Ruru Madrid in Leading His Own Standing Ovation
For most, becoming an "artista" is a whimsical fantasy. But with its glamorous but competitive nature, it's no secret that the showbiz industry is challenging to break into. Luckily for a select few, such as the "lucky ones," these dreams are a reality.
For the young actor José Ezekiel Misa Madrid, professionally known as Ruru Madrid, his first experience basking in the limelight started when he became a contestant and ended up as a runner-up on GMA Network's Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break in 2012. After that, Madrid's star continued to ascend, as he scored the titular role of Ybarro, Ybrahim in the 2016 remake of Encantadia, and the action-packed fantasy drama Lolong in 2022. Talk about an impressive career arc!
It's easy to get caught up in the glitz of the industry and forget the processes that these amazing artists have gone through to get where they are today. Aside from his highly successful acting career, there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to the young bachelor. Like what he does when the cameras stop rolling, and the lights start to dim. Or whether his reputation preceded him. Let PARCINQ Magazine give you a closer look at the artistry of Ruru Madrid in stages.
The Awakening of Ruru Madrid
At a very young age, Ruru was destined for the silver screen, but being an actor wasn't an instant dream for him then. "Noong bata ako gusto kong maging sundalo," [My childhood dream is to become a soldier] he shared."Malaking influence diyan kasi mahilig ako manuod ng mg action Films nung bata ako. Parang lahat ng mga pilikula nina FPJ, Robin Padilla at Felix Salvador, lahat yan pinapanuod ko talaga lahat. Kaya right now minsan napapaisip ako maging reservist para atleast matupag ko yung dream ko na yun." [I think the biggest influence for that dream is because I loved watching action films when I was a child. Like all the movies of FPJ, Robin Padilla, and Felix Salvador, I really watch them all. So right now, sometimes I think about becoming a reservist so that at least I can fulfill that dream of mine.]
But the blood of an artist really runs in Ruru's blood; the now 24 years old Ruru shared that the apple didn't fall far from the tree as his parents have had their fair share of being in the entertainment industry. His father used to be a commercial actor, and her mother used to be a ramp model.
"My parents are the biggest influence in my career," Ruru said. "They may not have been actors in TV series or movies, but my parents were models. My dad used to do commercials, and my mom was a ramp model. "So somehow, siguro nakuha ko yung confidence nila and looking back as a child wala naman akong talento. I cant sing, dance, act sobrang kapal lang ng muka ko kaya siguro napunta ka sa line na to," [So somehow, what I really inherited from them is their confidence. And looking back as a child, I really don't have the skill or talent to be an actor. I can't sing, dance, or even act, maybe I was just raised to be a little cheeky that's why I'm here] he joked and giggled.
Undeniably, Ruru had an early awakening in the entertainment industry, but it doesn't mean it was an easy ride for him. "Well, I've always wanted to be in the industry since I was a child. Wala lang siguro akong chance," [Well, I've always wanted to be in the industry since I was a child. Wala lang siguro akong chance] he said.
Much like all of the young artists aspiring to enter the vigorous industry, Ruru also had his ups and downs when he was starting. Luckily, he met the right people that took him under their wings. "At that time, everytime that I attend VTRs, lagi akong hindi nakukuha. Not until nakilala ko si Direk Maryo J. de Los Reyes kasi siya talaga yung naka discover sakin. Siya yung nag intordice sakin sa pag arte. He enrolled me at PETA. So dun talaga ako natuto umarte, dun ako natuto kumanta and then eventually pinag audition na niya ako hanggang sa nakuha ako sa Protégé." [At that time, every time that I attend VTRs, I always end up not getting the part. Not until I met Director Maryo J. de Los Reyes he was the one who really saw my potential as an actor. He introduced me to acting and even enrolled me in PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). During my stay at PETA, I trained extensively on how to act, sing, and even dance and after that, I joined Protégé.]
Fast forward to this day, ten years after his initial debut in the industry, Ruru has come a long way. At a very young age, he has already done 17 TV series and seven movies.
Taking the stage
Almost every celebrity had their unique rise-to-fame story before they took the big stage of the industry. And most of the time, these celebrities have that one celebrity they admire. But for our dynamic actor, Ruru believes that you cannot have the same kind of character in every season or every stage of your life. That's why when he was starting, he took a lot of inspiration from his idols.
"It's hard to choose an icon," he said."Mahirap yung isa lang yung magiging idolo mo sa mga aspeto ng buhay. But my idols when it comes to acting are Johnny Depp, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Tom Cruz, especially when he does stunts. But when it comes to fashion and style, I take inspiration from Harry Styles because he has taught me how to be comfortable expressing myself in what I want to wear. Also, K-pop groups like V from BTS." [It is difficult to have only one person as your idol in all aspects of life. But my idols when it comes to acting are Johnny Depp, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Tom Cruz, especially when he does stunts. But when it comes to fashion and style, I take inspiration from Harry Styles because he has taught me how to be comfortable expressing myself in what I want to wear. Also, K-pop groups like V from BTS.]
