Clifford Banagale: Actor
Clifford is familiar to movie audiences for his role as Diesel, opposite Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno, in Bruno (2009). This up and coming multi-talented actor, singer and dancer trained in opera as a young child, and has extensive theatre experience. He has starred in various local and regional hit productions of Peter Pan and Altar Boyz, originated roles in Disney’s High School Musical among others, and appeared as one of the stars in the Los Angeles revival of HaIR the musical with original Broadway producer Michael Butler.
Clifford recently travelled back to the Philippines for the first time after 23 years of living in the USA to star in Busong Palawan Fate. Busong premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2011and is currently premiering in Toronto, Warsaw, Latvia, Chile, Hawaii and San Francisco. Clifford is currently filming Deluge 2012, the sequel to the Palawan trilogy films.
1. What are your hobbies?
I love water sports, swimming, water polo, jet skiing, running, hiking, gym, martial arts, horse back ridding, yoga, meditation, the arts, scary movie nights, food. I’m a foodie! Another reason why I must go to the gym. And spending time with my family & friends.
2. What’s your favorite book and why?
One of my favorite books would have to be Mythology by Edith Hamilton. As a young child & in my early teens I’ve always had a fascination with Greek mythology. They have the most grand myths about gods & fantastical creatures.
3. What single trait do you attribute your success?
Focus. Without it I would definitely diagnose myself with adult ADHD. There are too many things on my mind to research, locate, attain, distribute & complete. Sometimes a bowl of ice cream is the cure.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you experienced?
The perception of myself against others is the toughest. I’m not the kind of person who is sensitive about what other people think of me. I don’t care if people don’t like me. It’s more of how people’s perception of me can directly affect my family, my physical safety, and livelihood. So watching Kill Bill has been highly therapeutic.
5. Aside from your parents, who is your role model or mentor?
John Leguizamo and my former professor Michael Sartor are my mentors. John’s career has Always been something to admire. He not only crossed ethnic boundaries with is roles in Romeo & Juliet & Moulin Rouge, but his work surpassed his castings. John’s one man shows are so honest, so clever, so hood. I grew up in the hood, therefore I connect. Michael Sartor led the musical theater department at AMDA, the school I graduated from. Michael helped me realize my true potential with the talents I’ve possessed. I remember him saying, “You are so generous with sharing your emotions on stage. That is a great gift.” Combined with my training and focus helped catapult me into acting.
6. How do you manage stress?
I use meditation as part of my practice. In school I remember going into a dance studio, turning the lights off and just dancing. It reminded me to celebrate my life in that moment. Sometimes, we only have a moment.
7. What has been the most significant accomplishment in your life? Why?
Playing Aris in Busong, directed by Auraeus Solito has been life changing. Being Aris is a once in a lifetime role opportunity. I share his deep rooted longing to find the truth within himself and his peoples. I had the honor of spending time with his Palawan tribe in the Philippines. I found how beautiful and rich their culture was. In turn much appreciating my Filipino heritage. I realized how valuable Palawan is, our native peoples around the world, but most importantly the fight to preserve these cultures that are endangered by modernization. Busong is now being celebrated all around the world in movie festivals! Please join the save Palawan movement and visit www.no2mininginpalawan.com
8. What do you like best about your job?
As an artist, it is a privilege to be an actor and with that privilege comes with duty. Art has the power to affect people in so many ways. That power is so great, and I hope to only use it to inspire. Inspire those like my predecessors with whom have inspired me the youth & the untouched.
9. What is your secret to success?
I would like to first attribute success to my awesomeness and youthful appearance. I also learned from all the greats like George Clooney & Leonardo Dicaprio the secrets on how far flirting can get you. Just kidding! In all seriousness, my secret would be my undeniable belief that anything I want in the world that I am so passionate about I will have. But it has to always be a passion, for without passion you live no life.
10. Where would you rather be right now?
In Hawaii at the Hawaiian International Film Festival where my movie Busong will have its premier! You can also visit www.BusongPalawanFate.com for more info about the movie & Palawan. I’m an island boy at heart with big American dreams. That’s what my Twitter says.
You can follow Clifford Banagale on Twitter @cliffbanagale or his website at www.cliffordbanagale.com
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