Rodil for Loreal Professionel
Video Production: Isabel Bengzon and Gali Te
Director of Photography: Marco Limjap