Actor Aldrin Bundoc is starring in the new satirical comedy series ABROAD, a humorous look at how Filipino Immigrants think , perceive and deal with living in Canada. The series is premiering on OMNI Sunday April 24, 2022.
Aldrin is one of the featured main ensemble comedians on Abroad, which challenges misconception about immigrants from all walks of life, be it first or second generation. Emigrating to a new country can be challenging, but Abroad is here to prove it can also be funny.
Aldrin will also hit the screen later this year in IFC’s Season 2 Canadian comedy, Slo Pitch, a mockumentary-style series about an amateur softball team for LGBTQ women and non-binary players.
We had a chat with Aldrin about how he prepared for his role in Abroad, the challenges he faced and what’s next.
Kat: You star in a new satirical comedy series ABROAD, which is a humorous look at how Filipino Immigrants think, perceive and deal with living in Canada. How did you prepare for your role?
Aldrin: Personally, the ways I prepared revolved around engrossing myself in the Tagalog language before and during shooting. Abroad is Canada’s first ever sketch-comedy series that is delivered in English AND Tagalog. To prepare, I watched many Filipino comedies on Netflix, listened to Filipino podcasts, and YouTube interviews, ABS-CBN TV shows, and Filipino News.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Aldrin: Oh yes….when I auditioned for the role, the creators were still figuring out exactly how much Tagalog would be involved in the show. But regardless, I sent in my audition tape with the English sketches and one Tagalog sketch that my mom helped me with. For the record, I don’t actually speak Tagalog – I can understand it because my parents speak it to me, but I cannot translate words into Tagalog on my own nor form any sentences. When I got the role to be in the show, I was excited but I still didn’t know how much Tagalog I’d be speaking. It wasn’t until a week before shooting began that it was confirmed that about 80% of my work would be spoken in Tagalog. Filming a show can move very quickly, so I immediately hunkered down, locked myself in my house for days and practiced the Tagalog lines. I got a lot of help from my mom and was given resources from the show which was amazing! I can confidently say it’s one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do in my career thus far.
Kat: Did you learn anything about yourself while filming?
Aldrin: Yes…I discovered new things about being an immigrant myself, and it was actually a discovery regarding language. Even though I’ve forgotten how to speak it, my native language is Tagalog, but I speak English 100% of the time these days. When I was learning the Tagalog phrases, I realized that my relationship to Tagalog words actually came from a deeper place within me (i.e: I had an awareness of the word’s vibration, history, colour, context). I discovered that this kind of relationship to words wasn’t as present to English words – the English words weren’t connected in that way. So as I was revisiting the language in preparation, it really put into perspective for me this notion of being an immigrant and the idea that I’ve been living in-between cultures.
Kat: What have been some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Aldrin: My favourite sketches to shoot were the ones with a lot of other actors in them simply because it was just incredible to get to hang with them. It was truly a thrilling and beautiful experience to look around the set and realize you’re not the only Filipino actor there. It was a rare experience for me but I hope there’s more of that on the way!
Kat: What do you hope fans take away from the show?
Aldrin: Firstly, I hope fans have a good time watching the show – I hope we make people laugh. And secondly, I hope that this show connects people; whether they’re Filipino or not, it’s a starting point of conversation and understanding.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Aldrin: I’d love to play an international spy like Jason Bourne – that’s pretty much what I’d wish to be if I wasn’t an actor. I’d also love to play the influencer, Bretman Rock in a biopic – cause Bretman is an icon.
Kat: What’s next?
Aldrin: I’ll be appearing in IFC’s Canadian mockumentary comedy series called Slo Pitch. And I’m writing with a few people – one feature film and the other is a play.
Connect with Aldrin on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buzzaldy