July 27, 2019
It’s no fault of Javier “Javi” Benitez that he has a world of opportunities before him. As the son of billionaire businessman and former Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Albee Benitez, the 22-year-old double major graduate of California’s Santa Clara University (read: Political Science and Computer Science), he could go any which way in carving a career, and even change his mind in between.
A board seat at his dad’s publicly listed gaming firm, Leisure and Resorts World Corporation? Check. [Or any of its subsidiaries for that matter].
A sure win in the last mid-term elections for any post in Negros, given his three-termer congressman pop’s sterling track record in the province? Check.
Push his many years as a blazing go-kart racer a notch higher and way faster as a professional racecar driver? Check.
You get the picture. The possibilities for Javi Benitez are as endless as they are clearly exciting.
And yet, the well-bred hunk of a young man chose to go a totally different direction and right smack into showbiz. Javi surprised the entertainment press corps when he was introduced among the 16 new faces of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic in May, after a short-lived stint co-hosting his dad’s docu-magazine program, “Game Changer,” on ANC a few years back.
Finally sitting down with The T-Zone following his big Star Magic reveal, Javi looked well-adjusted to the often chaotic world of entertainment, with its maddening schedules, colorful personalities and nosy journalists who ask pointed questions like, “Why on earth would someone with your background and resources want to become an artista?”
“I tried the corporate world for a year right after I finished college but it just wasn’t for me,” he replied in all honesty. “For some reason, what kept coming back to me at that time was when I got the chance to appear at a school play and I just remembered the fun I had on stage, and later on, doing Game Changer with my dad, even for just a few episodes.”
Javi, who has always been a sports enthusiast, embraced the fact that he actually has a passion for the arts, rather than repress nor complicate it. What he decided to do was merge his need for adrenaline as a sportsman and his belated calling to the spotlight and conclude, “I want to do an action movie.”
But don’t think that Javi just dived into his new game plan thinking everything will come easy to him in typical privileged scion attitude. Like everything else he’s done in his young life — be it in school, the racing circuit, the football field and martial arts — he approached his goal seriously, piling up acting workshops alongside his ever-present physical activities.
How did his parents take the unexpected announcement of their PolSci-ComSci graduate?
“Oh, they were very supportive because I delivered my end of our deal. They said I can do anything I wanted so long as I finished school and I did. Now that I’m here, my dad only set two rules for me in general: Don’t ride motorcycles ‘cause they’re not safe, and don’t get anyone pregnant,” he added laughing.
So supportive is Cong. Albee of his son’s foray into showbiz that he was the one who said he has to do it right, and pointed Javi toward the direction of Star Magic.
“They’re the ones who know how to train talents into stars and the experts in the industry as far as I’m concerned, so I advised my son he should earn his place under Star Magic management,” the ever-systematic businessman-cum-public servant told the T-Zone in a separate interview, after he quietly arrived at Javi’s back-to-back sit-downs with different publications.
“I thought he’d be done by now so I purposely came late,” the admirably involved dad chuckled, quickly adding, “Naku, stage father na nga yata ako!”
Mind you, Cong. Albee, who has long been exposed to showbiz what with his closest friends the likes of Gabby Concepcion and Albert Martinez among others, is not just supportive of Javi on the all-important “encouraging parent” level but also as the highly engrossed movie producer he is, albeit periodically.
“Javi saw what I’ve always noticed to be a void in Philippine movies — the hard-core action films we all enjoy from Hollywood. I looked into why we’re lagging behind in the genre and zeroed in on the fact that you need at least P30 million to produce a really good one for the big screen.”
Convinced that his son is clearly all in to sharpen his acting skills, perfect his martial arts techniques, and bulk up to his ripped physique almost overnight, the cautious businessman that is Albee Benitez is putting his money on the table.
In fact, Javi has already teamed up with their fellow Negrense, maverick director Richard Somes who earned critical acclaim for his last action flick, “Maria,” which had Cristine Reyes in the lead.
“We’re working on a movie titled ‘Kid Alpha One’,” Javi excitedly chime in, “and we’ve got rushes all ready to show you.”
Go ahead and type “Kid Alpha One Javi Benitez” on YouTube and you’ll definitely find it high-tech and explosive.
More importantly, the boy born with a proverbial silver spoon can do indeed. He has the looks, the moves, the demeanor and even the intense gaze of an action hero. Think a Pinoy Jet Li in a modern and high-tech version of “Rambo.”
“I thought my exposure to sports would make shooting [the movie] easy but doing the fight scenes were definitely tough,” Javi humbly admitted, showing cuts and bruises on his forearms. “But I won’t have it any other way so I do all my stunts for every scene to be as realistic and up close as possible.”
Pumped up to finish the project where Sue Ramirez has just been cast as his leading lady, Javi is also juggling his very first prime time TV stint as the newest cast member of Angel Locsin’s top-rating action-drama “The General’s Daughter.”
“It’s an amazing experience to get to work with these big stars when I’m so new in the business so I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m learning as much as I can as I go along and I’m just as excited as I’m committed to see how far I can go with the choices I made,” he ended.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net