All the flavors of the world got nothing on what Tony Labrusca has in the oven. With eyes set to becoming the best version of himself, Tony has been steadily cruising upwards after a blazing start. Adding a spoonful of honey and a bit of chili to that mixing bowl — you get a sweet and spicy combo personified with a striking jaw, firm shoulders, and a zesty soul. Simmering to a slow cook, he’s ready to serve us a platter of a full-course meal. And we’re left bingeing off his hands, begging for seconds, and looking for crumbs.
Tony Labrusca Is A Melting Pot
Tony’s been pretty busy the last time we saw him on the cover Village Pipol Magazine. His filmology has clearly become a melting pot of different flavors. With a psychological sports-centered thriller, a political drama, a glorious May-December love affair, a coming-of-age barkada flick, and even a mainstream romcom — Tony’s tendency to genre-bend is quite impressive. Not to mention: half of his movie projects have been solid contenders for local film festivals.
Drastically jumping from one character to another and portraying each role differently (but still showing his signature brooding persona) makes him worthy of all the praises.
“I always believe in destiny. But at the same time, I did have the opportunity to say yes and no for roles. My management team and I are kinda picky about that. We wanted to curate how my filmography would go, how it would separate me from the rest,” he shares.
“We really go roles that are full of substance. It’s only this year that I’ve been accepting roles that are mainstream. This honestly helped me move out of my comfort zone. It’s different to star in films that everyone talks about. It’s exciting and very new. I’m very humbled by it all,” he explains further.
That’s The Way His Cookie Crumbles
But with each praise comes criticism. And in show business, criticism comes from the most unexpected places and the most inappropriate of times. Amid the challenges he’d gone through at this early in his career, Tony thinks it’s all a test of perseverance. With all the things that happened and still happening to him, it does seem that he’s become wiser and grounded. A lot has changed but he thinks it’s for the best.
“I’ve definitely experienced the good and the bad of showbiz now. I’ve grown more and I’m in a different place with a different perspective. Change isn’t necessarily what we want but it’s what we need as a person and an artist,” he says knowingly and with self-awareness.
Having His Cake and Eating It Too
“Everything happens for a reason. I feel like, as a human being, we’re bound to make mistakes. It’s part of what makes us unique. But there’s this vicious cycle. A lot of people forget when something is an honest mistake, when it’s out of ignorance, or when it’s basically wrong. Our society really doesn’t know how to differentiate that anymore.”
Fame and popularity, like most things, have two sides. For him, it’s a matter of how you take it all in. In a society where people are scared to make mistakes or be afraid to be the first one who’d do something wrong, he believes it’s more about accepting one’s self and being proud of it.
“You do something not entirely right, and all of a sudden, you don’t deserve the good things coming your way. Just because we’re celebrities, it doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings or that we have to be picture perfect all the time. That we’re not allowed to have bad days or to be grumpy, you know?” his rhetoric echoes clearly.
Not Easy As Pie
“I feel like I’m a character in the sense that if I’m on a day off, I won’t wear my expensive clothes and be all that in public. I’d keep it simple, like a hat and shades. It’s so that people won’t recognize me. But even then, people still recognize me.”
As a public figure, Tony knows he’s put on a round table for everyone to feast over. He isn’t complaining about it because that’s what he signed up for. But he’s gotten to a point where he values privacy, too, but still maintains a certain level of swag and professionalism.
“I also like to find time for myself because I’m always surrounded by people. When it’s my day off, I don’t want to be too surrounded, you know what I mean? But, hey, this is my bread and butter. These are the people who made me who I am today, “ he continued.
The Main Course
“I honestly tell myself to do your best. And that whatever you’re doing whether you like it or not, do your best. Because God gave that to you.”
Tony is a lot of things, but he surely isn’t someone who makes a fuss about the small stuff. He takes his bite and then shares what he can. He also believes in giving his all in situations but pulling back if he has to.
“Speak your truth. But always keep the parts of yourself that are important to you that you want to be kept private, keep those things to yourself. You don’t have to give everything to everybody. God really knows your truth, where your heart is at. Just keep on doing you. It’s not easy. There’s no easy answer for it. But if you just stay true to yourself and you know you’re not intentionally hurting anybody, that’s enough,” he ends by showing off those perfect teeth of his.
Life’s a buffet. You get what you want and sometimes you get more than you can. For Tony Labrusca, he’s beyond happy to even get a decent meal. With an upcoming movie for 2019’s Metro Manila Film Festival, a film with Viva Films, another with Dreamscape Entertainment, and possible projects outside the country, his new year is glazed with the best intentions.
Show business is a tough endeavor with critics who are even tougher. Tony knows he’d have to be the better by staying on his lane and doing what he knows best — to entertain. All the world’s flavors got nothing on him, and he sure does make a good snack — the one that’s isn’t only good for the body, but also for the mind and the heart.
Grab your plates, ladies and gentlemen. Tony Labrusca is out to serve the full platter.
Produced by Lord Harvey Monteroso
Photographer | Mike Gella
Film by Vincent Sy
Assisted by Gabe Gavina
Stylist | Chynna Mamawal
Assisted by Kristel Joy Nuyda & Stephanie Belle Palomata
Makeup Artist | Guillano Valenzuela
Hairstylist | Arthur Tolentino
Shot in EaTogether, SM Megamall
Special Thanks to Lee Jeans PH, Julie Ventura, Jessica Mirabel, Mario Colmenares, Star Magic, and AJ Sanchez
Having graduated from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Lord Harvey Monteroso doesn’t shy away from using words to create visual images when he writes. He also makes sure to add humor with his in-depth analyses when writing movie/trailer/tv series/music video/song reactions and reviews.