Matteo Guidicelli is one hell of a wrestling fan. He has a replica of John Cena’s WWE Championship Belt at home and he’s was one of those who bought a P10,000 ticket to watch his wrestling idols at the Big Dome this February. He even hopes to score a backstage pass to get a closer look at the wrestlers and hopefully get their autographs!
But this teenager’s passion about professional wrestling is nothing compared to his first love which is karting. Matteo has been racing since he was 11 years old and he has bagged a number of wins including becoming the 2004 Karter of the Year.
"I started when I was in Italy. I was on vacation with my parents. My uncle brought me to a kart race track. I tried it and I loved it. When we went back to Cebu, they were building a race track and my grandfather bought me a real race kart. So I trained and trained and I even bought new race karts," Matteo related.
On the side, this 16-year-old karter has also been rising in the realm of modeling as his good looks have landed him a number of endorsing jobs.Though having the qualities of a matinee idol, Matteo has not yet been given a go-signal to enter local showbizdom by his manager Joji Dingcong and his parents. But his sports, modeling experience and exposure were just enough for ANIMAX to discover him and give him his first acting experience. Only this time it would be behind the scene as he would be dubbing the voice of Takumi Fujiwara, the lead character in the anime "Initial D: Fourth Stage."
And he’ll be working with GMA Artist Center’s Angel Locsin who is the voice of Kyoko Iwase, Takumi’s love interest in the anime series.
According to Matteo, he was surprised when news reached him about the "Initial D" project through his manager. Since he was also a fan of animes, he was excited about this cool project. "I was very interested. But my only problem was that I wasn’t that good in Tagalog at the beginning. So I had a hard time. But I practised speaking Tagalog with my helpers and drivers every time.…The script was written in pure Tagalog so I tried my best. I practised a lot so I’m comfortable speaking the language now," he shared smiling.
If he was having an easier time dubbing, he attributed it to his director who was always patiently watching and guiding him, and the staff of the show who were all supportive of him. He also mentioned his co-actor Angel Locsin as instrumental in helping him out overcome the language barrier.
"It was fun meeting Darna. It’s cool. She told me some tips and she’s a good actress. And he’s really friendly and a very nice person," he remarked.
So how much of himself does he see in Takumi?
"A lot, about 90%. He is a quiet guy. I guess we’re the same. He’s a champion racer and I’m a champion racer too. He’s a smart person."
He added that like Takumi who was trained by his father in racing, he was also trained and supported by family – his uncles. And like in "Initial D," Matteo has also driven a Toyota Treuno AE86 in real life, the car that Takumi uses in his races.
Matteo shared that he gets different kinds of fulfillment from karting.
"The first thing is fun. The adrenaline rush that you get from the speed and competition. And you get to travel a lot – Italy, Europe, Asia and America."
So what was his fastest speed so far?
Smiling he replied, "In karting it depends on the race track. If it’s in Batangas which is three kilometers long, you can reach up to 180kph while in Cebu only 100kph because the distance is short."
Karting is a sport of high speed, curves and Gforce, and this teenage driver is confident about himself and his kart when racing. He doesn’t see it as a dangerous sport since he always takes precautionary measures like wearing the right equipment. He also trains physically for his races.
"Concentration of the mind is needed and you also have to be fit. In karting it seems not tiring but if you drive in the actual race you’ll have bruises on your ribs. So you have to wear rib protectors. You have to run a lot and you have to have endurance and stamina," he pointed out.
Matteo was also sent by his father to Italy to train. He was left with a team to train with. The catch was that he had to work everyday with them and race only on weekends!
"I had to work from 10am to 6pm everyday and on weekends we went racing. I was also mopping the floor and helping in fixing the engine. It was a cool and different experience. I learned a lot of tough stuffs," he related.
He added that his priorities in life are, in this particular order, his studies, projects and fun. And that also meant that girlfriends would only happen on his spare time.
At the moment, Matteo is eagerly awaiting his next birthday to get his student driver’s license because his grandmother bought him last year a Mini Copper S in Cebu. He’s also US–bound this summer as his father has enrolled him in an acting school.
"I just hope I’ll be successful studying acting.…joining showbiz will depend on my parents and manager’s decision, if they will agree on it."
Being the voice of Takumi for ANIMAX’ "Initial D: Fourth Stage," Matteo has gone into events for the said project. He graced the event of ANIMAX called "ANIMAX Pow Wow Watchaton" last Feb. 3 at the Glorietta 4 Open Park where 100 contestants made it to their first 24 hour anime viewing with the winner going home with 0.
