Coming-of-Age features in the Philippines is an exhausted theme, yet there is always that welcome surprise – like a gift – when you discover a cinematic gem. In the case of Darwin Yu, his starring role in First Sem gave him an acting mileage. At this point, the 21-year old thespian is considered a contender amongst many aspiring Filipino actors. Fast forward to 2020, Darwin remains in the spotlight with a lead role in My Extraordinary.
Let’s get to know more of this acclaimed young actor, shall we?
As a star in My Extraordinary, what is your approach to the character? Do you internalize him? How do you collaborate with Enzo? What sort of chemistry do you want viewers to feel about you as a BL couple? Tell us about your character in My Extraordinary. What’s his name, and who is he? (without revealing too much, kindly give us some background)
The first time Sir Kristian told me about this project, it felt surreal. I was thrilled to play this character, but at the same time, it was challenging because it’s a new role for me. As far as internalizing, I will just do the same studies and my personal techniques I use to render a character I’m going to portray. Plus, I just have to study and put myself in the shoes of my character, so when on set, I can envision myself as Shake.
With Enzo, we are doing our best to get to know more about each other and be comfortable. I think we will just have fun and make it an enjoyable and positive experience for us and everyone around us. I want the viewers to feel that everyone has the right to fall in love with whatever orientation you are, and be accepted. My character’s name here is Shake. He is a very sensitive yet loving person. Enzo will play Jonas.
Your performance in First Sem, a fantastic indie Pinoy film, caught the eye of many. How was the experience – acting with veteran artists and being nominated internationally?
It was amazing! I remember my first day; I was very nervous. Imagine, I’m going to work with these incredibly talented artists. My Nanay, Ms. Lotlot, was very supportive and taught me many things, like how to be comfortable with my role, along with different styles of acting. I’m forever grateful to my directors because they gave me a chance to showcase my acting skills. Being nominated Internationally is an additional bonus. I am thirsty for more, so I will do my best. Haha!
Where do you get your inspiration? Any particular filmmaker, actor or artist or somebody you look up to?
I love reading acting technique books from (Konstantin) Stanislavski, Keith Johnstone, to (Sanford) Meisner. They are my inspiration. I’m also amazed by Tirso Cruz III and Albert Martinez for their acting prowess. I am hoping that I can work with them in the future.
Any particular film that made you want to become an actor? Give us a bit of a background about the movies you like!
I watched a lot of foreign and local films with stars like Tom Hanks and Rico Yan. However, what inspired me the most was when I played the role of Hercules in a play when I was younger. That was the time I realized that I want to pursue an acting career. Some movies I also like are Joker and The Greatest Showman. From Joaquin Phoenix to Hugh Jackman, these are the actors whose works stand out to me the most because of how they portrayed their character.
What do you think about independent filmmaking in the Philippines? AsterisK, the production company behind your BL drama series, is not ABS or GMM, but there is already a great “look and feel” to the way the drama is being promoted. Care to comment?
I think it’s continually evolving. There are lots of award-winning indie films from the Philippines for which I am really proud. This series, My Extraordinary, will be shown on TV5, so I think wherever you are, what station you work for, it doesn’t really matter. If it’s a good story (and I know this one is), people will be watching it.
Of course, I’ll be giving my all. I believe BL fans are here to support us and make sure we give our 100%. I fully trust my management (Asterisk), and I know Sir K will take good care of me.
Any message to BL fans?
To our BL fans, thank you for your consistent support and love. You know that my career is not possible without you. You supported and embraced me; it shapes my perspective and honestly makes me humble. All the advice will never go unnoticed. No matter how far this career would take me, I’ll remain true to myself. If you know me personally, this career is a dream come true, so I’m really thankful for you guys. I will continue to strive to make you proud. You guys are an inspiration to me and Enzo. I love you all.
Once this series explodes all over the internet, there may be questions about you and Enzo Santiago. Are you ready for the sudden shot to fame and possible controversy?
Yes, I am ready; fame and controversy are a package deal. Good or bad, controversy is part of any career in entertainment. It’s something that I have already prepared for since I started.
The Psycho Milk team is grateful to Mr. Kristian Kabigting and the team at AsterisK Production for this interview opportunity.