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Old 28-Feb-2011
Tsimis: Latest gossip from the Pinoy World

UNP ImageCoco Martin has proven early in his career that he's got the talent to succeed. His brilliant performances in indie films such as Serbis (2008) and Masahista (2005) have earned him acting awards and rave reviews.

In fact, it was through small, independent films that Coco was noticed by big-time film and TV producers. "I was actually scared that I would be typecast. I'm thankful that people can look beyond stereotyping and see that I have something to offer to the industry," says Martin, who was born Rodel Nacianceno.

Between Masahista and Serbis, and several other independent films, Martin has been hailed by critics as the industry's next best drama actor.

However, Martin was hardly a byword in mainstream film and TV until his big break came in 2009 in the TV series Tayong Dalawa on ABS CBN. The movie was initially promoted for Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson.

But Martin, just doing his job, started to get noticed by upstaging the series' lead actors. The script was eventually revised to make Martin's role one of the main characters in the series.

"I would consider that my biggest break in mainstream TV, although I would always credit my indie experience as one of the defining moments in my career so far," he says.

He's been dragged into a couple of controversies, including an alleged relationship with Brillante Mendoza, winner of the Best Director award in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the 2010 Dubai International Film Festival. "Brillante has been very supportive of my career, and was the one who cast me in Serbis, Kinatay, and Masahista, as well as other films. I've come to embrace these intrigues as part of showbiz. There is actually nothing wrong with having a relationship with another man, except that I just didn't, plain and simple," the actor says.

The baseless rumour wasn't enough to stop Martin's rise to stardom. In 2010, he co-produced and starred in another indie film, Noy, which was chosen to represent the Philippines at the Oscars for the Best Foreign Film category.

The movie failed to win the coveted award, but Martin took the "failure" as an inspiration to do better, saying, "There is always a next time, and there are many more stories that can be told."

This year, Martin marks another milestone in his career as he stars in his own prime time series, a big-budget TV movie, Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin, where he is pitted against Lorna Tolentino, considered one of the industry's best actresses, and promising star Andi Eigenmann.

The actor admitted feeling the pressure at first, but "cherishes the opportunity to work with such a great cast, and to portray another challenging role". In Minsan, Martin portrays dual characters a soldier and rebel. "Sometimes I worked on one scene for 14 hours," he said recounting how demanding his latest role is.

Million dollar Trillo

Dennis Trillo has renewed his contract with GMA 7. The multi-million deal will have the talented actor receive a guaranteed income of 15 million pesos (Dh1.25 million) annually over the next three years, with or without a project making him one of the highest paid actors on the Kapuso network. He currently stars in Dwarfina, along with Heart Evangelista, and is said to be working on a new series that will showcase him as more mature and sexy. Since his transfer from ABS CBN, Trillo has won drama honours and appeared in several top-rating TV series.

Raising the bar

Charice Pempengco trumped Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars when she won the Best New Artist trophy at the J-Wave Tokio Hot 100 Music Awards. Besides Pempengco, Bieber and Mars, the others nominated in the category included Ke$ha, Orianthi and Rox. The fast-rising singing sensation is currently in Japan for a series of concerts in Nagoya, Tokyo and Osaka as part of her Asian tour, which also had stops in Manila and Singapore. All of Pempengco's concerts in Japan have been sold out and it is expected that her self-titled album will reach platinum by the end of her tour.

Iza is Flawless

Iza Calzado just scored one of the biggest endorsements of her career. She was recently chosen as the new face of Flawless, a popular skincare clinic in Manila. Her giant billboard on EDSA, the city's main thoroughfare, has created a big buzz. Nobody expected Calzado to be as daring, but the award-winning actress, whose credits include a short appearance in the Hollywood movie Echo, finally decided it was time to show her shapely, seductive figure. Besides her new endorsement, Calzado is also seen regularly on the top-rating noontime show Eat Bulaga. She just finished another top-rating series Beauty Queen and her next project is said to be with Dingdong Dantes.

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