After playing the lead in the recent local run of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang earlier this year, Gian Magdangal said he did not expect to be cast in Ang Huling El Bimbo the musical which opens in July. “Una na-excite ako. Hindi ko rin akalain. Nag-audition ako pero hindi ko rin akalain kasi kakatapos lang ng Chitty Chitty Bang Bang dito kaya naisip ko, ‘Will they still cast me because kaka-run ko lang sa Resorts World?’ So I’m so thankful that I got a part and then of course I feel so lucky and happy because I’m a big Eraserheads fan,” he shared during the Ang Huling El Bimbo presscon held last April 24 in Pasay City.
In the new original Pinoy musical which will feature songs from the iconic ‘90s group Eraserheads, Gian plays the role of an independent film director named Hector who reunites with his group of friends from college. “In this show I really get to sing the songs with my own flavor that I hope I can do justice to by telling the story. I grew up with the music talaga. Grade school pa ako nun pero yun kasi yung formative years ko lalo na pagdating sa music. Tapos yung bonding ng magkakaibigan din nung time na yun. Eraserheads is one of the core groups that really helped shape my love for music before musical theater yun talaga eh. So para siyang full circle kasi grabe kakantahin ko na siya ngayon for the public. Dati sa bahay lang, Songhits, Jingle magazine, yung mga ganun ba. And more so, in a medium that I love, musical theater pa. Kasi hindi ko naman iisipin in my whole life na mag-me-merge at mangyayari yun. Kasi hindi naman ako magiging Eraserheads eh, parang ganun yung paningin ko at that time. So parang pangarap lang siya,” he shared.
Gian said he even tried to catch as many performances of the Eraserheads as he could, even until now. “I watched them live nung bata pa ako. Pero yung appreciation ko nun iba dun sa nung napanuod ko na sila nung may edad na ako. Yung isa dun sa RJ Tower dun sa may Sta. Mesa, luma na yun eh. Tapos ang front act pa nila Parokya ni Edgar. Tapos naalala ko pa nun kasi my dad used to work for RJ Jacinto tapos hindi pa nila pinapasok si Raimund Marasigan dahil parang hindi ata nakilala ng guard. So yun yung mga memories ko nun. Tapos yung most recent one was the anniversary concert nila na yung nag-reunion sila na parang once in a blue moon. Nanuod talaga ako nun. Tapos naalala ko sinunog pa nila yung piano sa stage (laughs). Wild talaga,” he recalled.
The Ang Huling El Bimbo actor was such a fan that he even tried to copy the Eraserheads when he was younger. “One thing also about the Eraserheads and the songs, it’s a good reference na parang cool nung time na yun. Parang sa sobrang maging fan ka, bibili ka din ng sapatos na suot niya. Yung parang ganun siyang level eh. Bumili pa ako ng Adidas na Gazelle na red or green kasi yun yung suot niya, parang ganung levels yung pagka-fan ko dati, parang ganun eh,” he said.
When asked which Eheads song is his favorite, Gian said it is impossible to choose just one. “Well ‘Alapaap’ is really one of those, ‘Pare Ko’, siyempre ‘Huling El Bimbo’, ‘Magasin’, particularly lahat ng songs dun sa Cutterpillow album. Kasi nung time na yun I heard magaling yung Eraserheads yung Circus album nila yung lumabas pero hindi ako nakabili nun eh. Tapos nung dumating yung Cutterpillow yun ang kinalakihan ko talaga,” he added.