Apr 13
GRAE FERNANDEZ: A ONE NIGHT DISCOVERY OF A NEW SHOWBIZ GEM by Salve Grace B. Losbanes  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Apr 13, 2015

For some, discovering someone’s ability takes years. It takes more studies and experiences to reach people’s expectation of them. But then, for just a night, netizens who watched this Filipino Teleserye have found a fresh gem fit for the showbiz industry.

I was just happily swooning over Baron Geisler in his special participation in ABS-CBN’s newest teleserye, Bridges of Love, when a teen actor caught my attention. Like me, netizens started to wonder who was the teen JR/Carlos Antonio. Until then, a tweet named him as Grae Cameron Garcia-Fernandez, a showbiz royalty, son of Mark Anthony Fernandez and grandson of action icon, the late Rudy Fernandez.

Grae Fernandez: A showbiz royalty; a gem found in just one night.

I know Grae as a part of ASAP’s Gimme5 and a supporting cast on Bagito, but that night, this young boy gained a fan in me. With his deep, manly voice, strong face and eye expressions, bad boy aura and amazing portrayal of each scene with one of the industry’s best actors, Grae wowed a lot of Filipino netizens.

Grae plays JR a hopeful high school student who sells cigarettes at night. As he struggles to live, he suddenly bumps into Baron Geisler, who plays young Lorenzo Antonio (later played by Edu Manzano), who intensely stares at him. Without his knowledge, he is the man who will change his life.

All hopes JR has for himself vanish as their community is demolished. That feeling of losing all is felt as Grae delivers this scene. His eyes are filled with sadness as he reminisces his happiest memories in their small home …until it was totally destroyed.

Lost and with nowhere to go, JR visits Lorenzo and begs him to adopt him. Emotions erupt as JR confesses his decision to stay by Lorenzo’s side in exchange to letting him finish his studies. The longing of having a family is seen in this scene of Grae and Baron. With Grae’s eyes filled with sadness, Baron’s mysterious character decides to accept him. With his response, “You can stay here as long as you want”, a new life indeed awaits JR. It’s just interesting to know how these two actors felt when they delivered this heartbreaking scene.

Now, JR finally takes his place in the house of Lorenzo. However, JR secretly doubts the man’s intention. Opposite to what he thinks, Lorenzo has plans of giving him all his properties and be known as his son. Here, we can see the growth of a boy from nowhere to someone who has ambitions. Grae’s face says it all.

“Pagod na pagod na ako e. Lahat na lang nawawala sa akin” Netizens started to comment about seeing a bigger opportunity for Grae as an actor in the industry . For a newbie like Grae to deliver such line flawlessly in front of his senior like Baron is just…wow

JR continues his prince-like living in Antonio’s residence until he discovers the real reason why Lorenzo helped him.

JR goes to Lorenzo in a firing range. Then another acclaimed performance with Baron follows. His expression of gratitude to the nice Lorenzo turns into anger. With this, Lorenzo’s only response is an enlightened dialogue, “Survival ang kailangan”. From someone who felt betrayal, Grae turns JR into a loyal, ambitious young boy Carlos Antonio.

The scenes of Grae in that solid second episode of Bridges of Love ends with Baron allowing him to try firing a gun while saying “ Kung ganon, magsimula ka ng masanay sa ingay…..Carlos” in which Grae replies, “Dad” in a sweet yet respectful manner, recognizing himself as his son. His life as a rich, bad ass finally began….then, Paulo Avelino enters the spotlight as his adult version.

Aside from his performance, netizens also commend his chemistry as father-son to actor Baron Geisler. Though they both had hard times in playing their scenes, the actor has nothing but good words for Grae’s performance, “He is very good. He listens to directions well and I believe he wants to become a very good actor in the future.”

This few exposure of Grae in just an episode of Bridges of Love left a mark. He didn’t just amaze me but also most of the viewers of this show. To mention that he surely did got a help from Baron Geisler, netizens can’t help but utter words through their posts

Thus when a tweet revealed that he is actually a Showbiz Royalty, from the Fernandez clan, other netizens, including myself, just said and believed that Nasa dugo pala niya ang pagiging magaling.

Now that the characters of the initial episodes have turned into their adult version, netizens still can’t help but beg for more flashbacks of the teen Paulo Avelino, because like Paulo, they want to see this new found gem of this industry even just for a series of flashbacks. Of course, seeing how newbie Grae managed to do his character well in the show as teen JR/Carlos Antonio, audiences are to hoping for more challenging lead roles for this new teen star. Hopefully till he creates his own name in showbiz just like his father and his grandfather.

For comments, you may send it to salvegracel@gmail.com

Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/