The lure and longevity of Mon Confiado

In Photo: Mon Confiado

Only a few can boast of a filmography of more than 300 films in less than three decades of being an actor. Maybe not even a few, but only one—Mon Confiado.

In a way, Confiado’s name has already become byword in the local film industry. He is not only a favorite coactor among his peers, but he is almost always handpicked by revered filmmakers, like Chito Roño, to be included in the cast of his movies. In fact, Confiado has been a regular fixture in Roño’s films for the last 25 years, and Roño’s production team members have labeled Confiado to be their “lucky charm.”

Ramon Confiado is the son of Angel Confiado, an actor from the 1950s to the early-1990s. “My father was already in his late 50s when he met my then-teenage mother.  My late father already had a family before he met my mother,” he shared.

“I grew up literally on film sets and locations,” he recalled, adding, “My father would tag me along and I’d watch him work. The movie set became a second home, some sort of a playground for me.”

Confiado’s first professional role as an actor was in the Peque Gallaga movie The Adventures of Leon and Kuting, which was immediately followed by good roles in Ang Dugo ng Panday and Shake, Rattle & Roll, both also under Gallaga.

“I remember going home every time so happy that I could hardly sleep because I was already excited for the next shoot day,” he told us, his eyes like those of a little boy talking about his favorite toy.

Work never stopped for Confiado. Gallaga’s core production members started to spread their wings and direct films one after the other, and all of them included Confiado in their cast. “Perhaps they were already familiar with me and I was never a problem on any set. I don’t really know. But I think that for them to cast me in their projects only meant that they trust me as an actor.”

Names like Jerry Lopez Sineneg, Jose Javier Reyes, Don Escudero, Erik Matti and Jerome Pobocan became established filmmakers and television directors, and they almost always picked Confiado to firm up their supporting actor requirements.

“I value the trust that filmmakers have for me, that’s why the very least I can do is give every role my best. I learned the importance of being a professional actor early on. Different directors have different styles, different moods, different processes, and as an actor I should learn to adapt and work in collaboration with them,” he said.

As he solidified his love for acting, Confiado became more and more thirsty as an artist. He would watch both local and foreign films and study the performances of the actors. He started to become fascinated with the process of getting into the character, of developing a particular look, a specific movement, a unique nuance that will create both the outer and inner personas of each character assigned to him.

In recent years, Confiado has gone into zones that ordinary local actors wouldn’t even dare to step into. He has shed 40 pounds for a film, then gained it back for the next. He has grew, cut, colored and even damaged his hair. He has looked famished and gone for hunky proportions, too. He has showed everything, except perhaps his nether regions on the big screen, but he won’t mind showing everything for the right role and the right project.

“I’m all for truth and reality. As an actor, I feel I owe the audience the truth when I portray my roles,” he added.

He is the first one to admit that his journey as an actor was not always easy and smooth sailing. “For some time, it was always hit and miss for me. Perhaps I was too kind as an actor. Or maybe I was always ready to help a new director or a scriptwriter or support a colleague. But I learned that it shouldn’t be like that always.”

Confiado told us that he has finally learned to be selective of the projects he would take on. “I need to build a strong filmography, something that I can look back on and be proud of when I grow old. I’m glad I have a manager now who has become a dear friend, and who always tells me things straight to my face what projects to say yes to and what offers to politely decline.”

His rebirth as a major actor came by way of several noteworthy performances on film. Ato Bautista’s Palitan gave him a lead role where Confiado gave a memorable turn. Richard Somes gave him another lead role in El Peste Romansa. Jerrold Tarrog cast him as Emilio Aguinaldo in the mega successful historical film Heneral Luna, and it will be followed by another Aguinaldo portrayal in the next Tarrog outing, titled Goyo.

In the international front, Confiado has wrapped up work for a film with American director Alexander Seagal and actor Lev Gorn, titled White Knight. He plays the lead role in Filipino-American director Marcial Chavez’s movie Stateside, filmed entirely in the US and ready for the international film festival circuit. He is all set to work on his next big Asian project this June.

At the ongoing CineFilipino Film Festival, Confiado is part of two entries: Bor Ocampo’s Hitboy, where he is playing himself, and Roni Benaid’s Poon, where he gives life to a priest.

“I love being an actor. I love losing myself and becoming the character I’m playing. I will definitely grow old as an actor. I’m proud of being a Filipino actor.”

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With more than 20 years as a lifestyle and entertainment journalist, Ricky Gallardo is also a businessman. Equipped with decades of advertising experience, his interests include arts, cinema, fitness and communications.

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