Why It Took Four Years For Matteo Guidicelli’s “Penduko” To Push Through

Did you know that James Reid was originally chosen to play “Penduko?”

Matteo Guidicelli waited for four years before officially taking on the title role in Studio VIVA, Sari Sari Network, and MediaQuest Holdings’ “Penduko.”

The film, which was first announced in 2019, is finally showing on December 25 as part of the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival.

In an interview with FreebieMNL and select media during a solo press conference on November 17, Matteo explains why the project took a while before coming to fruition.

Originally, James Reid was supposed to do the project but he had to back out after suffering from a spinal injury.

Matteo was then chosen to do the role but then, the project had to be postponed because of the pandemic. It is also one of the reasons why it took a while before Matteo did his first big project since transferring to VIVA.

He recalls, “I think, natimingan lang because this project was supposed to be done four years ago. Di ba, it was James before then they passed it on to me.

“Hearing the title ‘Penduko,’ how can you say no to that? How can you not do that?

“So, I said yes to it four years ago pero hindi natuloy because of different factors, and then pandemic happened, tumigil na naman.

“Then life went on, people started figuring out what they wanted to do and then Boss Vic Del Rosario calls, ‘Matt, gawin na natin!’ So, ginawa na namin.”

When they finally decided to push through with the project, VIVA thought of the proper way to execute “Penduko” until they finally submitted it to the MMFF 2023.

“It was supposed to be a movie then a TV series, they were figuring out how to do with it until 2023, sabi nila, ‘MMFF, we’ll do this.

“So, we did it and I guess, again, sometimes, you can’t really force things, it just happens, it falls into place. Be ready all the time para kapag bumubukas yung pinto, pasok ka na agad, handa ka na.”

READ ALSO: Matteo Guidicelli “Nervous” But “Confident” In First MMFF Movie “Penduko”

Difference of Matteo’s “Penduko”

Matteo is the fourth actor to play the role of Pedro Penduko. Other actors who previously took on the role were Ramon Zamora and Janno Gibbs on film and Matt Evans on TV.

Did he have to watch the previous incarnations before stepping into the character?

Matteo admits, “Hindi ko napanood yung mga movies nila fully, I just watched some snippets.

“Why? Because I didn’t want to, kumbaga, if you watch something, you tend to copy it. I want to come in with a fresh take pa, not copying Matt Evans or Sir Janno, not getting what they did before.

“I want it to come in with a fresh look. So, I did not watch their full series, full movies. I just saw some clips to watch their body language, para hindi maging ganun, kumabaga.”

Matteo Guidicelli
Matteo Guidicelli as Penduko

Matteo is excited to share with moviegoers how “Penduko” will be different from the other iterations of the popular comic character by Francisco Coching.

He explains, “Iba-iba sila, very very different. ‘Penduko’ ngayon, I’d like to believe, is very different from the previous ones.

“Sila lahat, they had their own tatak, very own specific characters. Penduko ngayon is very different. Jason Paul Laxamana created a story na talagang reflects what’s happening to the world today with social media, digitalization of the world.

“He really related that to the pelikula ano, still interlacing that with the Filipino tradition and culture, so very very important.”

A blessed 2023

More than anything, Matteo is grateful for all the blessings he has received for the past year.

Aside from “Penduko,” he signed with GMA-7 and became part of the shows “Unang Hirit” and “Black Rider.” He also put up a studio with wife Sarah Geronimo.

He says, “Thankful, very thankful po. Sometimes, in life, when you plan so hard, bakit di dumadating? But when it comes, it comes, and I guess in life, you just have to be ready.

“Physically, mentally, spiritually, you have to be ready all the time because you never know when the blessing comes.

“When it comes and you say no to something or delay it, baka it won’t come. So, in life training is everyday, you always have to be ready, you have to be physically trained, strengthen your faith, and be a good person.

“Because when an opportunity comes, you get it and you do your best. So, I’m very thankful a lot of good things happened, but a lot of challenging things also happened but we’re ending the year beautiful.”

Banner Art Dani Sison

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