Matteo added some star glamor and prestige to the event as he spent time with anime fans signing posters and taking photos at the "Initial D Race Track" booth. His presence was also a treat for fans of "Initial D" who are excitedly anticipating its new episodes airing on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in ANIMAX. Also at the "Initial D Race Track" booth was a contest for anime fans. It tested players’ driving skills as they maneuver a remote control car around with a full glass of water on top of it. Other game booths for anime fans present were the "Tweeny Witches Broom Hockey" where broom sticks were used to hit balls to their respective targets. And there was the hilarious "Absolute Bog Game Station" wherein participants has to scoop out as many goldfish as possible using only a paper tissue as net.
The "ANIMAX Pow Wow Watchaton" was won by a 21-year-old college graduate student, Anna Kristina Bernardino.
Because of the success of "ANIMAX Pow Wow Watchaton," Ms Betty Tsui, Animax’s VP for Programming said, "The event has shown the passion Pinoys have for anime, and we are delighted. We are thankful for the generous support of our partners and loyal fans in making this event possible."
Source of Info.
Here is an interview from FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo.
And you have to be mentally alert, right?
“You have to be. When there’s a race the next day, you shouldn’t sleep late. You must have a good meal and you don’t think about anything but the race. You have to concentrate on the race.”
So how much sleep do you get per night?
“When there’s a race, as much as nine to 10 hours. Otherwise, only about six to seven hours.”
What kind of diet do you have?
“Basically, I eat normally. I eat rice only when I have to race. Otherwise, not so much or none at all. I eat lots of vegetables. My favorite food? Lechon!”
How much water do you take per day?
“A lot! When I eat out with friends, they have a pitcher of water ready for me. Ask Tita Virgie (Ramos Gift Gate and Swatch) and Tito Joji. I drink juice(s) but not so much. Soda? Only when I’m at a party.”
Do you take hard drinks?
“Only during special occasions.”
Do you smoke?
“No, I don’t.”
What vitamins do you take?
“I take 1,000 mgs. of vitamin C.”
Like most athletes, do you sweat a lot?
“Yes, I do. After a race, naliligo ako sa pawis.”
Is it bad to take a bath immediately after a race (or exercising)?
“Yes, it’s bad. You have to rest for at least 30 minutes before taking a bath.”
Aside from racing, what other sports do you dabble in?
“Soccer, swimming, horseback-riding, basketball and boxing.”
What part of your body do you think needs improvement?
“Only my legs. Too skinny.”
What part is most vulnerable?
“My head. If I sleep late, I get a headache.”
And what part of your body is your favorite?
“My hands. They are smooth. I use moisturizer a lot because I have dry skin.”
What part of a girl’s body do you notice first?
What other qualities do you like in a girl?
“She must be down-to-earth and must have a positive attitude.”
And what turns you off?
“If she’s super-loud and super-wild.”
How’s your love life?
“I have no girlfriend now. I used to have one.”
“When there’s no race, I go out with friends on weekends.”
“Wala, wala, wala!”
What’s your favorite sleep wear?
“Basketball shorts and T-shirt.”
Never in the nude?
“Never! I sleep with eight pillows. I love cuddling pillows.”
Do you snore?
“I sleep alone...I don’t think I snore.”
Do you sleepwalk?
“I used to, two years ago. I would get up from bed, go to my parents’ room, open the door and then naguusap-usap kami. All the while, I was asleep, huh!”
Do you talk in your sleep?
“Yes, I do.”
What was the most beautiful dream that you ever had?
“I have two. One was when I dreamed that I won the Formula One. And two, when I dreamed that I was walking on the red carpet.”
Any bad dream?
“Lots of them, especially after I watch horror movies.”
What’s your favorite fantasy?
“Being stranded on an island with Jessica Alba.”
How do you cope with stress?
“I get a massage, almost every night. I listen to music because I also love to sing. I love old songs, ballads like those by Michael Bublé. I also like Ne-Yo. I enjoy watching movies, too. My current favorite is Pursuit of Happyness (starring Will Smith).”
Name three women you think have nice bodies.
“Jessica Alba (especially in Into The Blue). Michelle Rodriguez. Angel Locsin.”
And three men...
(Asking his mom who was seated beside him during the interview) “Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise. Richard Gere.”
Using only body language, how would you make a woman know that you admire her?
“I just look at her...at her eyes. If she looks back and smiles, I approach her. What happens next? Bahala na. Hahahaha!”
Matteo Guidicelli - Karter of the Year - The video clip that won Fil-Italian Karter of the Year Matteo Guidicelli the title role as Takumi Fujiwara in Animax Asia's Initial D: 4th Stage (2005) Clip courtesy of PR Asia Worldwide
ABS-CBN's Gokada Go! Matteo Guidicelli plug