MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE 2) ?It?s hilarious,? a chuckling Dingdong Dantes said about his inclusion in E! Entertainment Television?s first ?25 Sexiest Men of the World? list.
Dantes is the only Filipino to make it to the roster put together by one of the largest and most popular networks in Hollywood
E! Entertainment is also one of the most widely viewed networks around the world, available to 88 million cable subscribers in the US alone, and in 600 million homes internationally.
?Isang buchukoy sa eskwela na hindi sineseryoso ang sarili ang napili nila (I was a chubby schoolboy who never took his looks seriously, and they picked me),? the 28-year-old actor said. ?This is certainly unexpected. Not even in my wildest dreams did I see it coming.?
Dantes will appear in the special program, along with the world?s sexiest male celebrities including Los Angeles Galaxy star player David Beckham, rugby union footballer Dan Carter (New Zealand), actor Gilles Marini (France), actor and fashion model Michael Lewis (Israel) and singer Kostas Martakis (Greece). Dantes has always been compared with the international football star Beckham.
Dantes was elated upon hearing the news from his manager, Perry Lansigan, who was informed by the LA-based E! Networks about the recognition.
?Right now, people are starting to appreciate me more,? Dantes told GMA-7?s showbiz-oriented talk show Startalk on Saturday. ?Kahit sabihin man natin na kung hindi man ang aking itsura, ang aking ginagawa kundi ang pangkalahatan na personality. So nakaka-flatter na may nakaka-appreciate po sa akin much more na napabilang ako doon sa 25 mga taong yun. Isang karangalan para sa akin yun. (We can say that it?s not because of my looks, my work but my whole personality. So it?s really flattering that people are appreciating me, especially when I was chosen as one of these 25 people. It?s an honor for me.)?
Dantes said he attributes his current string of successes, including two successive top-rating fantasy drama programs on primetime television, a wave of upscale commercial endorsements, and a growing international fanbase, to his love for his craft.
?I am very thankful kasi minamahal ko talaga yung ginagawa ko (because I love what I do) that?s why it loves me back that way,? Dantes said.
Dantes in his message to E! Networks said: ?Thank you for believing in me. It?s such a privilege for me. Maraming salamat (Thank you very much). I truly appreciate it.?
Dantes said he learned about it on Aug. 19, while he was in the United States doing a concert with TV screen partner Marian Rivera.
?I?ve never been in any contest based on looks,? Dantes told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Saturday. ?I joined a declamation contest in grade school and competed in stage play writing in high school. I lost both times.?
The ?Sexiest? list, he said, he accepts ?with open arms, for whatever it?s worth.? And then, as though on second thought, Dantes said, ?I?m honored.?
E! Entertainment executive Brian N. Potter sent an e-mail to Lansigan last week, saying the actor will soon be featured in one of the network?s special segments. (E! earlier asked Lansigan for Dantes? photographs and resumé.)
?We have sent materials [for the special segment],? reported Dantes, who was also named ?No. 1 Bachelor of the Year 2007? by Cosmopolitan Magazine (Philippines).
In an interview with the Inquirer late last year, Dantes said he still had to get used to public attention. ?When people tell me I?m good-looking, my immediate reaction is to wonder if they mean it. So I just smile.? At times it becomes uncomfortable, he admitted. ?But I try to show that I appreciate the compliment.?
He was launched as image model for Bench underwear, and billboards showing a scantily clad Dantes sprouted all over Metro Manila. The initial shyness about his body apparently gone, the actor was one of the main attractions in the recent ?Bench Blackout Underwear and Denim Fashion Show.? He thrilled spectators by dropping his pants to reveal tiny black briefs.
José Sixto Gonzales ?Dingdong? Dantes III joined show biz as a member of an all-male dance group. He was with the youth-oriented series ?TGIS? and went on to direct several shows for GMA 7.
His popularity skyrocketed in November 2007 when he played the role of Sergio Santibańez in the local version of the Mexican hit series, ?Marimar.? He is now regarded as one of the hottest leading men in local show biz, according to GMA 7 senior vice president Wilma Galvante.
Dantes recently bagged the USTV Students? Choice Award for Most Popular Actor in a Drama/Miniseries.
He currently plays the leading man Fredo in the TV adaptation of Mars Ravelo?s ?Dyesebel,? also on GMA 7. With Gerry Plaza, INQUIRER.net
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