When Herbert Bautista’s son, 22-year-old Race Matias, bagged gold at a New York indie fest when the latter was still a film student, onlookers saw potential in him.

Many think he could be the industry’s next leading man, not to mention he has close resemblance to Thai superstar Mario Maurer.

Well, it’s wish come true for his followers as Race stars in his debut film, “Indak,” starring Nadine Lustre and Sam Concepcion.

RACE AND NICOLE - Like father, like son: Herbert Bautista’s son, Race Matias, joins showbiz

RACE MATIAS and Nicole Omillo

In an interview, he said he was only 18 when he flew abroad to study film and acting at the New York Film Academy.

“Homesickness is inevitable,” he said of the experience. “But you know, not everyone gets the opportunity and I believe it was necessary for me to leave so I can be the man that I am now.”

Growing up, Race shared he has always been fascinated with acting. It runs in the blood since his father Herbert had done almost 40 films in his decades-long career.

But while his father serves as his inspiration, Race said it has “disadvantages.” For one, he knows his father’s name will always be mentioned during interviews and that comparison is unpreventable.

“There’s no pressure naman on my side, but my father and I want me to stand on my own. I want to make a name for myself,” he noted.

On why he isn’t using the last name of Herbert, Race gave two reasons.

“First, my mom and dad were never been married,” he pointed out. “Second, I guess all my life I’d been using Matias so I’m more comfortable using the same now that I’m entering showbiz. It’s okay with my dad naman.”

A decade from now, Race sees himself producing and directing his own movies. He is eyeing to work with Arjo Atayde, sisters Jasmine and Anne Curtis-Smith.

How about his father?

“Yes, sure. But hopefully it’s not a father and son story kasi that would be cliché,” he laughed.

Politics, love life

Does he see himself entering politics too?

It’s a big no for Race.

“To have people rely on me for their houses, for their jobs, I think that’s too much for me. I can’t handle the stress,” he reasoned.

The newbie actor approves of Herbert taking a break from politics after 30 years of being in service.

“Imagine the stress, the workload he had been doing. It’s incredible he made it for 30 years. So if he wants to give it some rest, I will definitely support that especially now that he has more times for us,” he said.

Herbert’s love life has been the talk of the town for the past years. The actor-politician has been linked to Kris Aquino.

Race sees no problem with that.

“He is single, he can go out whenever he wants,” the son said. “I’ve always said naman if he finds someone who will make him happy even if it’s my mom, go lang. I will support him.”

Race said he hasn’t met Kris just yet. Given the chance, what would he tell her?

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Kris Aquino,” he said.

About her

“Indak” is a heavy-dance film.

Joining Race, Sam and Nadine on the cast is neophyte actress Nicole Omillo.

The former Sugar ‘N Spice member has been with Viva for five years now.

Like Race, “Indak” is her debut movie. Nicole’s character is the third party to Sam and Nadine’s romance.

“I’m very honored and grateful that this project was given to me. I really want to prove myself po that’s why I gave my 100 percent to this,” she said.

Nicole is into all kinds of performing since she was a kid. She sang and danced in school programs, even joined theater plays.

Talking about her showbiz crush, she mentioned John Lloyd Cruz.

The model-type beauty is not keen on having a boyfriend anytime soon, though.

“Career po muna,” she noted.

Her idol? No less than the Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo.

Directed by Paul Basinillo and produced by Viva Films, “Indak” also stars Vitto Marquez, Christian Morones, Julian Trono and Yayo Aguila, among others. The movie opens in cinemas nationwide on Aug. 7.

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