Ruru Madrid is a man of action

Ruru Madrid is a man of action

The ‘Sherlock Jr.’ star talks about growth, and following your own path in the entertainment industry.

Until a couple of months ago, Ruru Madrid was scared of dogs to the point that he couldn’t even touch them. This information comes as a surprise to many of us at the shoot. Because for one, we’ve been watching him act alongside a furry companion for almost a month now, and two, today’s shoot is set in a dog park-cafe.

Our team had no clue until he casually mentioned it in between outfit changes, at which point everyone began asking if he was okay. But Ruru quickly brushed off any concern, saying that he was fine. Later, I discover that this is how he is with everything he does lately; an actor used to going with the fl ow.

Carry on: Ruru Madrid is determined to make his mark as a director and scriptwriter in the future.

Ruru is currently playing the title role of Sherlock “Jack” Jackson Jr. in GMA’s Sherlock Jr., a family crime drama about an investigative reporter who tries to solve the mystery of his girlfriend’s death with the help of her dog.

That dog is a golden retriever named Serena, nicknamed Siri in the show. It was Serena’s gentle nature that helped him to conquer his childhood fear, and for that he’s full of praise. He speaks about his canine co-star with all the love and pride of a real dog parent, gushing about how smart she is and how easy she is to work with.

Nagkaroon kami ng familiarity workshop with the dog, so when I went there, the first time I saw Serena — parang na-love at first sight ako sa kanya,” he says. “And feeling ko na once mage– end ‘yung show, maiiyak ako talaga. To the point na pupuntahan ko si Siri once a week sa bahay niya.”

He means business: Ruru Madrid is on the path to becoming the next big action star.

In Sherlock Jr., Ruru’s character has the typical macho bravado common in the work of his idols Fernando Poe Jr., Robin Padilla, and Phillip Salvador. He explains that the work involves a lot of discipline, for both the mind and body (think: regular gym sessions and a Ketogenic diet). It’s definitely a far cry from his beginnings as the young heartthrob during his breakout stint on celebrity reality show Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break. He’s been somewhat of an underdog ever since he appeared in Pepe Diokno’s 2014’s film Above the Clouds, and he’s thankful for all the opportunities that have come his way ever since.

When I ask about his artista bucket list, he brings me back to his childhood dreams: “Dalawa lang yung pangarap ko maging sa buhay: either artista or soldier.” Now 20, he’s living out both dreams, heading in the action star direction. Before Sherlock Jr., Ruru last appeared as a superhero vigilante alongside Dingdong Dantes in Alyas: Robin Hood. Apart from work-related training, he also enjoys going to the gym and doing MMA and jiu-jitsu training in his free time.

Summer is coming: Ruru Madrid hangs out with Arya, our model Sheltie, at Bark Central.

You can’t talk about maturing without mentioning GabRu, his top-billing pairing with former Young STAR cover girl Gabbi Garcia. I can sense that their pairing is a touchy subject, but it’s not one that he avoids. The two have recently been pursuing different projects — a fact that has caused many fans to speculate and spread rumors.

Ruru shuts down any signs of bad blood before I even have a chance to ask. As it turns out, the break was intentional, since their network makes it a practice to switch their co-stars every other show.

“You know kasi, with me and Gabbi, every time na nag-uusap kami, sinasabi nga namin na this is not forever,” he says. It’s a mature answer for someone who is still working his way through the industry. One that shows how much he’s grown in the past few years.

Kailangan mo rin matutunan how to stand alone. Kasi hindi ka mago-grow as an individual,” he continues.

Moving forward, the big dream is for Ruru to become a director and scriptwriter. He’s steadily working toward it by staying curious on set, and even directing some action scenes on Sherlock Jr. (Fun fact: he doesn’t use a stunt double.) These days, Ruru is taking the reins on his new series, a responsibility that he’s taken on since it’s his first title role. “Direk Dom Zapata, direk Mark Reyes, Dingdong Dantes — kinuwento ko kasi na gusto ko maging director,” he recalls. “So (they) told me, ‘Ru — ikaw yung may hawak ng show na iyon.’ Kaya kailangan alagaan mo lahat ng mga co-actors mo diyan. Ipa– feel mo sa kanila na united kayo. Right now, ganun. Gina-gather ko silang lahat sa puso ko. Pinapa-feel ko sa kanila isa tayo. To make this successful, kailangang maging united kami.”

Photos by RALPH MENDOZA
Styled by SAM POTENCIANO
Grooming by NIKKI DUQUE
Sittings by MARGA BUENAVENTURA and JAM PASCUAL
Shot on location at BARK CENTRAL
Special thanks to KIM YAO of BARK CENTRAL and DANI AVANZADO
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