Sam Milby welcomes 'haters'

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MANILA -- Sam Milby is happy to know that he has earned some "haters" because of his character in "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala."


In the ABS-CBN drama series, the 29-year-old heartthrob actor portrays Eros, whose hope of reuniting with his wife and their child becomes an obsessive and potentially fatal hunt.

Handpicked by lead star Judy Ann Santos to portray Eros, the character is Milby's first-ever "kontrabida" role in his eight-year career.

Over the course of "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" since its Primetime Bida debut in June, Milby's character has evolved from a sweet-talking and aggressive suitor to Anessa (Santos), to her ruthless and physically abusive husband.

At the sidelines of his photo shoot for a fitness magazine, Milby said he is thrilled with the response of the audience on his portrayal in the soap.

"I'm really excited and happy about 'Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala,' na 'yung reaction ng mga tao... maraming naiinis," he said, bringing up reactions on the popular micro-blogging site Twitter.

"Maganda kasi 'yung sa mga tweets, laging, 'Nakakainis talaga 'yung character ni Eros,' na, 'Sobrang bad siya.' Pero laging may kasamang, 'You're doing such a good job at portraying Eros, keep it up!' Laging may positive note," he said.

Admittedly anxious about playing a "kontrabida" at first, Milby said he feels relieved to get favorable feedback on his take on Eros.

"That's encouraging para sa akin. It's something na I've been working harder for, para sa role na 'to. Syempre it's soemthing different na hindi ko pa nagagawa.

"Having that acknowledgement, seeing 'yung effort ko, improvement sa acting at lahat-lahat, it's encouraging. And ako, I'm sobrang happy for all the feedback I've been getting," he said.


Fast-paced story

For what is seen as his most well-received TV portrayal to date, Milby expressed gratitude to Santos for personally choosing him to take on the role, and his directors for guiding him.

"Ako, I owe everything to Juday (Santos). Sa sobrang galing ni Juday, I'm really learning a lot from her and feeding off of her energy din. Pati sina direk, I've been asking them, 'Paano ko aatikihin 'tong eksenang to?' They've all been helping me," he said.

The series is directed by Malu Sevilla, Jerry Lopez Sineneng, and Tots Mariscal IV.

Milby is also particularly happy with the performance of "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" in terms of its nationwide ratings.

Based on data from multi-national market research group Kantar Media, the drama series has consistently ruled its timeslot in both urban and rural households.

Kantar Media uses a nationwide panel size of 2,609 urban and rural homes, representing 100% of the total Philippine TV viewing population.

Crediting the fast-paced story-telling of "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala," Milby said he isn't surprised with the series' nationwide ratings.

"It's because of the story. the story is sobrang suspenseful eh, ang ganda ng story, you don't know kung ano mangyayari," he said.

At the current point in the story aired so far, Milby said his character "[will have to be] the bad guy right now."

"Pero sana maintindihan ng mga tao na, wala, sobrang love niya si Anessa at ayaw niyang mawala si Anessa at 'yung anak niya sa buhay niya, so he'll do anything and everything to keep his wife," he added.

Airing weeknights after "Muling Buksan ang Puso," "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" also stars KC Concepcion, John Estrada, Coney Reyes, Tirso Cruz III, Mylene Dizon, Susan Africa, Empress Schuck and Joseph Marco.