“When I read the script of Ricky Lee, ang ganda!” he says. “I’m just happy to be part of this movie.”
As Ador, he’s a student activist who goes underground and meets Jake Cuenca as Cesar, an idealistic young poet while both of them are NPA rebels in the mountains. They have a clandestine affair, a no-no in the underground movement in the 70s. Then Lovi Poe comes between them and seduces Joem, bearing a child with him who grows up to be Isabelle Daza. Joem has torrid love scenes with both Jake and Lovi in “Lihis”.
“Yung kay Lovi, no problem as we’ve worked in several movies, ‘White House’ na may love scene din kami, ‘Aswang’ and the new Regal movie, ‘The Bride and the Lover’. So comfortable na kami sa isa’t isa.”
And the gay love scenes with Jake, did he have qualms? “Before we started shooting, Direk Joel explained everything to us and Jake and I resolved will cooperate sa anumang ipapagawa niya sa’min.” Will he do frontal nudity? “If he’d require us to do it, okay lang basta sa ikagaganda ng movie.”
Is this the first time he’s playing a gay role? “No. I played a gay na in ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ on TV. Gay rin ako in ‘The Bride and the Lover’. I play Jennylyn Mercado’s gay best friend at ang lover ko naman dito is Hayden Kho, na bodyguard naman ni Lovi Poe. Pero kung torrid ang love scenes namin ni Jake, kami ni Hayden, hanggang holding hands lang. My role in ‘Lihis’ is really my biggest and hardest role in my career.”
Joem is also seen in the ABS-CBN afternoon soap, “May Isang Pangarap”.