‘Akala ko prank’: Comedian Jelson Bay shares how he got Finding Agnes lead role


After Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap, comedian Jelson Bay has a new film streaming on Netflix — Finding Agnes. And this time, he’s the leading man.

In the film directed by Marla Ancheta, Jelson plays a successful entrepreneur named Brix who finds himself in Morocco while trying to resolve unfinished issues with his estranged mother. There he meets his mother’s adopted daughter Cathy, played by Sue Ramirez.

In a recent STAR interview, the 42-year-old actor shared that when the Finding Agnes lead role was offered to him, his first reaction was he thought it was a prank.

“Nakilala nila ako sa Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap. And they wanted to try something new so nakuha ko yung role as Brix Romero. First time the idea (of being a leading man) was introduced to me, akala ko prank lang talaga. Akala ko di totoo.

“Napaka-risky naman na (ako) lalo na sa panahon natin ngayon di ba? Siempre sa pagsugal mo sa pelikula ‘pag tumaya ka, kelangan kilala di ba? Pero natuwa ako na nakuha ko yung role,” he said.

Co-star Sue Ramirez said she was witness to Jelson’s commitment to get the role right even if by his own admission, it wasn’t his “comfort zone”.  

“I really appreciate his professionalism. At nag-workshop pa yan si Kuya Jelson sa table manners, nag-John Robert Powers siya for this role. That’s what you call commitment and that’s the type of artist that I look up to — you know, people who prepare and are professional enough to prepare for their role,” the TV5’s Oh My Dad actress said.

Finding Agnes, according to the synopsis, is a personal journey film that “explores themes of connecting with people, understanding others’ motivations and in the process finding yourself.”

As of writing, it is the streaming service’s No. 3 most-watched content in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, The STAR said Jelson’s acting journey “reads like a teleserye,” having previously lived in a slum area in Batangas, worked as a fast food crew member and attempted to become a seaman before scoring his break via Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident theater group of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

He then went on to become a favorite in indie films. Besides the recent Netflix films, he also starred in Love You to the Stars and Back and Jack em Popoy: The Puliscredibles.

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