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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 21, 2015

Japanese Actor Jackie Woo Confident His First Film, 'Tomodachi', With Director Joel Lamangan Will Bring Him Honors Abroad

JAPANESE ACTOR JACKIE WOO is excited with his first full length film with Director Joel Lamangan, “Tomodachi (Friend)”. “I played a small role in his coming movie, ‘Felix Manalo’, then he made me read the script of ‘Tomodachi’ and I was touched,” he says. “I liked it so much I told him I’ll produce it myself under my own company, Global Japan Productions, Inc. which is based in Shibuya, Tokyo.”

Jackie was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. He has a degree in psychology but the movie bug bit him when he played a supporting role in a movie in Hongkong. “I realized I really love acting. I want to bring out my emotions through acting.”

In 2001, he came to Manila to produce an action flick, “Total Aikido”, but the director also asked him to play one of the leads. This led to film projects in China, Korea and Taiwan, including “Shaolin vs. Evil Dead” that was a hit in 60 countries. He also started his singing career and his song “Kakehasi (Bridge)” was used as a theme in the movie “Soukamo Shirenai (It Might Be)”.

In 2004, Cesar Montano got him to play an important role in “Panaghoy sa Suba” and he was nominated as best supporting actor. The movie was also shown in Japan. He was also nominated as best actor for the indie film “Walang Hanggang Paalam” which he did with Lovi Poe. He has made films with various other countries but he loves the Philippines best. “I love working with Filipinos as they’re all friendly, very talented and fun to work with,” he beams. “I think my heart is 50 percent Filipino.”

He’s confident that his first film with Joel Lamangan, “Tomodachi” will be one of his best so far and will bring him honors abroad. “I believe in him as a director. He brings out the best in me. I play a Japanese working in Manila and have made many friends here before the Second World War. When the war broke out, the Japanese Imperial Army forced me to fight with Filipinos. By then, I’m already in love with Bela Padilla, who’s the sister of my best friend, played by Pancho Magno. This is great drama as me and my best friend become enemies when he joined the guerilla fighters. It’s also a very touching love story because Bela and I will be ordered to stay away from each other. I’m very proud of this movie and we intend to show the film in film festivals abroad.”