Juan Karlos talks about his portrayal of a drug dealer onscreen in this Cinemalaya 2023 entry
Juan Karlos “JK” Labajo earned praises for his vulnerable portrayal of a son longing for his mother in the Cinemalaya 2023 entry “When This Is All Over,” which is produced by Kroma Entertainment’s ANIMA Studios.
What was the most difficult thing that Juan Karlos did for the Cinemalaya entry?
“Actually, wala naman because every one of the crew was lovely to work with. It didn’t feel like work. In that sense, wala talagang difficult part or difficult scenes,” said Juan Karlos in an interview held during the film’s premiere night at the Philippine International Convention Center recently.
“There were difficult scenes to shoot, technical-wise. But everyone was so supportive on set, so, wala talagang nahirapan kumbaga.”
In the film, Juan Karlos’s character is a lonely young man trying to go to the United States in order to be reunited with his mother. However, he is stuck in Manila during the COVID-19 lockdown, which forces him to resort to unscrupulous means in order to get a U.S. visa.
How did he manage to do his heartbreaking breakdown scene which is one of the highlights of the movie?
“It was just natural. You try to put yourself in the shoes of the guy who was dealing with his mom leaving. I guess in a way, I could connect with that person.”
Juan Karlos on accepting the project
In this indie film, his character sold drugs and occasionally tried illegal drugs as well. When asked about his portrayal of a drug user onscreen, JK said, “I’m not one that people should ask anything about drugs because I have no idea as well. Drugs are bad. Don’t do drugs.”
What made JK accept this project?
“Honestly, I saw the script and I loved it. I said, ‘Let’s go.’ Hindi ako mapili sa mga projects, e, especially since Direk [Kevin Mayuga] is really amazing.”
“When This Is All Over” earned three Balanghai trophies during the awarding ceremony of the 19th edition of Cinemalaya.
In this film, a drug dealer (played by Juan Karlos) helps a group of privileged kids throw a rave party at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When This Is All Over” won the Best Cinematography award its “effective camera work and lighting to depict the world of drugs and the lifestyle that sustains it.”
It also bagged the Best Original Musical Score for “its original musical soundtrack that helps propel its depiction of the drug subculture obtaining in high condominium living.”
Its third award was Best Production Design “for successfully conjuring the contrasting worlds of affluence and want in condominium living.”
“When This Is All Over” is produced by ANIMA Studios, owned by Kroma Entertainment. Kroma is the parent company of FreebieMNL.
Banner Art Paulo Correa