After successfully starring in a Pinoy Boys Love movie and Metro Manila Film festival 2020 2nd Best Picture The Boy Foretold By The Stars, newcomer Keann Johnson banners another BL drama opposite Seklusyon actor JR Versales.
Entitled Run and helmed by theater director Mel Magno, the film follows the story of two young men Gene (JR) and Mark (Keann) who accidentally meet in a marketplace where their romance immediately starts to blossom.
“It’s a BL movie but it’s also a story about family. Family and acceptance are the main themes of the movie,” Keann told Manila Standard Entertainment.
“It’s a drama about being selfless. It talks about thinking of other people’s happiness, or in the case of my character, my partner’s happiness first before anything else,” Keann added.
Gene grew up fail, soft, and falling short of his father’s expectations. He runs as an athlete to give honor to his father. More than that, he excels in academics. His father wants him to be in the military service but intentionally fails to pass the PMA exams.
“No matter what he does, his father never learned to appreciate his effort,” JR said.
Gene runs away from home after his father threatens his life after discovering a sex video scandal he had with a former flame.
Mark welcomes Gene into his simple abode upon knowing that he had nowhere to go.
Talking about their characters, Keann described Mark as an outgoing and hardworking person. Meanwhile, JR presented his character sympathizing with his dilemma.
“He grew up being maltreated by his father for being not something he is expected to be. His father is a military man and given his profession and background, he can’t accept that his only son is gay,” JR stated.
On playing the character, the young actor said it was not really hard on his part because of the constant guidance of their director who made sure that they understood the situation of their characters, where they are coming from.
“When we are in front of the camera, I’m not JR, I’m Gene. So, it wasn’t really hard to get into character. You just have to feel him and believe in what the director says,” JR related.
Talking about the kind of relationship Gene and Mark have in the film, Keann described it as something young, beautiful, complicated, and daring.
“It’s more of a give and take relationship. Gene was going through his own struggles, my character was also going through some personal issues. This is where we both extend our arms that we’re here for each other. There’s kilig but marami kasing takot because we’re running away and sort of hiding from Gene’s father. We mutually support each other. We depend on each other’s emotional sincerity in every scene which made our work easier,” Keann shared.
According to Mel Magno, hundreds auctioned for the roles of Gene and Mark. But the search ended with the talents of Dondon Monteverde through his friend Rex Belarmino.
“But it didn’t stop there, an executive from ABS-CBN saw my teaser photos of the film and introduced me to the head of ktx. And I also find it special that 14 of my original compositions are featured in the film as soundtrack,” the film director concluded.
Run streams on ktx.ph beginning Jan. 22.
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