Catching Up with The Truth: ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera talks BuyBust experience
Santino Honasan on Oct 15, 2018 02:54 PM
“It’s beyond a dream. Most people dream to just get into a movie, I was put into a movie with all of those superstars. All I can do is thank my blessings everyday that I was able to do something like that.”
It’s been a while since we’ve seen ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera compete inside the ONE Championship cage.
The last time Vera was in action was back in December of 2016 when he defended his title against Japanese challenger Hideki Sekine in Manila, winning via first round-TKO.
And while “The Truth” hasn’t been active in mixed martial arts competition, that doesn’t mean that he’s been just sitting around, chilling.
Far from it, in fact.
Aside from getting married and taking care of some outside-competition matters, Vera has been quite busy on the silver screen.
The 41-year old Fil-American booked his first major movie gig as part of the highly-successful action movie BuyBust, where he plays Rico Yatco, a member of an anti-narcotics squad in the Philippines.
For Vera, the whole experience of being part of a movie is something that he says he looks forward to doing more in the future.
“It was amazing, definitely something I look forward to doing after I’m finished with my competition side of martial arts, I absolutely loved it,” Vera shared with ABS-CBN Sports.
Directed by famed Filipino movie director Erik Matti, BuyBust also features veteran actors such as Anne Curtis and Victor Neri among others. The experience, Vera says, is a ‘dream come true’ for him.
“Working with Direk Erik, Ms. Anne Curtis, Victor Neri, Tito Levi [Ignacio], you know just working with that group of people and seeing the level of where I want to be, projects are coming my way now, it’s, I don’t know how to describe it, I don’t know how to explain it,” he said, “it’s beyond a dream. Most people dream to just get into a movie, I was put into a movie with all of those superstars. All I can do is thank my blessings everyday that I was able to do something like that.”
Being a life-long mixed martial artist, Vera is no stranger to pressure and performing in front of large audiences. Having to “perform” so to say, for his BuyBust director and co-stars however, he admits, was a different beast altogether.
“What do you think?” Vera responded with a chuckle.
“First movie out? Okay, the lead is Anne Curtis. The director is Erik Matti. Then the names just kept on rolling. The pressure was definitely there, but Direk Erik said I did really good with the pressure, I just didn’t want to let the team down, that’s how I felt the whole time, I just didn’t want to let anybody down. From the directors, to the production, the cast, the crew that was working on set, I didn’t want to mess up for anyone. Definitely pressure, but I think that’s what helped us get through it,” he continued.
Asked if he expected BuyBust to be as big as it was, Vera admitted that he didn’t know what to expect.
“I had no idea. This was my first anything, so I had no idea. I didn’t get nervous, I wasn’t nervous for the world premiere in New York, I wasn’t nervous about that until before we left. We might have been already on the plane when I asked Anne, ‘Is this your first one?’ and she was like ‘Yeah, this is my first one.’ When she said that, it’s like it hit me in the face. ‘Oh my God, oh my God this is a big deal!’ That’s when I started getting nervous. I couldn’t believe what was going on,” he said.
The experience as a whole, Vera says, was not simply a reason to be thankful, but rather a reason to keep working and keep striving to get better.
“I’m just lucky, I’m lucky and blessed, that’s why I don’t complain about anything, just keep going forward and I keep training hard,” Vera added, “I keep going to Tagalog classes, I keep going to acting workshops, I have no right to complain, all I can do is get better. There’s too many people who put their faith in me for me to fail, and I just wanna keep grinding and getting better, and I realized all of this before, during, and after the shoot.”
For now, however, Vera says that he’s more than excited to make his long-awaited return to the ONE Championship stage.
While there’s no announcement yet with regards to his next title defense, the champ hopes to be able to do it on the upcoming ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS card in Manila on November 23rd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The card also features a highly-anticipated ONE Lightweight World Championship bout between Filipino martial arts hero Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of Team Lakay and Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan.