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Meet Perry Dizon, the Filipino actor who starred in the 2022 Oscars Best International Film 'Drive My Car'

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Mar 28, 2022 7:41 pm

As another Academy Awards comes to a close, new and seasoned faces in the entertainment industry have once again made their names known to the worldwide audience.

With the likes of Bong Joon Ho's Parasite proving that it's high time for international filmmakers to take the Oscars acclaim, this year's latest entry is none other than Best International Film winner, Drive My Car. 

Serving as the first Japanese film to receive a Best Picture nod, the 2020 movie based on a Haruki Murakami short story is a wonderful marriage of heart and craft. But did you know that there's more Asian representation than meets the eye?

Drive My Car follows stage director Yusuke, who meets a feisty young woman named Misaki who becomes his chauffeur. Toko and Yusuke start to develop a friendship through their car conversations, as she takes him to and fro his activities, such as his theatre workshop.

In Yusuke's class, his diverse group of students is adapting a multilingual version of the 1899 Anton Chekhov play, Uncle Vanya.

Along with his classmates, audiences are then introduced to a Filipino actor named Roy Lucelo, portrayed by Mindanaoan actor Perry Dizon. The actor has a substantial amount of Tagalog lines in the Oscar-acclaimed film.

Here's what you need to know about the Misamis Oriental-born Filipino who made it to the 2022 Oscars stage.

Jin Dae-yeon and Perry Dizon in a still for Drive My Car. 

He auditioned via Skype

With early 2020 making it almost impossible for in-person casting calls to happen, Dizon has his Internet portfolio to thank for the role. Speaking with Rappler, Dizon shared that he was scouted through his IMDb page and promptly had his audition via Skype sessions. At the time, he was only requested to read lines from an Uncle Vanya script before being turned over to a Japanese production company.

By October of 2020, he had nailed the audition and got clearance to travel to Hiroshima, Japan, where most of the film was shot.

He has starred in Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz titles

Dizon is no stranger to being among colorful filmmakers in the industry, such as Arnel Mardoquio, Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz, and Bradley Liew.

Per his IMDb page, the actor has been credited in over 31 acting projects, from Diaz's Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What Is Before) to Liew's Motel Acacia alongside JC Santos and Agot Isidro, to Brillante's Judy Ann Santos-led drama Mindanao.

He isn't just an actor

Dizon has also tried his hand at directing and production design. His directorial debut was the 2015 documentary Of Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals and Sashimi following the rubber plantation boys of Zamboanga Sibugay.

The docu has been invited to several film festivals through the years and won a special jury prize at the 2016 Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival. It also had its Japanese premiere at the 2017 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.

His work as a set designer has also landed him in the Cannes Film Festival through the 2013 film Norte, Hanggang Sa Kasaysayan.

Aside from its three Oscar nominations and Best International Picture win, Drive My Car has also won the Best Foreign Language Film in the Critics Choice Awards, Best Film Not in the English Language in the BAFTA Film Awards, and Best Picture for a Non-English Language in the Golden Globes.