But according to Ruru, he will always be a fan of Kapuso royalty Dingdong Dantes. "But above all else, vocal ako sa pagiging fan ni Kuya Dingdong Dantes. Because he's not just a great actor, he is also a director and a producer. He also has a lot of advocacy as a person, and of course, he is a great family man," [But above all else, I will always say this, I am a fan of Dingdong Dantes. Because he's not just a great actor, he is also a director and a producer. He also has a lot of advocacy as a person, and of course, he is a great family man] he admitted.
With the stride of Ruru's career, it is indeed evident that the inspiration he got from his idols did not end up in vain. Over the past years, Ruru has become more resilient and robust as he faces the obstacles of his career headstrong.
"At first, when I entered the industry, I just wanted to help my family." He admitted. "I just want to provide and give what my family wanted. Ganon lang ka simple. But when I started to have a steady career, I realized that it takes more than that dream to stay in the industry. Dito kailangan mong maging passionate sa ginagawa mo, sa pag-arte, sa pag-perform, sa mga taong nag mamahal sayo, at sa mga taong sumusuporta sayo kasi kung hindi, hindi ka mag tatagal dito sa industriya." [I just want to provide and give what my family wanted. Ganon lang ka simple. But when I started to have a steady career, I realized that it takes more than that dream to stay in the industry. Here you have to be passionate about what you do, acting, performing, the people who love you, and the people who support you because otherwise, you won't last long in this industry.]
Ruru also shared that more than perseverance, talent, and passion, one should also be mentally and physically strong to stay in the industry. "Sa totoo lang, ang mundo ng showbiz, it’s very toxic. Kung mahina yung loob mo, mahihirapan ka. Pero kapag gusto mo yung ginagawa mo, wala lahat ng pagot at hirap na yon."
[Honestly, the world of showbiz, it's very toxic. If your heart is weak, you will have a hard time. But when you love what you're doing, all that fatigue and hardship are gone.]
The standing ovation
Ruru has come a long way from being a hopeful contestant in an artista search competition to starring in his own TV drama show. But after all these years, Ruru is very much grateful for the things that he has learned. Especially when it comes to taking and making his own standing ovation.
"Before, I was really a team player. Kung ano yung ipapagawa sakin, yun lang. But when I got cast for Lolong, kinausap ako ng direktor na kailangan kong i-lead yung cast," [Before, I was really a team player. Ask, and I will deliver, that's it. But when I got cast for Lolong, our director Rommel P. Penesa, asked me to lead the cast]," he shared. "And to be honest, nahirapan ako kasi mga kasamahan ko mga biterano at batikanng artista kagaya nina sir Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia, Rochelle Pangilinan, Bembol Rocco at marami pang iba. Sobrang hirap mag step up because I don't want to look like I'm being a brat or bragging since I'm the lead title. So what I did was I changed my work ethic, I talked to them and told them how grateful I am for this project and for working with them. I stepped up because I wanted them to know me and to see how genuinely grateful for the project. Our bond became stronger after that. I can say that we became one." [And to be honest, at first, it was very hard not to come across as arrogant, especially since the cast consists of the country's greatest actors such as Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia, Rochelle Pangilinan, Bembol Rocco, and many more. I don't want to look like I'm being a brat or bragging since I'm the lead title. So what I did was I changed my work ethic, I talked to them and told them how grateful I am for this project and for working with them. I stepped up because I wanted them to know me and to see how genuinely grateful for the project. Our bond became stronger after that. I can say that we became one.]
Today, Ruru is one of the most sought-after young actors of this generation, and there is definitely more up on his sleeves. His journey is not a unique one, but surely is one to be inspired of.
"I don't regret anything," he said with a solid and confident smile. Hindi ako perfect na tao, marami akong nagawang pagakamali sa buhay ko, at sa career ko na alam kong mali talaga pero hindi ako nag sisisi na nagawa ko siya kasi natuto ako doon at hindi ko na hahayaan na maulit pa siya. Dadito narin ako sa point ng buhay ko na alam ko sa sarili ko kung saang at ano ang mga pag kakamali ko at tanggap ko na sa sarili ko na nagkamali ako." [I'm not a perfect person, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and in my career that I know are really wrong, but I don't regret that I did it because I learned from it, and I won't let it happen again. I'm at the point in my life where I know myself where and what my mistakes are, and I accept to myself that I've made mistakes.]
Undoubtedly, the metamorphosis of Ruru still needs to be fully claimed. His stars are only beginning to shine brighter, and the stage of his life is not yet ready to close its curtains. He is ready to take and lead the way until he reaches his final destination — SUCCESS!
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Art Direction by Joe Andy
Cover Story by Mark Baccay
Sittings and Interview by Philip Vargas
Hair and Grooming by Mycke Arcano
Styling by Dave Arden