Fil-Am ac­tor Allen Evan­ge­lista on his first big role in ‘Project Al­manac’

Manila Bulletin - - Entertainment News - JANET SU­SAN NEPALES

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)

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