At just the age of 17, Darren Espanto has already built on a career that could be the envy of some artists who are twice his age. He has spawned hit songs, staged sold-out concerts in big venues, and released albums that have been certified Platinum and Double Platinum. The stage is his home, and it is evident with the way he belts out tunes, grooves to the beats, and connects with the audience.
He is able to hold his own as a singer and performer effortlessly as he has been singing at such an early age. His immense talent as a youngster led him to join singing contests in Canada and then in The Voice Kids Philippines back in 2014. Ever since he made his debut in Philippine showbiz at the age of 13, it was clear that Darren would make his mark in the industry. He is now being called The Total Performer. And, things are about to take a turn as he has finally relented to the call of acting.
“I’ve always been fascinated by ‘yung craft po na ginagawa ng actors and I’ve always wanted to try acting as well so when I was given the opportunity by Star Cinema, I said yes right away,” Darren Espanto discloses to Inside Showbiz Weekly. “It was also an offer that I wanted for so long. So, I’m very grateful and I’m very happy. And I’d say it’s a dream come true talaga.”
His debut acting project is in the movie The Hows of Us (THOU) starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, no less. Moreover, the film is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina. It is a daunting project where Darren plays the younger brother of Kathryn. “There’s pressure kasi they’re such good actors already, like everyone on the set. And I’m just starting palang. I was nervous din.”
The Filipino-Canadian has every reason to feel nervous as he was working with the trio of Direk Cathy, Kathryn, and Daniel who were part of the successful teleserye Got to Believe and box office hit She’s Dating the Gangster. Although performing for thousands of people onstage or for millions of viewers on television is a walk in the park for Darren, he naturally felt anxious about acting for the camera because it was new territory.
He shares that he was able to overcome his worries thanks to the 2017 Box Office King and Queen. “Kuya Daniel tells me not to be tense sometimes kasi he could tell that I’m taking my lines over and over in my head. He said, ‘Uy, huwag mong isipin masyado. Huwag mong iarte.’ And then Ate Kath naman, parang sinasabi rin niya sa akin na ‘Just be in your character. Try to get the emotions from what your character is feeling.’”
On variety program ASAP, he only gets to talk to KathNiel backstage or during spiels and interviews. He says it is a whole different experience to see the phenomenal screen tandem go about shooting scenes. “As actors, it was very different. I got to know them more and I got to see how disciplined and how professional they are on to the set. They know what to do and they know how to portray their roles properly. KathNiel know what emotion to give right away so that’s something I was very fascinated seeing in real life. And they’re very humble talaga.”