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‘Citizen Jake’ director slams Atom Araullo, calls him a 'self-absorbed millennial'

Mike de Leon: “[Atom] disappointed me, not as an actor but as a person.”

Chandral Selim
Chandral Selim

5/25/2018 in News
‘Citizen Jake’ director slams Atom Araullo, calls him a 'self-absorbed millennial'

Legendary director Mike de Leon has gone public about his “disappointing” collaboration with journalist-turned-actor Atom Araullo, the lead star of his comeback film, the political thriller “Citizen Jake”.

In a lengthy statement released on the movie’s official Facebook page last Monday, May 21, the filmmaker hinted that Atom did not live up to his expectations; he criticized Atom’s work in journalism, which didn’t turn out to be as “gritty” as he initially thought.

“I thought it interesting to work with someone whose work was journalism and who I thought shared my political convictions. I only realized later that Atom’s journalism was not exactly the kind of journalism I had in mind. It’s not the gritty kind but more of the celebrity-centered schlock that sometimes verges on entertainment, even showbiz,” he wrote.

“Looking back, I can see why he wanted to become a movie actor. Perhaps the journalist was really a closet movie star.”

However, it wasn’t all bad. The director gave credit where credit was due, calling Atom’s contribution to “Citizen Jake’s” screenplay “substantial”. Performance-wise, Direk Mike called Atom “good” albeit “uneven”, and said that as a “self-absorbed millennial” Atom had been perfect for the role of Jake. A little backhanded, but we take the good where we can get it.

In the end, calling a wrap on “Citizen Jake” was a relief for Direk Mike, in spite it being his “most personal film” to date.

“I think Atom and I are both relieved to close the book on this collaboration and finally get out of each other’s lives.”


“He disappointed me,” Direk Mike continued in a comment, “not as an actor but as a person.”

Atom has yet to comment about Direk Mike’s statement.

“Citizen Jake” is Direk Mike’s first film after an 18-year absence in cinema.

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