It has been a year and a half since Paolo Contis’ controversial breakup with LJ Reyes, but the actor continues to get hateful comments on social media every so often.
But while he has read and heard some of the “worst things” anyone can say, the actor insisted that he’s largely unbothered by these and that the public’s scorn never really got to him.
“People tell me, ‘Ba’t buhay ka pa?’ or ‘Mamatay ka na.’ It’s no secret that the past year or so has been rough. But honestly, if you ask me whether or not I get affected by other people’s comments, the answer is no. They have nothing to do with my life,” Paolo told reporters on a recent visit to the set of his upcoming movie, “Ikaw at Ako.”
“The issues I need to face are very private and I will fix them privately. For some reason, there are people who think that what you post is the complete truth. And what you don’t post must have never happened,” he said.
In 2021, Paolo hogged show biz headlines after he unfollowed then partner LJ Reyes and deleted all her photos from his Instagram account. Later on, he was spotted in Baguio City with actress and his “A Faraway Land” leading lady, Yen Santos, fueling speculations that infidelity was the reason behind his split with LJ.
While Paolo regrets being “marupok” in the course of his six-year relationship with LJ, he insisted in a statement that Yen had nothing to do with it.
The furor was expected. But at the end of the day, he believes that he’s accountable only to the people directly involved in the issue and the loved ones dragged into the fray.
“I did bad things, I know that. But not to the people. So why would I apologize to them? They have nothing to do with this … Their anger won’t undo what had already happened. If there are people I need to apologize to, it’s those who are directly involved. And I will fix that privately,” he said. “Mentally, you have to know the people who matter.”
Asked about whispers that there has been an improvement in Paolo and LJ’s situation, the 38-year-old GMA 7 star said he doesn’t want to preempt anything. “Sometimes, you read something that isn’t what it seems. Perhaps the time that I talk about the private stuff is when things are really OK,” he said.
“But the very first thing you have to do is fix yourself. You can’t say sorry if you have yet to forgive yourself for what you did before,” he pointed out.
But all things considered, life for Paolo is in the process of “hopefully getting better.” “Mas ramdam mo ang bigat before. When I say people who are involved, I also mean family and loved ones who were also affected,” he added. “But I will fix it all one by one, privately.”
‘My Best Actress’
Last November, Paolo posted on Instagram a photo slide of him and Yen on what looked like a dinner date to celebrate her birthday. The caption read, ‘Happy Birthday My Best Actress!’ (Yen had just won the Gawad Urian best actress trophy for “A Faraway Land.”)
Does the post mean that he and Yen are already “Instagram official”? “What you see is what you get,” he said. “I’m OK. There are a lot of things that the public shouldn’t care about.”
But if there’s one thing Paolo can’t deny, it’s the fact that he misses Summer, his 4-year-old daughter who now lives with her mom LJ in New York City. “I won’t hide it—I miss her. And I hope I can visit her,” he said.
Directed by Rechie del Carmen and produced by Gutierez Celebrities and Media Production, “Ikaw at Ako” is a romantic drama anthology movie featuring three stories depicting different stages of love. The second story—which focuses on marriage—will be headlined by Paolo and Rhian Ramos. The film also stars Boots Anson-Roa, Ronaldo Valdez, Phoebe Walker and Andrew Gan.
“There’s a story about puppy love, and an elderly couple dealing with their final days. Our story, Rhian and mine, will be about married life. The movie talks about the different processes and struggles a couple goes through,” Paolo said.
The challenge, he said, is playing someone whose personality is drastically different from his. “There are similarities, but Anton is more refined in how he deals with things. There are things I hope I handled differently, but you always hope to learn from your mistakes,” he said. “Anton is more subdued — far from who I am. But it’s how you attack the role. You have to change things up.”
Paolo and Rhian have worked together before, but this is the first time they were paired in a drama. “I have already worked with her, but only for something one-off or episodic. This is something different. In GMA 7, I usually play villain roles in action series; she does dramas. So there weren’t a lot of opportunities to work with her,” he said.
Paolo considers Rhian a “good friend,” so they were comfortable on the set from the get-go. “I feel fortunate to be working with her. Magaan siya katrabaho and is very professional,” he said.