Whether it be movies, TV, or Broadway, these musicians went for a career change in acting.
Despite operating on two different mediums, the world of music and film and television often intertwine. Some music videos can be considered mini-movies while productions wouldn’t be what they are without the help of OSTs or scores. But aside from lending or making music, some Filipino musicians extended their work on movies and TV to acting on the big or small screen.
While a successful music career is more than enough for these artists, the call to act was too hard to ignore. From a long-term career to one-off moments, here are some local music stars who traded in the bright lights of the stage for the bright lights of the set.
When it comes to musicians making a career in acting, you could say Sarah Geronimo laid the blueprint for the modern age. From when we first met her as a kid to today, Sarah G is the Popstar Royalty. But she’s also box-office gold thanks to her hit movies. Of course, there’s the iconic Laida Magtalas in A Very Special Love, You Changed My Life, and It Takes a Man and a Woman. Sarah’s other hits include Miss Granny, Maybe This Time, and The Breakup Playlist. New Sarah G movie when?
He can sing, dance, and act? We love a triple threat. In 2018, Darren Espanto made his movie debut as Yohan Silva in a little indie film called The Hows of Us. Four years later, he combined his love of music with acting when he was part of the ensemble cast of the digital musical series, Lyric and Beat.
JK Labajo’a talent for singing was apparent the moment he opened his mouth in The Voice Kids Philippines season one. A top-four finish ultimately led the crooner down a path of musical stardom, as well as a career in movies and television. From appearances on MMK and Pangako Sa’Yo, he’s got a film reel. But JK’s latest role may be his most talked-about as he’s set to embody Benigno Aquino Jr. in Vince Tanada’s next movie, Ako si Ninoy.
Ben&Ben as movie stars? For a brief moment in 2019, that happened. While the band has mostly stayed to making hit songs that get us in our feels, they did get their first and so far only acting role in the underrated musical LSS. The Jade Castro-directed movie starred Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos as two people who fall in love with one another with the help of Ben&Ben songs. The entire band appears in this movie where they play a fictionalized version of themselves. But they do have a significant supporting role as they help the two leads fall in love.
KD got his start in the industry as a musician, releasing singles here and there, and being a regular performer on ASAP. But it wasn’t long until the acting bug bit him as the soon-to-be star made his acting debut in 2021’s Unloving U. But it was only after his time on PBB that the projects came flying for KD. In 2022 alone, he appeared in Bola Bola opposite Francine Diaz and Run To Me, KDLex’s first acting project as a love team. And speaking of the duo, we may see more of actor KD soon if the rumor that Cathy Garcia-Molina may be directing the love team’s first movie together is true. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for this moment.
Whether it be movies, Broadway, or TV, Ms. Lea Salonga can do it all. After making a name for herself on the local and world stage through some of the biggest musicals of our time, she has had her hand at a memorable film and television career. How can we forget her and Aga Muhlach’s Sana Maulit Muli? It’s an iconic romantic drama of the 90s. Lea has also worked on her fair share of Hollywood projects, from ER, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, and, of course, Mulan and Aladdin.
JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE
Julie Anne first made a splash on our TV screens as a performer on GMA. But it didn’t take long for the star to get that acting portfolio going with her debut coming in 2008’s Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan. Since then, Julie Anne has had a steady career in both fields. 2022 was the year though she arguably got the biggest role of her career to date, that of Maria Clara in Maria Clara at Ibarra. If you’ve seen the show or watched her on GMA’s variety show, you’ll know she can do both with ease.
From his time in Rivermaya to being a solo act, Rico Blanco is an icon of OPM. But even with the legacy he has built in music, he still finds the time to act. Since the mid-2000s, Rico has sporadically made appearances in TV and film with projects such as Segunda Mano, Camp Sawi, and Imortal. His most recent project was 2022’s The Goodbye Girl, which actually marked the first time he worked alongside his girlfriend Maris Racal.
Anji Salvacion is known for her music, from appearances on Idol Philippines and ASAP to releasing her solo music. But the PBB winner is already showing signs of being a promising actress. Anji made her acting debut in Unloving U. She is set to go even bigger this 2023 with her teleserye debut in Linlang, a new series starring Kim Chiu and Paolo Avelino. Anji is coming for that acting bag.
MOIRA DELA TORRE
In Moira dela Torre’s long list of achievements is the fact that she actually has done a bit of acting work. As of this writing, she only was one acting credit to her name, but it’s quite an impressive debut. In 2020, the world was introduced to actress Moira in the animated film Hayop Ka! where she voiced the sister of Sam Milby’s Inigo. The movie made history as the first locally animated film to be released by Netflix so that’s a bit of a memorable moment there for Miss Moira.