Known for his baby-faced good looks and acting prowess, John Lloyd Cruz took many people by surprise in 2019 when he laid low and sported unkempt hair and grew a beard.
On September 10, we finally have an explanation as to why John Lloyd looked the way he did, and apparently, it was for a role that he played in the upcoming period film History Ni Ha directed by Lav Diaz.
In a Facebook post, John Lloyd's co-star Hazel Orencio explained *why* John Lloyd sported his rugged look. She said in her post, "Back in 2019, so many things were said about JLC and this look. He kept mum, never said a word, never reacted. People forgot that he is first and foremost an actor; it was just him preparing for a role in a film set in 1957."
According to the post, John Lloyd really got into character, immersing himself in the role of Hernando Alamada, a ventriloquist who worked in cruise ships as an entertainer. "Recluse, never talks. It was just Ha, the doll, doing the talking for him. It was an advantage to him, a valid excuse to be quiet," Hazel's post read.
John Lloyd's co-star explained that it was a challenging time for the actor. "The act of being silent alone for all the criticisms he got for looking that way was challenging; much more plunging into a ventriloquist role—something he has never done yet."
Hazel understood the pressure that John Lloyd faced back in the day. She added, "Shooting day by shooting day, script after script, he plunged deep into the character. He got acquainted with Ha and eventually became close to him."
Ending her post with nothing but praise for John Lloyd's dedication to the role, the actress wrote, "Needless to say, he was able to pull it off, and for us who've been with him on this journey, he delivered as always, with flying colors."
History Ni Ha also stars Tero Guzman, Mae P. Paner, Dolly de Leon, Jonathan Francsico, Ceian Hazel P. Gabuco, Jun Sabayton, Erwin Romulo, and Allen Alzola.
The film will premiere at the upcoming 65th BFI London Film Festival on October 12 and is part of the festival's "Strand program" that encourages the discovery of the festival to new audiences. One of the themes, "Dare," in which History Ni Ha is a part, aims to take viewers out of their comfort zones.