‘Gameboys' actor Elijah Canlas: 'We get to represent love that’s not normalized in the media'

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The breakout star talks about shooting “Gameboys” inside his house, separating Cairo from Elijah, and why he and director Ivan Andrew Payawal were in tears during one shoot.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — At such a young age, Elijah Canlas already has a filmography that many of his contemporaries dream of. The Philippine High School for the Arts alum has managed to be in 14 films and shows in the span of six years with impressive consistency. Canlas has been somewhat of an indie darling, with roles in acclaimed films such as “Edward,” “LSS,” and “Kalel, 15.” But when the lockdown began, the young actor admitted he was losing hope. And then “Gameboys” took off.

Inspired by the viral success of the Thai Boys Love show “2gether The Series,” many Filipino productions started following suit. “Gameboys” was one of the first to jump in, rolling into production while we were all in lockdown. The show, about a budding love story between two gamers has since enjoyed a massive following, the characters Cairo (Canlas) and Gavreel (Kokoy De Santos) earning the couple name CaiReel and a fandom name Third Wheels.

Canlas says the Zoom-only style of shooting has taught him many things (he also has to do his own lighting and production design since he’s shooting in his house) but it also made him miss real life interactions.

“Sobrang namiss ko bigla yung physical interaction with our co-actors kasi acting is reacting and then now we only look at the lenses and we only hear our co-actors voices through a different device.”

Watch the whole interview below.

Video and interview by SAMANTHA LEE