FASHION NOOK: Dabawenyo actor stars in American comedy TV series

FASHION NOOK: Dabawenyo actor stars in American comedy TV series

A Dabawenyo is at the helm of the upcoming American comedy TV series which is set to uncover how believing in presumption can lead to deadly conclusions. 

Rommel Rojas, a Mass Communication graduate of the Ateneo de Davao University, showcases a wide range of talents in this project. Apart from acting as the lead role, he is also its writer and producer.

“Naughty Maids” talks about Ramon who returns from the Philippines as a failed actor. Meanwhile, Calixto is expelled from the police academy for his feeble frame. The ex-best friends have no choice but to work together to revive Naughty Maids, a failing maid service, and an inheritance from Ramon’s late mom, Nora Santos. Upon meeting, Mike, the last and only client at the rental property in Pasadena, CA, Calixto notices a blood stain on Mike’s shirt and two cars on the driveway, when Mike said he is by himself. Something is afoot here. 

Calixto tells Ramon about his findings, which Ramon vehemently dismisses. Not today. But when Ramon found an ID and car key of a Liam, Calixto relentlessly insists that a crime happened here. Broken glass. Pieces of vase. Missing carpet. Then, Mike shows up and explains that Liam went on a trip and left his car here misplacing his things and there was a break-in; that makes sense. Calixto, then, finds a gardening receipt and two wine glasses in the kitchen trash and one of the glasses has traces of Rohypnol. Liam was drugged. What could happen next?

“Naughty Maids” is not the first acting job of Rommel in the US. However, he considers it special because it is an expression of his humor.

“This is written for a half-hour Comedy TV series on cable or streaming. It is intended to last for 3 seasons with 10 episodes each season,” he shared. “Since Dramedy is a trend these days, NM will embody that approach on storytelling. I want to create a Filipino-American TV series that tells our stories and experiences to a wider audience. Asian leading men are on the rise. This is a story about a Filipino queer leading man dealing with his struggles and challenges as a human being and not just about his queerness.”

Rommel, who has been living in the US since May 2024, has collaborated with Cebuana San-San Onglatco, an alumnus of the prestigious American Film Institute and a fellow Atenean, as the project’s director. 

“She has created a vision that captures the campiness of ‘Naughty Maids’ comedy and the gory of blood and violence. It will also put Filipinos in the limelight that we are a desirable group of people and we can be leading men on TV as well,” he narrated.

When asked about the inspiration behind the script, Rommel quipped, “Acting opportunities are very scarce in Hollywood. The auditions that I receive are not the characters I want to play. So, I want to create my own character, my own story. I want an avenue to tell my humor and my perspective on things.”

“I used the avenue of housekeeping because it is something that hasn’t been seen much on TV. Houses tell the story of who is living in it. As Ramon and Calixto, clean the house we also see how the people who live in it live their lives,” he added.

“Naughty Maids” is truly a Pinoy pride as it was accepted at Yucca Valley Film Festival, awarded Honorable Mention at the New York Screenwriting Awards, and named a finalist at The Comedy Film Festival in Austin, TX.

To those who want to try their luck in the US entertainment industry, Rommel’s advice is to

“Train. Train. Train.”

“Being an actor isn’t about just saying lines. We use the lines as a vessel to carry the emotions the lines hold. Our craft is the only thing that we are in control of in the show business. Our craft is the product that we sell,” he emphasized.

To support “Naughty Maids,” you can visit its campaign site on Seed and Spark. The link is:

(Photos used in this article were provided by the interviewee.)


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