Friday, June 11, 2010

Ricky Lo writes of encounter with Hollywood newbie actors

Chance encounter with Hollywood wannabes
FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (The Philippine Star)

It happened at the P.F. Chang’s, the China Bistro at the ground floor of the Beverly Center, sometime last March when I was in Beverly Hills to attend the international press junket for The Back-Up Plan, Jennifer Lopez’s post-natal comeback romantic-comedy in which she co-stars with Australian hunk Alex O’Loughlin. P.F. Chang’s is the favorite restaurant of Tim Evans (of the US Customs and Immigration, assigned at the L.A. Airport) and Baby K. Jimenez (who, before she migrated to Canada, would treat visiting friends there, including Charo Santos, Raoul Tidalgo and myself). Food at P.F. Chang’s is, to say the least, heavenly (“burp”-worthy).

That’s why when my nephew Raymond de Asis Lo (this paper’s L.A. correspondent) dropped by Four Seasons (where the Back-up Plan interviews were held) and invited me to P.F. Chang’s for a quick lunch, I said yes right away.

The waiters and waitresses at P.F. Chang’s are artistahin (star material). They are very courteous and very attentive. If you say “Yes, please!,” they will show you how to mix the sauces and even how to pour it properly. They check on you every minute on the minute, asking how your food is and if you need anything — “An extra serving of fried rice, maybe?” Or, “Why not another scoop of green tea ice-cream?”

The waiter assigned to our table was a quiet one...tall, fair-skinned and good-looking. Raymond and I teased him that if he were in the Philippines, he would be in showbiz or on the fashion ramp. Why, at closer look, he struck us as a dead ringer for Orlando Bloom. He said his name is Nathan Keyes.

“In fact,” he said, “I’m an actor,” moonlighting as a waiter in-between (so far) bit roles. “In my next assignment, I will be appearing with Orlando Bloom. I play the hospital patient mistaken by Orlando’s girlfriend to be Orlando.”

We suspected that the guy was trying to pull our leg but we had our picture taken with him anyway as “proof” so that we could brag if and when he became a big star that we did meet him when he was just struggling.

By and by, a man approached us and gave us his calling card: Tim Sanchez, P.F. Chang’s manager. He turned out to be a Filipino born and raised in California. Even when he confirmed that the guy Nathan Keyes was indeed a “Hollywood actor,” we were not convinced.

On the way out, Raymond and I were stopped by a couple. The guy was a hunk, a basketball-player type, and his female companion looked undeniably Filipina. She said she’s a nurse and her name is Lourdes Duldoco, and the guy with her is her boyfriend, a “Hollywood actor” named Kevin Scarlo.

“We were seated three tables away from you and I recognized you from your TV show and I told my boyfriend that you are a journalist from the Philippines,” Lourdes said.

Another picture-taking and then, goodbye. See you when I see you!

Two guys trying to, uh, pull our leg?

Before we parted, I asked Raymond to check the Internet. The next day, he promptly sent me what he found out. No, the two guys were not pulling a prank on us. They are, indeed, Hollywood wannabes.

Nathan Keyes has been doing TV since 2006. Among his credits: The Nature of Blake, Three Moons Over Milford, Women’s Murder Club, Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith, Ben 10: Alien Swarm, Brothers and Sisters and The Good Doctor (I presumed it’s the movie Nathan said he was doing with Orlando Bloom).

Standing 6’2”, weighing 195 lbs. and athletic, Afro-American Kevin Scarlo has appeared in the TV shows Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, One Life to Live and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He dances, does martial arts and stunts, and plays all kinds of sports.

During that chance P.F. Chang’s encounter, Kevin said that he might come with Lourdes for a visit next month.

“You could be in Filipino movies,” I kidded him.

(Postscript: I promised the two guys that I would give a copy of this story when I see them again...if I see them again maybe in another chance encounter?)

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