We caught up with 19-year-old rising star Jameson Blake, one of the three golden boys in the critically-acclaimed 2016 Cinema One Originals Best Picture, 2 cool 2 Be 4gotten. It’s the kind of movie you wouldn’t expect the ex-PBB housemate and noontime-show dancer to star in–because it’s that good.
Set in a Pampanga high school, 2 Cool is a darkly beautiful story about one loner’s obsession with the whore-and-American-born Snyder brothers. It explores the pleasures and pains of friendship, loss, and discovery.
Directed by talented newcomer Petersen Vargas and written by prolific director Jason Paul Laxamana, both kapampangans–the cinematography was breathtaking (it won Best Cinematography), the musical score both harrowing and heartbreaking, and the emotions honest. The film will make you ache for desires you didn’t even know you had.
Petersen has a knack for capturing nostalgia and longing, but perhaps most importantly, he was able to bring out the best in his newbie actors. Young singer Khalil Ramos, who played the film’s main character, was spot-on. Likewise, Snyder brothers Ethan Salvador and Jameson were a pleasure to watch.
Here, Jameson–who nabbed the Best Supporting Actor award–invites you to see it on its 2nd nationwide run (remember to bring a box of Kleenex).
Congratulations for winning Best Supporting Actor! Is this your first acting gig?
Thank you! Yes, this is my first movie. I had very small roles here and there–Maalaala mo Kaya, andthis Lenten drama segment in Showtime.Can you talk about your character?
Maximillian Snyder is the brother of Magnus Synder. They’re half-Americans who went to Pampanga to continue their studies. Maxim is a typical evil-thinking psychopathic guy, but he shows it in a very calm tempo. He has a dark personality, a mind of his own, he wants things to go his way. He’s rude, he doesn’t give a crap about anything.
You’re not like Maxim in real life, are you?
No, not really [laughs]. But I didn’t have a hard time pulling out the Maxim in me.
How was your experience acting in a (relatively) low-budget indie film?
It was my first, so I didn’t really know how a movie works. I just learned about all these cameras, these lights, and how everything is so organized. But Direk Petersen is really nice and fun to be with. The fact that it was my first kinda pressured me, but it was all good.
What was it like working with Petersen?
He’s kapampangan, I’m also kapampangan, so we got along quick. It was both our firsts too–the first full-length film that he directed, the first film I acted in. We were just friends–I liked working with him. He wasn’t strict with anything.
How did he direct you?
It was like he already knew what I was gonna do. But then I would always go up to him and ask, “Direk, what should I do in this part?” Then he guides me. He’s very accommodating–I didn’t feel any pressure when he was telling me what to do. Especially in the crucial scenes, which he wanted to be perfect.
Was it the “below the belt” scene?
Yeah! [laughs] That is the part. Yeah.
What was it like working with Khalil and Ethan?
Ethan I got along with really quick. We’re both ingliseros. We had a lot in common. Khalil, I got along with too, but Ethan I got along with more. Khalil was very quiet and very professional. Ethan and I were new, Khalil was the experienced one. But I had a lot of fun working with him too.
What was the highlight of the shoot for you?
In the abandoned hospital, that people say is haunted [laughs]. It was where we shot some pivotal scenes. Also the place where I did the “below the belt” scene. But we shot a crucial scene at the beach too, and I really liked that.
What was your favorite part of the finished film?
Maybe the party scenes. How I was being so badass. It kinda felt good [laughs].
What types of films would you wanna do next?
More like a thriller/adventure type. High school setting. And there’s all these different kinds of personalities. Also a romantic comedy.
Why should everybody see 2 cool?
Guys, you really have to see this film. Especially people my age–teenagers–because they will learn from it. It’s an interesting movie with LGBT elements, but it’s more about friendship and how you take it in different ways. ~
2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten is screening in cinemas nationwide from March 15.