American Adobo

Thanks to Flori for the information!

                     American 'adobo' personified
Posted: 10:31 PM (Manila Time) | Jun. 20, 2002
By Alex Y. Vergara
Inquirer News Service

Dream model

ASIDE from being down-to-earth, Paolo Montalban, the winsome
Filipino-American actor who co-starred in Laurice Guillen's "American
Adobo" is also self-effacing. He shows up for this shoot at short notice
and despite having to catch a flight to Brisbane in less than 24 hours.

"I've mastered the art of the 10-minute workout," he shares when
asked how he achieved such a toned physique. "I wouldn't say I have
an excellent body. It's still a work in progress."

The camera doesn't do Paolo justice. He
looks so much better in person, perhaps
because he is so nonchalant and is not
forever wanting to impress.

He dutifully wades on water, sits on an
exhaust box and clambers atop a satellite
dish – a dream model, if there's one. Like
a real trooper, the 29-year- old actor
doesn't mind changing outfits in a
makeshift dressing room.

"Personal style is mercurial," he says. "I
usually go for stuff that aren't too faddy."

Despite being blessed with a gorgeous
body, Paolo still has a hard time finding the right designer jacket. He prefers tapered suits to
boxy ones that are usually sold off the rack. He has found the ideal fit in Armani.

"Most designers don't design clothes for big guys," he shares, "so they tend to be boxier.
Designers assume that guys with big necks like me also have big waists, but that doesn't apply
to me."

Paolo also goes for Diesel jeans and outfits by Banana Republic and Guess whenever he feels

He's also partial to Cuban shirts, less formal versions of the Philippine barong. He has yet to
invest in one, but has bought what he cons iders the next best thing: a Dolce & Gabbana
long-sleeved shirt made of a lace-like material.

For this photo shoot, Paolo brings a combination of signature stuff and unknown brands,
particularly sleeveless cotton tops that show off his powerful arms, plus three pairs of
footwear: tan slip-ons, black calf- length leather shoes and dark bowling shoes.

Has he always displayed an independent fashion streak?

"Actually, no," he confesses. "I used to ask my sister what would look good on me. I still ask
friends or girlfriends for help."

Paolo doesn't have a special someone in Los Angeles these days to help him sort out the
wearables, but he credits a former girlfriend for teaching him to gradually loosen up.

"I used to be so neat until she made me realize to lighten up," he says. That means saying
goodbye to tucked-in shirts and hair neatly parted to the side a la Clark Kent.

Prince Charming

Paolo first caught the American public's attention after starring opposite Brandy
in the nth remake of "Cinderella," playing Prince Charming before he breathed
life into Raul, the classic cad in "American Adobo."

"Vincent Nebrida gave me a call and asked me if I'd be interested in reading his
script," he recalls. "After going through it, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to play
Raul, who's such a real bastard."

As a testament perhaps to his acting skills, not a few have noticed how Paolo was able to make such a
one-dimensional character more sympathetic. The attention "American Adobo" has generated has been
quite palpable.

What was supposed to be a three-week break in
the old country has become a working vacation as
he did several hosting gigs.

"It was actually my first feature film," says Paolo,
who was barely two years old when his family
immigrated from Manila to the United States.
"Cinderella," he clarifies, was a film shot for TV.

In between the two projects, Paolo kept himself
busy doing a musical version of "Cinderella" with
Deborah Gibson (yes, Debbie to an earlier breed of
MTV fans) and "The King and I." Yes, Paolo is
definitely Pinoy if only for his innate musicality.

Paolo, in fact, caught an agent's attention while
doing a campus musical in Rutters University in New York.

Believe it or not, the 6'2" looker was taking up a pre-med course in psychology before show business

"He asked for my head shots and I sent him [some]," he says. "I got booked on
my first audition. I've been working ever since."

These days, Paolo is on cloud 9 as he prepares to do "The Great Raid."

Produced by Miramax Films, the World War II film is set in the Philippines and
stars the likes of Benjamin Bratt and Filipinos Cesar Montano and Zoren Legazpi.

Unfortunately, producers found it cheaper to shoot the ensemble piece-think
"Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" – in Australia.

"I'll be playing a Filipino-American soldier," he says with a hearty chuckle, "so
that takes care of the language problem. 'Di mahusay ang Tagalog ko pero

We're pretty sure Paolo won't run out of willing and able Pinays to teach him the language...and more.