Where would Tom Rodriguez be without the legendary director Wenn Deramas?
According to the Filipino-American "Pinoy Big Brother" alum who grew up in the States, it was the late Direk Wenn who encouraged him to learn to speak Tagalog fluently in order to land better roles. The director imparted this advice when they met way back in 2009, not long after the actor's stint in Kuya's famous yellow house.
“After ng 'PBB' noon, si Direk Wenn... pina-meet ako sa kanya. Sinabi niya sa akin, kung hindi ako mag-aaral ng Tagalog, puro balikbayan roles ang ibibigay sa akin," he said.
Tom took it as a challenge, he said, and not only worked on speaking and writing in the language, but also eliminating his American accent.
He explained, "Nalaman ko na minsan, 'pag ginagaya mo 'yung tunog puwedeng sumunod na lang later kung ano 'yung sasabihin mo dapat. Kasi pwede mo namang itanong, ‘Paano ba sabihin ‘to, paano ba sabihin 'yan?’ Pero kung fluent ka, let’s say kailangan fluent sa Tagalog, pero kung may accent pa rin, nagkakaroon pa rin ng parang disconnect."
He continued, “So feeling ko, one of the biggest challenges for me was to really get the sound right para 'yung syntax madali na lang aralin, kung paano i-construct 'yung sentence. For me it was a challenge I found to be fun!”
Tom appeared in the 2015 romantic drama "The Love Affair" alongside Movie Queen Bea Alonzo, Richard Gomez, and Dawn Zulueta. He also starred in the 2018 hit "The Significant Other."
Direk Wenn passed away in February 2016 after suffering from cardiac arrest following a heart attack. He was 49 years old. His last film was the 2015 hit "Beauty and the Bestie".
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