We’re not sure what kind of anting-anting Rocco Nacino has because the actor always finds himself in the company of beautiful women. First off, he grapples with Jinri Park during their jujitsu training sessions. Then, he gets paid to get within close proximity of co-star/love team partner, Sanya Lopez. How did he get so lucky? But Rocco insists that he’s far from being a baller. “I’m usually funny, confident, and cocky around girls, but when it comes to a girl that I like? Talagang perfect word for that is “tiklop”!” Talking to Rocco, we realize that he’s more the sensitive type. Goes to show that a combination of suave and subtlety can snag the ladies just as well as out and out confidence.
Did you expect your pairing with Sanya Lopez to blow up like it did?
I was surprised! I’m not usually associated with love teams because that was my way of being versatile enough to work with different actresses. But when I stuck with Sanya, people really enjoyed [our pairing] pinaniwalaan nila na may forever.
How do you feel working with Sanya again on a new show?
[Haplos is] Sanya’s big break and I’m really happy for her. Suportado ko siya! I’ve been helping her a lot [on how to portray] her character and how to switch off from Danaya [her role in Encantadia]. So, what I know about acting, ibinabahagi ko sa kanya.
Nice! Sounds like you both get on well. Are you putting on the moves?
For now, it’s a working relationship, but a blossoming one. We’ve been working together almost every day for over a year. Now, we’re doing a new project and so it’s more time for us to bond. It’s complicated, but in a good way. I really like having her around because she’s the closest friend I have. Alam mo yun? There’s a thin line and it’s hard to mix everything. So, we’ll focus on our priorities first. Maybe after the show or, we don’t know, during the show.
Fair enough. Aside from the show, you’ve also got a new flick coming up, right?
The movie Bar Boys is about the trials and conflicts of law students who take the bar exam. [My character] Torran is the leader of the pack, cocky and confident. He’s so sure that he’ll surpass everything because he thinks law school is easy. He’s the alpha male.
Do you see yourself as the leader of the pack in real life, too?
Nope. I’m showing something different as Torran. I’m more like Aquil from Encantadia, a follower. What I did was hang out with friends who were, like, leaders of barkadas so I could flesh out my character.
After hanging out with these guys, what did you learn about the take-charge lifestyle?
An alpha male is someone who’s confident and not afraid to take risks. He’s always on the go and tells the barkada, “Let’s do this, let’s do that,” and always has something new to offer. They maintain respect and authority within the group. Medyo tarantado rin, but in a good way.
So, how does one go about earning respect from his bros?
You should always be that person who starts something exciting with the group and makes it work without a hitch. Share the best ideas and make sure that everyone’s in it together. Dapat marunong kang makipag-usap and know the right words to say. “Ano kayang gagawin natin bukas? Ano gagawin natin next week? Let’s ask [him] kasi alam niya yan.” The barkada will follow you if you have a creative mind and the confidence to back it up. Be the man with the plan.
Have you experienced something similar to what your character goes through?
I took the nursing board exams and I spent five to six months of being anti-social and not talking to my friends to prepare. I would just go out to study.
So what made you shift to acting?
I was fresh off passing the board exam and was ready to go to med school because I wanted to be a doctor. I was weighing the pros and cons. “Should I go back to school? Should I quit? Should I just grab my balls and just go with it?” I chose to be a risk-taker and jumped off the edge. Thank God I’m here now.
When you’re stressed AF, how do you recharge?
I’m a really athletic person so I de-stress by working out and playing basketball. Jiu-jitsu is my main sport and I relieve all the pressure built up through contact sports—beating up and getting beat up by other people. I’ve also been recently flying planes somewhere north and going around Mount Arayat. It’s a good outlet for me.
Speaking of jiu-jitsu, aren’t you also teammates with this month’s cover girl, Jinri Park? What’s that like?
She’s badass, grabe! We’ve sparred in training and she’s shown a lot of improvement. And she’s always asking about the next session. “Is there training tomorrow? Is there training tonight? Training’s quite far but I’ll go there.” She’s really good and very enthusiastic so I’m happy she took it up. I’m sure she’ll go places with the sport. She was my main enemy in Encantadia so I got to kill her in the show, ha ha!
This story was originally published in the July 2017 issue of FHM Philippines.
Minor edits were made by the FHM.com.ph editors.