“Kidnapper eh! Kidnapper ako!,” ’90s action star and character actor Kier Legaspi laughingly introduced us to his role in GMA Public Affairs’ newest primetime series, Black Rider, during his intimate press conference. “I’m so thankful kasi pilot week talaga ang exposure ko. I am very happy na naging part ako ng Black Rider.” The full-action series weaves together elements of heroism, revenge, justice, and family drama in a compelling narrative on a cinematic scale.

Black Rider Episode 1 screenshot courtesy of GMA Network via Youtube

After a four-year hiatus, Kier revealed that he has intentionally been selective when it comes to roles he portrays. “May mga offers din naman pero namimili talaga ako. Once in a while, aarte ako. I love acting so much na noong hindi na ‘ko makaperform, okay, [I decided] I’ll stop dahil ayoko bumaba ‘yung level eh. I love acting talaga,” he explained.

Kier shared that if there’s one thing about him that even his dad, veteran actor Lito Legaspi has always been aware of, it is his transparency. It is hard for him to force himself to do something when his heart is not in it. “Alam ng Papa ko na ‘pag ayaw ko, makikita mo. Kahit sa acting,” he opened up. His decisions in recent past to decline some acting job offers largely depended on the types of character. He talked about looking for variety in his roles. While waiting for the right one, he focused on his marriage and business first.

Now that he’s back and recharged to dive into showbiz again, Kier recalled his journey to versatility, “Naging versatile actor ako kasi noong gumagawa ako ng mga action movies before, in between, nag-da-drama ako sa TV noon. Pero ang napansin ng mga tao, ‘yung action. Nahubog talaga ako bilang isang actor.”

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On his showbiz comeback

The Legaspi descendant has it in him to stay in showbiz. Kier talked about not leaving the business for as long as he can. He enjoys the job and working relationships. When asked about the lead star of his current series, Ruru Madrid, Kier was generous in giving him praise. He said, “Mabait si Ruru! Palabati siya and makikita mong very professional. Pagdating ng fight scene, pag-arte, nagagampanan niyang mabuti. Even sa pagpupuyat, wala kang makikita sa kanyang ‘Ayoko na, Direk, puyat na ‘ko!.’ Professional siya, good for him.”

As he eases his way back into showbiz from living the ordinary life as a married man and businessman, Kier was asked about how he is adjusting. “Noong kinasal ako, kapag meron akong kissing scene, bigla akong na-off,” the happily married actor shared, subtly showing the gesture of being shocked. “Unlike before na may girlfriend, okay lang, pero when I got married, mas naging careful ako.”

Kier was quick to clarify that his wife does not prevent him from doing any role or kissing scene. “Hindi niya ako pinagbabawalan pero ako mismo, parang bigla akong nailang,” he revealed. “Siguro, instinct eh. Hindi niya ako pinagbabawalan. Pagdating sa career, kanya-kanya kami. Very supportive siya.”

When asked what learnings from his past relationships he now applies in his marriage, Kier smilingly and confidently said, “Basta kapag ako nagmahal, mahal ko ang tao. Ineenjoy ko. I’m loyal. You have to be loyal sa partner mo. Para in case maghiwalay kay, malinis konsensya mo. Kaya mo matulog. Meron kang peace of mind.”

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Obviously fond of and in love with his wife, Kier shared that not having a child yet with her is not an issue. “Hindi pa binibigay. Hindi niya [wife] priority, which is okay with me. Hindi priority sa kanya ang magkaroon ng anak, ineenjoy niya ang life niya. She loves to travel.” He added while looking giddy, “Mabait siya. Makikilala niyo sya.”

On setting boundaries

One thing that stood out during the interview was how self-aware and relaxed Kier is as an actor and long-time celebrity. He revealed that while he enjoys being an artist, he makes sure that boundaries are set between his personal and professional lives. “Hindi ko dinadala ang character ko sa isang show sa real life. Naka-separate talaga ‘yan. Kaya maraming nabibigla ‘pag nakakausap ako or nakikilala ako. Bakit iba ka sa personal? Never ko pinaghahalo yan,” he said.

In an industry where fact blurs with fiction, how does one do it? “Discipline,” Kier said. Through the years, according to him, one develops the technique. “Naka-separate ‘yung trabaho at personal life ko,” he reiterated.

Valuable lessons

When asked what makes it work for the Legaspi siblings that they seem to never have been involved in sibling rivalry issues, Kier told Random Republika, “Never kami nagkaroon ng rivalry ng kapatid ko, si Zoren. Kasi I believe lahat ng gawin niya, in a way, maaapektuhan din ako. Halimbawa, marami siyang magagandang nagagawang projects, in a way, naaapektuhan din ang career ko, natutulungan akong umangat. And vice-versa.” In the end, he paid tribute once again to his father. Kier expressed gratitude to the Legaspi patriarch. He admits that the Philippine TV and movie icon paved the way for his sons to also join and flourish in the industry.

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Kier recalled the most valuable lessons their father passed on to them. He shared, “Huwag kang magbibigay ng sakit ng ulo sa set, be respectful to everyone [from the producers to the utility men], at gampanan nang mabuti ang binibigay na roles.” Keeping these in mind, he seems all set once again to be on a roll.

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In case you missed it, watch the pilot episode of Black Rider here:

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