When actor John Lloyd Cruz dropped the bombshell that he was taking leave from showbiz commitments indefinitely way back in 2017, fans were shocked. After all, before that time “Lloydy” has been something of a prolific presence on screens big and small, particularly as part of the talent stable for ABS-CBN. He had a weekend sitcom opposite Toni Gonzaga since 2014 after all. What was even more shocking was just how long and indefinite Cruz’s absence from entertainment has been. So when the first trailer for the film “Culion” popped and John Lloyd showed in the end, his followers were excited. Then they were deflated.
As CNN Philippines tells it, yes John Lloyd Cruz is apparently part of the cast for the Alvin Yapan-directed historical drama “Culion.” This is the first time he has been in front of a movie camera since 2017, the year he announced his indefinite showbiz leave. The film then was “Finally Found Someone” where he co-starred with Sarah Geronimo. But the rather dramatic reveal of his role in the “Culion” trailer actually comes across as a hype-up promotion for what is only a cameo appearance by John Lloyd, and he in fact was critical of how his part was shown.
Cruz, who is overseas at the time the trailer was released at the end of September, quickly sent word back to the Philippines this Tuesday, October 1, to downplay any large scope of his involvement in the filming of “Culion,” beyond a mere cameo. In his opinion, the studio’s decision to add his scene was a “pre-emptive action” that sent a misleading message to his fandom, and was something he asked the production team not to fall into. “I felt compelled to clarify my participation in the film,” says John Lloyd on interview with ANC.
“Culion,” written by Ricky Lee, is a historical picture that illustrates life in the namesake Palawan municipality of during the 1940s, when it served as a leprosarium where patients of Hansen’s disease (leprosy), deemed incurable at the time, were resettled to segregate them from the rest of the Philippine community. Scenes from the trailer showcase the cloud of listlessness and despair hanging over the diseased residents of Culion back then. Its main stars are John Lloyd Cruz’s fellow ABS-CBN affiliated stars, such as Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Meryll Soriano and Iza Calzado. The movie is a prospective entry to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival this December.
Image courtesy of Inquirer Entertainment