John Lloyd Cruz has been bent on proving that he isn’t your typical cookie-cutter artista. For one, unlike most male actors of his ilk, he’s never stripped down to his skivvies for a Bench Body fashion show. (Never mind that he’s never built the abs for it—he ain’t about that life.)
This cerebral approach to life choices also applies to his profession—sorry, his craft—as seen in his new film Honor Thy Father, directed by the critically acclaimed Erik Matti for the Cinema One Originals 2015 Film Festival. For the role, however, he decided to do the one thing considered career suicide for most love team-dependent actors: He shaved that head of beautifully dandruff-free hair. No bald caps for this brave, young thespian.
The film, much like Erik’s On the Job (2013), is bloody, gutsy, and action-packed. Not John Lloyd’s usual rom-com-drama fare, but hey, he’s got that lined up already.
Photos of his newly shorn head started circulating on the Interwebz back in March while they were shooting. According to Inquirer.net, Lloydie took to that razor with gusto, “despite stern warnings from his big studio handlers that he might lose endorsement contracts, especially for a shampoo product.”
“My world has grown bigger. I am not just confined to my home network, ABS-CBN. I want to break away from my usual roles. I refuse to be typecast,” was his battle cry.
And at the film’s premiere last Sunday night, he could finally stick it to his home network that he had made the right decision. “For sure it’s not gonna be your typical MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival—ed.) film,“ he tells Bandera. “Since may clamor naman for alternative cinema, baka magandang pagkakataon ito. (Since there is a clamor for alternative cinema, this might be a good opportunity.)”
After all, what is an actor but a man of the people? “At the end of the day it’s just cinema and I happened to be an actor,” he shrugs. It’s just a burden he carries every day of his life, and one of the many sacrifices he’d gladly make for his craft.