David Licauco happy about fans’ reception of his love team with Julie Anne San Jose

David Licauco (right) and Julie Anne San Jose

David Licauco (right) and Julie Anne San Jose

As he gears up for his first primetime series as a lead actor, David Licauco hopes to show that there’s more to him than his good looks and toned physique.

“I want to thank GMA 7 and my managers because I have been waiting for a show or a series that will prove that I’m more than just about my body or papogi lang,” he told the Inquirer in a recent video conference for GMA 7’s new romantic comedy series “Heartful Cafe,” which he will topbill with Julie Anne San Jose.

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David is determined to hone his craft and grow as a performer. And with consistent workshops and guidance from his director, Mark Sicat dela Cruz, the 25-year-old celebrity seems to be on the right track.

“Because of direk and my acting coach’s help, I would say that I have been enjoying the experience. And I’m hopeful that I was able to deliver and put out a good showing in this teleserye,” said David, who started out in show biz as a model. He also played varsity basketball for the De La Salle-­College of St. Benilde.

Passion

“I would like to win an award in the future,” David said. “That’s my goal.”

“Heartful Cafe,” which will air weeknights starting April 26, is set in a coffee shop owned by Heart Fulgencio (Julie Anne) who—despite being heartbroken—finds herself playing cupid for her customers seeking love advice. But as the cafe verges on closing down, the competitive businessman Ace Nobleza (David) comes to her rescue.

“Not only will the viewers have fun and laugh, but I think they will also learn about passion when it comes to business and being goal-driven, because the characters are all hardworking and focused,” he said of his character and the show’s themes. “And if you put in the work and if you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can achieve what you want.”

Among the genres he has previously dabbled in, drama, he said, is where he surprisingly felt most comfortable. But as it turned out, doing romcoms was just as enjoyable.

“I have a tendency to appear chill on screen because that’s how I am in real life. But lately, because of this show, our director was able to bend that part of me,” said David, who has no qualms doing more lighthearted projects in the future.

“Right now, I’m being given opportunities to do romcoms … something light. And I will maximize those, because not everyone gets them. I will do what the network thinks is best and advantageous to me,” he said. “But of course I do hope to get a chance to do something more dramatic.”

David Licauco

David Licauco

Staying fit

Aside from getting the acting down pat, David also had to undergo a more rigorous workout routine. “I have to stay fit because that’s also part of my character description. So, before taping, I went back to my old trainer for more intense workouts,” David related. “I did that five times a week—on top of my acting workshops.”

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Needless to say, David has no problems showing off his body as long as it’s needed. “It depends on the flow of the story and the scene. I’m not uncomfortable about taking my shirt off, but I don’t want to do it just because, or without context,” he said.

At first, David had a hard time adjusting to the locked-in taping setup, because he himself has businesses to maintain. “I was a bit worried that I might neglect those, but I was able to get the hang of it eventually,” he said.

But on the upside, the bubble made it easier for him to get closer to his costars, especially Julie Anne, whom he described as a “talented and passionate artist.”

Go-getter

“You can see that she really loves what she’s doing, whether she’s acting or singing. She’s hardworking and a go-getter … In a past interview, I was asked who I wanted to be paired with, and I said Julie Anne … I hope I get to know her even better,” said David, who’s also happy about the fans’ reception of the love team.

“I was surprised by the attention. I haven’t experienced something like this before. Her fans have also been asking me every day if I’m posting anything about her,” he added.

“Heartful Cafe” was originally intended to be aired on GMA 7’s sister channel GTV. But after seeing the show’s pilot episode, the network’s bosses decided to put it on the main channel instead.

“I’m super happy and excited about that because … more people will be able to see it. I’m thankful for the trust given to me,” David said.

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