April 13, 2024 The voice of all eras.

McCoy de Leon: The Man Behind the Villain

March 7, 2024

March 7, 2024 1

In this interview, McCoy de Leon unmasks FPJ’s Batang Quiapo’s most annoying and hated character. Here, he opens up about what happens behind the camera—his inspirations, dreams, sacrifices made, and the challenges faced in the industry.

Here’s an unpopular opinion: villains are the unsung heroes of entertainment. These sneaky and clever characters, who plan evil schemes, breathe life into the stories. By evoking the familiar shades of darkness and emotions in the audience, they play a part in shaping the protagonist—unknowingly helping them become the hero they are destined to be.
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While often portrayed as terrifying agents of evil deeds, our perception of villains evolves. As we age, we realize that every villain comes with a backstory, shaped by life’s circumstances—challenging the notion that they are inherently bad, as initially perceived. Known for his outstanding performance as the arrogant, abusive, and hostile half-brother of Coco Martin in FPJ’s Batang Quiapo, McCoy de Leon sheds light on the person behind the character that the viewers curse and scream in anger.

The Making of the Villain

McCoy de Leon: The Man Behind the Villain
Suit by: Manny Halasan | Photo by: Em Baun

Starting as a member of It’s Showtime’s all-male group, #Hashtags, and rising to fame after taking part in Pinoy Big Brother, McCoy has undeniably exhibited remarkable growth and maturity in his journey in the entertainment industry. Apart from being a dancer and commercial model, he has starred in Wansapanataym, Ang Probinsyano, and The Good Son. McCoy’s magnetic charm has also left a mark in movies like Sakaling Maging Tayo, Sin Island, Ang Panday, G!, Block Z, and Deleter.

Through years of experience, McCoy acknowledges that there is always more to learn, both as an artist and an actor. He sees each character—whether in a movie or primetime series—as an opportunity for personal growth and learning. “You put in a different character, a different human being. For me, you have to prepare physically and emotionally. You have to figure out the heart of that person because that’s what should be seen in every scene.”

McCoy de Leon- The Man Behind the Villain

And while this may seem challenging, the young actor expressed that this process is what he is most excited about: the opportunity to understand the characters assigned to him and explore ways to enhance and improve them. He believes that although the script is already in hand, it’s the actor’s portrayal that brings the character to life and directs where the character is headed—exploring the many possibilities the character can still do.

Unmasking the Villain

McCoy de Leon FPJ’s Batang Quiapo-Gen-Z Magazine

Despite the various roles he has taken on over the years, McCoy discloses that his favorite character is David in FPJ’s Batang Quiapo. Not only has the character made a lasting impact on the audience through his acting, but McCoy has also learned much from portraying the character.

David stands out as a character because of his unique progression as a villain in the ongoing teleserye. From being a scheming presence within, he gradually escalates his villainy, unveiling a step-by-step development that amplifies the animosity towards his character. McCoy points out that it’s the inherent flaw and complexity of David’s character that make portraying him so interesting.

Taking out the villainous aspect of the character, McCoy discovers numerous similarities between himself and David. In particular, David harbors desires and ambitions that he keeps concealed, much like McCoy. He quietly and cleverly works towards achieving these goals without openly revealing them.

Getting to Know the Man Behind the Villain

Mccoy de leon gen-z magazine
Full ensemble by: H&M H&M Man | Photo by: Em Baun

Contrary to his public image, McCoy is genuinely family-oriented. Since the beginning of his career in the industry until now, his motivations have always been rooted in his family. They served as his constant inspiration—a sentiment that endures even as he now has a family of his own.

Growing up in an Asian household, McCoy consistently displayed great reverence for his parents. He firmly believes that adhering to their guidance brings good fortune, saying, “Pag sumunod ka sa parents mo, su-swertehin ka. Pag di ka sumunod, mamalasin ka” [If you obey your parents, you will be lucky. If you don’t, you will be unlucky]. However, beyond the surface, McCoy recognizes the deeper meaning of this practice: “Show respect. Because in everything that happens, there’s always someone above us: our parents and God.”

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Hailing from a family of theater actors, he fondly remembers being deeply moved by the emotions his parents conveyed when he watched them perform. It was during these moments that he realized the beauty of acting—expressing emotions through fictional stories. He credits much of his success to his dad, who serves as his mentor. His father not only accompanies him to tapings but also imparts valuable lessons on the nuances of delivering lines and setting the right tone.

