Rocco Nacino has showcased his ability as an actor in more than a dozen television soaps over the years. He has also had memorable appearances on film and was recognized by award-giving bodies for his breakthrough performances in “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” and the biographical film “Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir.”
Drama has become Rocco’s forte and television, his home. This makes playing one of the leads in the law school comedy-drama, “Bar Boys” arguably one of Rocco’s most challenging roles to date.
“In a way, yes, this was most challenging because one, it’s out of my comfort zone. Drama ako madalas kaya hindi ko talaga ito ginagawa,” Rocco said in an interview with InterAksyon.
In the said film, Rocco plays Torran Garcia, a law student faced with the challenge of living up to his chosen path. While trying to survive law school, he and his friends try to sustain a friendship that could easily be destroyed by pride and personal ambition.
Rocco chose not to watch barkada-themed movies before shooting “Bar Boys”, and explains why.
“For my projects, I try my best never to watch films na…similar. Sometimes, oo, nakakatulong siya, but I don’t want to have a…standard? Baka kasi yun ang lumabas eh. Baka ang mangyari ginagaya mo lang yung character. So as much as possible, I dive into my character, I immerse myself.”
Rocco also shared why his own personality made it difficult for him to get into character for the film.
“Ako kasi yung tao na… hindi naman ako naturally isang leader, more of follower ako. Para sa film na ito kinailangan kong ilabas yung pagka-alpha male ni Rocco, para i-prove ko yung point ko, iparating sa’yo na hindi, tama ako. So kakaibang Rocco ang makikita niyo. First time ko ‘to eh. Nakakatuwa. Makikita niyo kung paano ako nag-step out of my comfort zone,” he said.
Playing a law student entails tons of research and Rocco was very hands-on with the research at hand.
“So for this film with Direk Kip, we did a lot of debates with his debate team, and I watched [the dynamics of] his debate team, talagang bangayan sila. I saw how you have to have that confidence to prove your point.”
“My friends who went to law school, nagpa-kuwento lang ako. At the same time I went to city halls, nakinig ako sa mga hearings, yung mga public hearings. Pinapanood ko lang kung ano yung due process niya when it comes to a trial. Ano ba yung pinag-uusapan? Alam mo yung pumasok ako sa pelikula na medyo feeling, feeling ko alam ko na ‘to.”
“I had no time to go out of my way to read entire law books, but I was really surprised when I had a glimpse of what they actually had to read and learn and study. Napakahirap pala talaga nitong mga codes na ‘to, yung mga articles, the books that they have to study,” he said.
Starring in the film has given Rocco a sense of pride. “Talagang ipinagmamalaki ko ang pelikulang ito,” he said. “Ngayon lang uli nabuhay ang barkada films. Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino has a lot of genres. There’s heavy drama, there’s action, comedy. What we have is a really good feel good film. Also,kakaiba yung field na ti-nackle namin ngayon—law.”
“Sometimes you need something that really feels good when you watch a film. Sometimes it’s not how heavy it is; sometimes it’s the heavy ones that put a smile on your face. Sa tingin ko, ang leverage namin dito ay lalabas ka talaga ng sinehan na tatawa.”
Directed by Kip Oebanda, “Bar Boys” stars Rocco Nacino, Enzo Pineda, Carlo Aquino and Kean Cipriano. “Bar Boys” will be screened in cinemas nationwide until August 22 as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pillipino.