When you're from a family of respected actors, it's easier to leverage on that famous last name. "I'm the daughter of," "I'm the nephew of," "I'm the cousin of"—these will take you a long way in this country so fascinated with familial relations. Yet despite the fact that he could easily take advantage of his artista lineage, young actor and model Ethan Salvador chooses to focus on putting his talent out there instead of his connections.
"I grew up knowing from my titas and titos on my mother's side that my lolo is Phillip Salvador and he's really famous but even before that, I was like 'Mom, I want to be an actor' so much," he recalls. "I just love playing different characters and telling stories. I love stories. Who doesn't love stories? So, I really wanted to be a part of that. And it's so inspiring to see people tell a story in such a great way and to develop these characters."
The talent and passion for acting running through his blood was so strong that he wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue the craft instead of going to college, even if that meant arguing heavily with his mom. "I believe education is so important especially in the Filipino culture but when you're really passionate about something, pursue that which you really love," he says. Instead of the City of Angels, though, he found himself treading Philippine showbusiness, after much prodding from his estranged father to try his luck here.
Ethan is quick to admit that the journey hasn't been easy. "The first six, seven months were rough 'cause it was all meetings and stuff and I was just getting really depressed 'cause I like working and working towards something," he shares. He's proof that patience is a virtue and hard work will take you places: After honing on his Tagalog skills (he used to have zero knowledge of Tagalog) and building his confidence, he finally got into Star Magic. "You build that tough skin, you build that persistency to just keep going because tomorrow's another day."
Ethan has since dabbled in modeling under the wings of Chinie Go and Prima Stella Talent Management, and did some hosting for weekend business/travel show Swak na Swak. He was also one of the finalists of last year's SM Youth Go-See. But his biggest project to date? A prime role in the lauded Cinema One Originals film 2 Cool 2 Be 4Gotten (yes, that's where you saw him!).
"I didn’t think I’d get the role. Star Magic would put us through auditions and I wasn't getting anything because it's super baduy if you'd be super Englishero in a teleserye. And then they showed me an English script and I grabbed it and I was like, 'I’m gonna kill this audition, this is my calling, then I did it," Ethan recalls, adding that there was no hesitation on his part even if it dealt with controversial topics (teenage angst, death, and the LGBT community). "A lot of people were questioning me like, 'it’s gonna be your first film it’s a really sensitive topic,' this and that. But it was a really good story, I'm very proud of the movie."
As he keeps his being a Salvador on the down low ("I’m still learning more about the family tree and stuff like that so awkward talaga to just be prancing around all like, 'I'm a Salvador'"), he pushes to the forefront his passion to keep on getting better at his craft, no matter how hard. "There are so many times I just wanna say, 'Screw this, I wanna go home and just live a normal life na lang.' But my mom keeps me going, she's like, 'We argued so much about you wanting to try something new and you're just gonna give up, no! I’m not allowing you to do it. Keep going.' Now it’s such a blessing to be in this place. I mean things are still a little slow, I’m still learning Tagalog but I’m just happy to experience all these. Meeting so many lovely people in the industry and so many people with different backgrounds."
Don't worry, we didn't forget to ask whether this cutie is single or taken. "I’m single, very much single. I love a girl who smells so good, that’s my biggest turn on when a girl's clean. I really appreciate also a woman who’s not so needy but has a balance between 'I live my own life but I love you.' I really like that parang she’s going somewhere, she has goals talaga, so sexy. And I love morenas."
Oh, and we've got one more bonus! We also found out how you can catch Ethan's eye: By being yourself and being a good conversationalist. This guy's, big dreams and all, has got no room for childishness.
ALSO READ: In Focus: What Every Guy Can Learn From Tommy Esguerra
Photographs from Instagram.com/ethan_salvador and Instagram.com/wehlorenz