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Man On Fire Tom Rodriguez Lands His First Daily Primetime Gig

...And other topics like his love life and personal style that came up in Cosmo's chat with this actor/singer/Centerfold!

He just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Aside from being part of all-male singing group VOIZBoys, appearing in movies such as Here Comes The Bride and Petrang Kabayo, and being one of this year's Cosmo Centerfolds, our October Man On Fire Tom Rodriguez gets another big break in his showbiz career. Now you can catch this hunk every night on TV5, on its first-ever daily primetime series, My Driver, Sweet Lover (My DSL). He plays the yummy, handsome resort manager Simon, the fourth wheel in the love triangle of characters played by  JC de Vera, Danita Paner, and Arci Munoz.

Cosmo was so thrilled to spot Tom at the My DSL launch, and we grabbed the chance to catch up with him for you! Since Tom is the man of the month for Cosmo, here are some more updates on this Centerfold with a smile that can melt hearts (he sure had that effect on ours)!

How does it feel to be in a daily primetime show?

It feels very good. It's the very first primetime soap na nakasali ako so I feel very fortunate and happy. [Ito] 'yung standard answers, [pero] for some reason sobrang totoo.

What made you decide to sign up for a show in TV5?

Actually TV5 approached Star Magic, then after na-settle nila 'yung [terms of my contract] and they agreed with it, they asked me. They presented the show, the premise. Ako naman, I liked the show, parang gusto ko 'yung idea, so I said yes. Maganda 'yung cast, magagaling, and sa direktor pa lang, grabe--si Direk Sox (Soxie Topacio) and si Direk Eric [Quizon]ang gagaling nilang dalawa. And may background din sila sa acting so alam nila kung paano 'yung perspective namin as actors. So kumportable at masarap silang katrabaho.

Could you tell us more about your character in the show?

My role is Simon Escalante, and I'll be the general manager of the resort na pagmamay-ari ng Barrinuevo family, which is sina Ms. Dina Bonnevie, Danita Paner, and Arci [Munoz]. So there'll be a moment na I'm trying to win Gabby Barrinuevo's (played by Danita) heart, and 'andoon din ['yung character ni] JC. So, 'andoon 'yung parang clash.

So you're somehow part of the love triangle?

Love pentagon, tetrahedron, sa sobrang dami, 'di ko na maisip, ang daming intricate na mga love-love triangle!

Has that ever happened to you in real life?

Laking sakit sa ulo niyan, tina-
try kong iwasan pero minsan nadali na rin ako sa ganun. (Laughs.)

How's your love life, by the way?

Well, now, it's kinda lagging kasi puro 'yung show na lang [ang inaatupag ko]. [When] I have free time naman, tina-try kong isingit kahit papaano. Sa ngayon, malabo e. Like, with Princess from PBB (Pinoy Big Brother), si Princess Manzon. I still try to find time to go out [with her] for coffee, for dinner... Pero when I tried to court her, medyo nabasted ako... (Laughs.) Ang tapang manligaw na hindi mapanindigan. Like, how can you have a relationship if you won't see each other? So in that way, sakto, so nabasted ako.

What qualities do you look for in a girl?

'Pag maalaga ka, mabait, matalino. Kailangan din 'yung
fire, konting tapang. Tapos i-wrap mo 'yun sa isang napakagandang package--BAM! Solve na 'ko dun. Hindi naman ako choosy. (Laughs.)

What kinds of clothes do you like to see on a girl?

Anything that's flattering. Kasi different girls have different aesthetics. Kung ano'ng bagay [sa'yo], 'yun ang suotin mo. Sa confidence mo naman 'yun e, sa pagdadala mo nakikita e. Kahit ano'ng suotin mo basta feeling mo maganda ka, feeling mo bagay sa'yo, nadadala mo. Basta kaya mong dalhin, okay sa'kin 'yun.

With such a busy schedule, how do you stay fit?

Sa ngayon,
I rarely go to the gym kasi 'pag natapos ang taping, uuwi lang ako, magdro-drawing lang ako or magpe-paint tapos tulog. So 'yung gym aspect ng life ko na pinakamalaking part ng life ko dati, parang napabayaan ko na. But now, I'm gonna have to start again kasi I have a musical to prepare for, it's Hercules. And I'll be [playing] Hercules. So hindi naman bagay na ganito 'yung katawan ko for Hercules (laughs). Sobrang hindi bagay, kaya 'yun 'yung plan A ko ngayon, ayusin 'yun.

So now you plan to go to the gym more often?

Yeah, ginagawa ko na 'yung regimen ko, which is three days a week, singit in between shows. [Taping for] my show right now is MWF, so on the off days, I'll set it for gym na, para mas regular. And hopefully in a few weeks' time, I'll be back in my old shape.

How would you compare your wardrobe in the show to your personal style?

Sobrang magkaiba e. Kasi sa
show, lagi akong naka-kurbata, laging naka-suit... ang hirap! Sabi ko minsan [nung nakasuot ako ng] purple na kurbata, "Siguro maya-maya kasingkulay ko na 'tong kurbata ko," kasi parang nasasakal ako. Kasi in real life, ganito lang ako, just very bohemian, very simple. Gusto ko 'yung relaxed lang. Kahit ngayon, alam mo 'yung brief sa'min [about the presscon], sabi nila formal daw 'yung attire. Pormal ba 'to? (Points to his clothes and laughs.) Parang hindi naman 'di ba? Ganun lang ako. Nilalagyan ko lang 'yung [outfit ko ng maayos na] sapatos, suit, okay na, kahit naka-T-shirt lang ako. I just wanna... not feel constricted. Clothes should work with you, not against you. So kung magsusuot ka ng damit, huwag 'yung parang sinasakal ka, na parang gusto ka nang i-enslave ng damit mo. Dapat 'yung sobrang komportable ka, [that] it feels like a part of you.

Who are your style icons?

I like Johnny Depp. I like his style. Pero hindi ko naa-adapt minsan 'yung mga ginagawa niyang style, minsan 'di ko kayang i-pull off talaga, sobrang pangit ang pagkagawa ko. Pero [gusto ko] 'yung aura 'tsaka 'yung theme na ganun.

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