Richard Gutierrez in Dubai – interview

Filipino screen star opens up about fame and family life ahead of Dubai fashion show

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Richard Gutierrez is no doubt one of the most admired and prominent actors in the Philippines today. The actor and model is familiar to millions of fans from both blockbuster movies and top-rated TV shows, the star’s career continuing to expand as years go by.

On Friday June 6, Level Up UAE Productions will showcase Richard Gutierrez together with his controversial real-life girlfriend Swiss-Filipino actress Sarah Lahbati in a unique Fashion show FREEZE Open Shoot Network, taking place at Domeland Chi@The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisureland in Oud Metha.

The event will also attract top photography enthusiasts in the region, local based models, esteemed make-up artists, fashion stylists and world-renowned master photographer Manny Librodo.

Speaking to Gutierrez just hours after he shocked the showbiz world by revealing that he had fathered his first child with Lahbati last year, Time Out's Rodelito Mamuad caught the 30-year-old star on the phone.

First of all, we've heard the good news, so congratulations!
Thank you!

How is the Philippines' matinee idol?
I am good and very happy. Sarah and I are already excited to spend our time with our kababayans in Dubai on Friday.

When was your last visit in Dubai?
I have been in Dubai last 2008 when I did a show called Codename: Asero in GMA 7 with actress Heart Evangelista. Some of the scenes were taken in the city.

What are you excited to see here?
I have heard a lot of great things about Dubai and I am excited to see some of its newest attractions, like the Burj Khalifa. I would also love touring with Sarah around the city as it will be her first time. Desert safari is worth experiencing too.

You've been in the industry since 1987? How's your career at the moment?
I am okay. I think I have made the right decision in the past two years. At the moment, my family is busy doing a reality show on E-channel (considered to be the first Asian reality show) and we're very honored to be a part of the network. I am also doing a movie with GMA Films right now so I think I'm doing okay.

What has been your biggest achievement?
Becoming an artist who can affect, influence and inspire people in a positive way is I think the greatest fulfilment that I have.

Any advice to newcomers in the industry?
They should not forget where they come from and they should always keep their feet on the ground. Respect to long time actors is also very important.

You’re appearing in the FREEZE Fashion Open Shoot Network here in Dubai (on Friday June 6). What is the show all about? What do we expect from the show?
It will be a fashion show. We're supporting Filipino designers and up and coming photographers in Dubai, and that's the reason why we were invited to come there. Expect Sarah and I to entertain the fans as we take the runway together with local based and international models.

How does it feel working with your real-life girlfriend Sarah?
I am very excited of course because I will be with her specially in a beautiful place like Dubai where we have a lot of fellow Filipinos. We're excited to experience Dubai together.

Most of you in the family are into show business. If you were not in the industry, what would you be doing today?
I really don't know. Maybe I will still be an artist behind the scenes, as a producer or a director, as I love doing films. I'm still be in the industry for sure.

Your E! reality TV show It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez premiered last night. What is the show all about?
It's a reality show and it gives viewers a glance into our lives as a family. Fans should anticipate a lot of entertainment and surprises in the show. I hope fans will support us.

After your show in Dubai, what's next?
I will be doing a lot of projects – and one is a movie with Sarah.
FREEZE Fashion Open Shoot Network on Friday June 6, 8.30pm. Chi@The Lodge, Al Nasr Leisurland Oud Metha. Tickets: Regular - Dhs100, VIP - Dhs250 (04 386 5020).

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