Navigating the Challenges

Mccoy de Leon Getting to Know the Man Behind the Villain

While making the audience both angry and scared might seem simple when playing a villain, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make the role effective. McCoy recollects a challenging incident when a director criticized him for his difficulty in effectively delivering one of his character’s lines. The director demanded more emotions, asking him to be angrier and the like, prompting McCoy to question if acting was his true calling. Because despite his earnest desire to do what is asked, he really had a hard time getting the emotions right.

Nevertheless, McCoy expressed gratitude to the director for guiding him through the character despite the challenges. The director, who was initially a source of frustration, transformed into someone McCoy looks forward to working with again. “Always, there’s a brighter side to every downside of experiences.”

Additionally, with the nature of his work, another challenge McCoy admitted is the difficulty of striking a balance between his career and family. While he dedicates himself to his job, drawing inspiration from his family, this commitment sometimes results in his absence from important occasions. Still, he does his best to be there, even if it means feeling tired and losing sleep. Seeing his family’s happiness already serves as a remedy to ease his fatigue.

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Exploring Further

In today’s digital age, some might wonder about the role of actors and why they matter. McCoy shared a recent discussion he had with a fellow actor: that actors humanize characters. Beyond entertainment, actors provide a deeper understanding of where certain perspectives are coming from. By humanizing the characters, people can empathize, relate, and gain insights into the diverse experiences and emotions that shape those perspectives.

As a former engineering student who ventured into a showbiz career, McCoy expressed his initial commitment to becoming an engineer, driven by the aspiration to earn a diploma and make his parents proud. However, upon entering the acting industry, he sensed a different calling, feeling that this might be the path the universe was leading him towards. Despite his interest in acting, McCoy harbors a broader curiosity for exploration beyond the entertainment field, recognizing that there’s more he wants to learn and experience in the future.

McCoy de Leon FPJ’s Batang Quiapo-Gen-Z Magazine
Full ensemble (except shoes) by: H&M H&M Man | Photo by: Em Baun

As he continues to grow in the industry, McCoy expressed his desire to explore various roles, including a dream of playing a character with a disability. His motivation stems from the belief that taking on such roles will provide him with a deeper understanding of the lives and emotions of people with disabilities. In McCoy’s perspective, individuals facing disabilities demonstrate exceptional strength, surpassing those without, as they navigate and persevere through the challenges of the world.

Furthermore, beyond his achievements in the entertainment industry, McCoy’s primary aspiration is to instill the importance of establishing one’s ‘why.’ “Always have a reason—in every decision in life.” Acknowledging the inherent imperfection of humans, McCoy stresses that making mistakes is inevitable. However, he underscores that the most crucial aspect lies in how one accepts, confronts, and acts after making those mistakes.

McCoy de Leon-Genzmag-Features

Leaving a Legacy

Through his works, McCoy hopes to inspire and give back to his fans, recognizing the considerable time and effort invested by those who admire him—one even tattooing his name and others consistently sending him greetings. However, what truly brings him happiness is witnessing his fans achieve milestones with him, such as finishing school. When fans express, “Naka-graduate ako Kuya McCoy dahil sayo” [I graduated because of you, Kuya McCoy], it holds special significance for him. This is especially poignant, as McCoy himself, if given a chance, would like to finish his studies to secure his future. For these reasons, he remains generous with his gestures, time, and words of encouragement, nurturing a positive and meaningful connection with his supporters.

McCoy de Leon-Genzmag-Features
True enough, a villain is more than just a nefarious figure; McCoy is living proof that there’s always a compelling story behind every character. And if time can offer a chance for advice to his younger self, McCoy would say,

“Relax. It takes time. A great future is ahead of you. Let the Universe—God—guide you.”

Mccoy-de-Leon-Gen-Z-Features

Photographed by Em Baun

Video/Video Edit: Angel Altura | Mary Jane Manglicmot 

Hair & Makeup by Mycke Arcano

Styling by: Patrick Henry Mergano

Associate Stylist: Kyle Magsino

Interview by: Scout Talents, Migs Almendras

Overall coordination by: Niccole Mendoza

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