Jake Cuenca isn’t afraid of provocative Roles
The 2014 Queens World Film Festival, which screens oft-overlooked but thought-provoking films, has given Cinemalaya 2013 film ‘Nuwebe’ four nominations, including Jake Cuenca for Best Actor – Male Category.
Nuwebe is a film about incest and rape and stars Jake as the monster father Moises who abuses his 9-year-old daughter. The film is based on the true story of a 9-year-old mother, the youngest in Philippine history.
The film’s leading star Barbara Miguel, who play Moises’ daughter, has also been nominated for Best Actor – Female. Nuwebe will vie for Best Narrative Feature alongside six other films, and director Joseph Israel Laban is nominated for Best Director – Narrative Feature. The 2014 Queens World Film Festival runs from 4–9 March.
When asked why Jake accepted a role others hesitated to take, the half-Spanish actor said he enjoyed doing provocative projects as it balances the roles he takes on TV. Jake has played both lead characters and kontrabidas in teleseryes like ‘Maria Mercedes,’ ‘Rubi’ and ‘Tayong Dalawa.’
Moises’ character was admittedly ‘freaky,’ he said. But he said he did not feel any apprehensions about taking the role, which is why director Laban was generous with his praises of Jake and his performance.
Jake had taken a number of provocative roles in the past, including documentary filmmaker Gil Bustamante who talks to HIV and AIDs victims in the 2010 Department of Health-supported film ‘Si Heidi, si Ivy at si V…’ and NPA fighter Ka Jimmy who gets entangled in a passionate homosexual relationship with fellow fighter Ka Felix in the graphic 2013 Sineng Pambansa offering ‘Lihis.’
Looking at the themes of the films the 26-year-old actor had been accepting, we could say that Jake is not afraid to dip his hands into a bit of controversy as long as there is a purpose behind the film. He said he especially made room for Si Heidi… despite his busy schedule because ‘naniniwala ako na malaki ang partisipasyon naming mga artista sa pagpapalaganap ng tamang impormasyon tungkol sa HIV at AIDS.’
Meanwhile, he said he took on the role of Ka Jimmy opposite Joem Bascon because the role expanded his skillset as an actor: ‘I’m ready to do different things. I’m ready to portray a lot of challenging roles.’ In addition, he also wanted to take part in a project collaborated by director Joel Lamangan and writer Ricky Lee.
After Gil, Ka Jimmy and Moises, what’s next in Jake’s horizon? Win or lose in the Queens World Film Festival, fans will want to see more unconventional yet stimulating roles under his belt.
What movie genre or role do you want to see Jake portray? Share your thoughts below!