Summa Cum Laude Benjamin Alves talks about 'Adarna', acting, gay roles & uncle Piolo Pascual

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Adarna may have had highs and lows on its flight for ratings but for lead cast Benjamin Alves, viewership is only one of the criteria to measure a show's success. The actors and the crew's efforts to ensure a quality TV series is also an important factor, says the 24-year old celebrity. 




Adarna is on its final week and the series will air its 80th and final episode on March 7, 2014. As of the latest NUTam (National Urban TV Ratings) posted by AGB Nielsen on March 2 with respondents answering the survey for February 25, Adarna is among the ten biggest TV shows, ranking at 5th in daytime and primetime programs with 18.90%. Though 'Honesto' leads that time slot's race with 27.80%, the fantaserye is GMA 7's highest-rated show. 

Ratings and performances 

When asked about what the cast did to boost the show's ratings leading to its finale week, Alves shared that they tried to remain consistent with their performances. "As an actor, you can only do so much. Unless if you want to be controversial. Basta you should be OK when you're acting is OK," Benjamin divulged during the Adarna bloggers conference in House of Lasagna in Centris last Thursday, February 27. He, however, mentioned that there will be a lot of fight scenes leading to the show's climax and those are something the audience should look forward to. 

With Benjamin in Adarna are Kylie Padilla, Geoff Eigenmann and Mikael Daez. Jean Garcia, Jestoni Alarcon, Chynna Ortaleza, Maureen Larrazabal, Dante Rivero, Michelle Madrigal, Saab Magalona and Ryza Cenon are part of the regular supporting cast with Kris Bernal, Solenn Heussaff, Katrina Halili and Alessandra de Rossi as the recurring actors. Adarna is Benjamin's third Kapuso TV series after "Coffee Prince" and the afternoon soap "Unforgettable" also with Kylie Padilla and Mark Herras.




The Piolo Pascual and Summa Cum Laude Association 

Benjamin rose to fame via a reality search in 2006 when he was still introduced to the public as Vince Saldana. Six years after, he was launched as a Kapuso talent in Party Pilipinas. Although he was groomed to have his own heartthrob image, Alves was often associated to his uncle Piolo Pascual. 

Just like other interviews, Benjamin is proud of Piolo but he declined to have that association as his only ticket to stardom. "I never advertised that. I auditioned for my contract with GMA. I won't deny that it helps a little and you can't get away from it. I am proud of my uncle." He also praised Piolo for the latter's excellent performance in Star Cinema's "Starting Over Again". 

Aside from the showbiz blood, Benjamin is easily lured in by showbiz because of his love for literature. A graduate of BA in English with Literature Emphasis at the University of Guam, he expresses appreciation for poetry and old English Literature. Benjamin completed his course with a grade point average of 3.98 from a possible perfect grade of 4.00. "I love to explore more in acting but at the end of the day if I feel that it's not for me, I would also love to write," he shared. 




On gay roles and love teams 

Moving forward to his showbiz career, Benjamin won't mind if he will be given more kontrabida roles. "Being kontrabida is fun. It is not fun if you play something close to who you are in real life. With the kontrabida roles, you can explore more." When asked if he can play a gay role in the same intensity as what Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez did in "My Husband's Lover", Benjamin didn't show hesitation. "The challenge with gay roles is you don't have the experience to get tips from. But as long as you listen, you can learn. Gay roles are also very interesting." 

In "Sana Dati", Benjamin's 2013 Cinemalaya entry, one of his wishes of being an actor came true when he was paired with Lovie Poe. However, Benjamin wants to be in a love team which shall be carried out to all of his projects. Aside from Lovie Poe, he mentioned Heart Evangelista, Jennylyn Mercado and Marian Rivera as his choices for leading ladies. 



Here's a portion of our interview with Benjamin Alves during the Adarna Bloggers Conference 


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