Fil-Am actor Allen Evangelista on his first big role in ‘Project Almanac’
LOS ANGELES – Trying to preserve one’s youthful look is usually the goal of most of Hollywood stars. For Fil-Am actor Allen Evangelista, though, it wouldn’t be a problem.
The 33-year- old Angeleno looks so young he was cast as an 18-year- old in the latest sci-fi movie produced by Michael Bay (“Transformers” franchise) and directed by upcoming director Dean Israelite.
Born and raised in Los Angeles to Filipino parents (Alfredo Evangelista from Manila and Aurora Evangelista from Pampanga), Allen thanks his Filipino genes for looking so young.
He said, “It must be my Filipino genes. I am very lucky. I graduated from high school three times already on television. I will probably be carded for the rest of my life.”
So how did he get into acting and what made him decide to become an actor, we asked.
“I was working at a store and a lady went up to the manager and said, ‘I hope that child has a permit to work.’ She thought I was a minor or something when I was actually already 18 (that time). It turned out that lady was a soap opera star. So when she found out I was already 18 years old, she told me I should consider acting because I could get a lot of roles for looking so young and that it would be a big plus here. As a result, I attended an open audition in front of several casting managers and I just got lucky.”
In the teen thriller adventure film, which also stars Jonny Weston (“Taken 3”), Sofia Black- D’Elia (“Gossip Girl”), Sam Lerner (“Suburgatory”) and Ginny Gardner (“Glee”), Allen is one of a group of high school teenagers who discover a time-travel machine at the basement of their friend’s house. They discover its limitless potential and inadvertently put their own lives in danger.
He recalled how he got his role as Adam in “Project Almanac.” “It was a long process of audition that lasted for six months. We had a lot of back and forth. They auditioned other actors too. Then casting was done in New York and all around the U.S. I just got really lucky,” he said.
While in school, Allen admitted he was not as techie as his character, Adam. “I love science too but not to the degree of my character. But I was good with computers and video games.”
Allen revealed the last time he was in the Philippines was when he was seven years old. “I went with my mom to her province in Pampanga,” he said. “I remember going fishing there but that’s all I recall.”
Now married to the lovely Chris- tina Burhoe who could easily make it as an actress (“but she is a fulltime mom right now” according to Allen) and a father to their three-year- old son Hudson, Allen looks forward to going back to the Philippines with his family one of these days.
Allen said he is not fluent in Tagalog but “I understand a lot of it like the food and when I get into trouble. My parents spoke to me in Tagalog but I was not paying attention then and I lost it.”
He said his favorite Filipino dishes are pancit palabok, adobo, and lechon.
For him, the most challenging part of doing the scifi movie was “pretending the camera was my love interest. Because in the movie, my love interest was supposed to be the one filming everything. But in reality, it was this cameraman who was holding the camera. So it was pretty tricky to be looking at the camera lovingly while the camera guy actually was holding it.”
“Project Almanac” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures and opens in the Philippines on Feb 4.
Allen Evangelista and wife Christina Burhoe (Photo by Ruben V. Nepales)