Words by Joseph Cesar
Nico Santos is a Filipino comedian-turned actor. He has made quite a name for himself in the industry and his rise to success sees no bounds. To those familiar with the book, he stars as Oliver in “Crazy Rich Asians”. However, he didn’t just come across this big role in the movie. It took him years of hard work, gathering experience, and connecting with people before getting the role. WhenInManila got a chance to interview the Fil-Am actor, and I used it as a chance to take him on a trip back to memory lane—to his homeland, the Philippines.
Nico Santos in Crazy Rich Asians
Made apparent by his physical features and constant use of the language in his appearances, it is true that Nico Santos is a Filipino. And he actually lived in the country for 16 years. When asked what his fondest memory of being in the Philippines is, he recalls going to his tita’s (aunt) house and being taught how to cook. He also stated, “I love to eat,” therefore having a natural interest for cooking and food in general. In fact, I asked for a weird habit of his and according to him, he catches himself reading the online menus of different restaurants whenever he’s bored.
His love for food wasn’t the only thing that he brought with him to the U.S., however. He also hasn’t forgotten his mother tongue, Tagalog, and in fact uses it in some of his lines in the TV series “Superstore”. The series holds a lot of meaning to him, Santos shares, because not only did it become a big stepping stone and step-up for his career, but also serves as a form of self-expression. In “Superstore,” he found the freedom to present himself as a gay Filipino on a global stage, which is a big deal given that only a few are given that kind of opportunity.
Migrating to another country wasn’t enough to shake off the Pinoy in Nico. It is easy to see that he takes pride in being Filipino by merely observing his work.
Even though Nico is a food-loving, fun celebrity, it doesn’t spare him from having fears. In a private interview, he revealed his biggest fear…Are you ready?
SHARKS! The actor shared that he is absolutely terrified of sharks. In a made-up, hypothetical world wherein he is offered millions of dollars to do a movie with sharks, he explicitly and quickly said that he would refuse.
Well, I guess we can’t expect him to appear in any shark films ever, but hey, you can definitely catch his lights-out performance in “Crazy Rich Asians” starring as Oliver.
Looking forward to Crazy Rich Asians as well? Tell us what you think in the comments!