In this new series, many years after the infamous Cattleya Killer case, the man who cracked the case, Joven de la Rosa (Christopher de Leon, reprising his role from the film), is now an NBI deputy director. His youngest son Anton (Arjo Atayde) is one of his top agents, while his eldest son Benjie (Jake Cuenca) runs a foundation for traumatized women. It seems as if everybody has moved on from the tragic events of the past, but when a body is found bearing the telltale markings of the long-dead Cattleya Killer, the lives of the three men and everyone around them are thrown into turmoil.
What Arjo Atayde won't do in showbiz
At a glance
Cong. Juan Carlos 'Arjo' Atayde (Image courtesy of Facebook)
Still reeling from the success of "Cattleya Killer" on ABS-CBN and Prime Video, actor-politician Cong. Arjo Atayde (Quezon City, 1st District) says he's so excited and proud of the latest crime-thriller series.
"I'm very excited about 'Cattleya Killer' because of the way it was done. The way we did it, hindi siya the way we do things in the Philippines," says Arjo, during an exclusive interview in Quezon City recently. “This was made more than a year ago, so definitely we are excited as everyone."
Arjo adds: "Even if we have a hectic schedule at hindi nagkatugma tugma ang schedules namin, from the stars to the production team, we had to work efficiently and thoroughly."
Produced by ABS-CBN International Production and Nathan Studios, the series is based on a classic ‘90s Filipino film, Sa Aking Mga Kamay (In My Own Hands), and started streaming on Prime Video in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other selected territories last June 1. The series marks the first series collaboration between Prime Video and ABS-CBN, further promoting Filipino talents and stories to the world.
In this new series, many years after the infamous Cattleya Killer case, the man who cracked the case, Joven de la Rosa (Christopher de Leon, reprising his role from the film), is now an NBI deputy director. His youngest son Anton (Arjo Atayde) is one of his top agents, while his eldest son Benjie (Jake Cuenca) runs a foundation for traumatized women. It seems as if everybody has moved on from the tragic events of the past, but when a body is found bearing the telltale markings of the long-dead Cattleya Killer, the lives of the three men and everyone around them are thrown into turmoil. Dark secrets are brought to the fore, as the line between the real world and the unreal blurs. No one and nothing is what they seem—least of all Anton, who becomes more and more of a suspect as more victims surface and the investigation tightens.
"There were action scenes. Nasuntok ako rito. Na-miscalculate ang blocking kasi we were all running pero it's nothing," recalls Arjo when they were shooting a scene for the series.
(There were action scenes. I got punched here. The blocking was miscalculated because we were all running but it's nothing.)
In doing a six-part series, Arjo says: "It's supposed to be longer but there was a change in the pace of the story as well that's why it was shortened. So when you watch it, it's very compact but full. The scenes were mindblowing."
Arjo, 32, admits he was really challenged by his latest character for the series. The shifting of the character is so fast, he says. "To be honest, it's all about mental health."
Asked if he would be interested to play again a character similar to his role in "Cattleya Killer," Arjo, winner of Best Actor at the 2020 Asian Academy Creative Awards, answers: "I don't wanna re-do any roles. If I've done it, hindi na. I don't know. But it's just my thing." (I don't wanna re-do any roles. If I've done it, not anymore. I don't know. But it's just my thing.)
Ria Atayde (Facebook)
"Marami-rami pa akong dream roles. There's too much to mention. I wanna do some sort of action-hero movie. Yung parang may konting bale. Pwede ring yung tipong action-comedy like 'Deadpool' or 'Iron Man.' Something out of this world. I'm really looking forward to doing this kind of role. I'm always grateful for work and other opportunities.
"My favorite action movie is 'Lone Survivor.' In terms of cars naman, 'Fast and the Furious.' But if you want the witty one, there's 'The Italian Job' with Mark Wahlberg. It was very well thought of. But in time, I think I can do this kind of movie," the actor-politician says.
Arjo says there's one thing in showbiz that he cannot imagine doing: directing.
"Parang hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko directing. I'm not the type who will direct myself. And I don't think I would direct myself.
"I believe in collaborative work. I believe I'm a director's actor. I always listen to the director. And the director is the captain of the ship. So what he says is what you will emphasize in terms of doing a scene. So that's your job as an actor. You can do what you want but don't forget to collaborate with your director.
Jane Oineza (Facebook)
"Too much of a responsibility for me to eye myself on the set. Okay na ako as producer or actor. Being a director is another art. It's not my thing. I envy the people who can do it but I think I cannot," Arjo says.
The actor also says he really enjoyed working with award-winning actors Christopher De Leon and Jake Cuenca in the series.
"It's my first time working with Christopher de Leon. From the original movie to the continuation of the film, he was able to go on for many years. He's very humble and professional. It's always a pleasure to work with Tito Boyet. Sobrang galing niya. You really learn from him. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work with him. I'm out of words to describe it. It was easy working with him kasi napakagaling niya.
"Jake Cuenca is like a brother to me and buddy-buddy talaga kami. Having the same vision and no selfishness as an actor, it's so easy to work with Jake. He's really an unselfish actor kaya walang halong inggit sa amin. He's so much of an artist," Arjo says.
On June 2, ABS-CBN International Production’s psychological thriller series debuted at number one on Amazon’s Prime Video Philippines.
Arjo and mom award-winning actress Sylvia Sanchez (Facebook)
Netizens turned to Twitter to rave about “Cattleya Killer” and praise the overall production.
“#CattleyaKiller series is really good. Ang sakit sa ulo mag-isip kung ano talaga yung plot. Ang ganda ng cinematography niya, parang movie lagi kada episode. Sana may season 2 @ABSCBN. Ang galing ni Arjo at ng lahat ng casts. Walang tapon!” said Twitter user @kingjohnray.
[“#CattleyaKiller series is really good. My head hurts thinking about the plot. The cinematography is beautiful, every episode is like a movie. I hope it will have a 2nd season @ABSCBN. Arjo is amazing, as well as the rest of the cast. There’s no throwaway.]
“Grabeehh! Natapos ko na lahat nang episodes. Totoo, unpredictable hanggang sa dulo. Solid casting and plot!” @JoshAneReunited commented.
[“Amazing! I finished all the episodes. It’s true, it’s unpredictable until the very end. Solid casting and plot!”]
Meanwhile, Ria Atayde, who plays the role of a journalist that gets embroiled in the case, says that she's eager to learn about the viewers' feedback on "Cattleya Killer."
“I feel giddy that it’s finally showing since we’ve waited for this moment for so long. I’m also so excited. I’m eager to know what people think,” she says.
On the other hand, Jane Oineza who plays the role of Tina Galvez, an agent from PIB who is in charge of the Cattleya Killer case, says that she's really excited for the series.
"Cattleya Killer" also stars Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ricky Davao, and Nonie Buencamino.