ARJO Atayde plays the title role in iWant’s original digital series, “Bagman”, produced by Dreamscape and Rein Entertainment of Lino Cayetano, written and directed by Shugo Praico. He plays Benjo, an ordinary man who earns a living as a barber. His life changes when he loses his barbershop due to a road-widening project and his wife, Chanel Latorre, is about to give birth to their first baby.
He agrees to do an illegal transaction for their governor, Raymond Bagatsing, and before he knew it, his corrupt activities have multiplied as he becomes the governor’s bagman, an intermediary for the politician’s nefarious transactions. As he gets sucked in by this web of lies and deceit, he finds out he is trapped and cannot get out of his shadowy life anymore.
The trailer of “Bagman” is quite impressive, bloody and violent and very promising. It has 12 episodes, the first 6 episodes will start streaming for free on March 20, the second 3 episodes on March 27, and the final 3 episodes on April 3. Each episode is about half an hour. Since iWant is not subjected to MTRCB review, producer Lino Cayetano (who’s running for mayor in Taguig in the coming elections) says “Bagman” pushes a lot of boundaries and the show is no holds barred when it comes to its depiction of sex and violence.
“There’s a revolution going on now in the industry because the digital platform is giving us new avenues for new, more daring stories and treatments,” he adds. “This will surely give more jobs, more shows, more opportunities for people in the industry. Pati ang mga artista, mas dumami ang trabaho nila because of this new platform.”
And this is so true in the case of Arjo Atayde. On free TV, he’s seen as the autistic son of Maricel Soriano in “The General’s Daughter” and on iWant digital, he is now in “Bagman”. He’s truly so busy because he’s also doing a movie for Regal Entertainment, “Stranded”, with Jessy Mendiola. But “Bagman” is really his first big title role.
“This is the most intense role I’ve ever done,” he says. “Sa action, sa drama, nothing is easy, everything is difficult lalo na yung development ng character from innocent barber to a killer whose hands are bloodied, but it’s all worth it. I’m glad and thankful that Dreamscape gave me this project.”
His director and his co-stars are all praises about his acting and, for a while, the presscon turned into a tribute for him.
“I appreciate all their good words but I don’t think I’m a good actor,” he says. “I always feel may kulang pa when I watch myself on screen and I think this self doubt is what drives me to learn more and strive further to improve my craft. I’m really hard on myself and that makes me stay grounded.”
He seems so blessed because his career is doing so well and also his lovelife with Maine Mendoza. Will he be proud to show “Bagman” to his special someone? “Yes. She’s very happy for me and she’s excited to see it. Everything in my life right now is really so surreal, so overwhelming. My career, my personal life, and I’m just very thankful for all the blessings.”