Anne Curtis remembers it oh so well. Her heart leapt. Her eyes sparkled. And her whole world revolved around him. She was 16, and Oyo Boy Sotto (now simply called Oyo) was 17. And yes, it was first love pure and simple.
Like most young loves though, the lovebirds were still immature. Tempers flew fast. Anne nagged Oyo about his consuming passion for cars. He scolded her for “looking like a call girl” in her mini-skirt.
And, like some surreal scene in a love drama, Anne would step out of Oyo’s Rav 4 and walk the length of J.P. Rizal St. in Makati City. Mortified, the young swain trailed her in his luxury wheels.
Cut to another scene, this time in Oyo’s school. Anne shows up with flowers for Oyo. He steps out of the classroom and demands, “What are you doing here?”
They fight each other tooth and nail again. The relationship was doomed from the start. And Anne felt her world cave in when they parted ways after three years.
“I cried a river,” Anne admits. “My whole world revolved around him.”
Fastforward to the present, or six years after. Anne is being linked to Sam Milby, but denies any romance between them. Oyo, on the other hand, is being linked again to Anne. People add two and two together, and eye them with knowing looks.
So what if Anne says she doesn’t mind if she’s loveless these days because her career is going great guns? The public loves a good romance, no matter what.
And Anne and Oyo don’t mind tickling the public’s imagination again with thoughts of romance, even love everlasting.
They watch amused as they view the trailer of their first movie teamup, Star Cinema’s May Minamahal, a remake of the Aga Muhlach-Aiko Melendez hit film in the ’90s, to be shown on ABS-CBN’s Sineserye starting June 4, 6 p.m.
“The confrontation scenes, like the one in the toilet, remind me of how we were back then,” says Anne. But unlike before, when they only sparked ugly words and a raising of the voice, these scenes now elicit amused smiles from Anne and Oyo. The smiles seem to say, “How childish we were!”
Yes, they’re no longer children. They’ve gone their separate ways as individuals and as performers. Anne and Oyo have had a couple of showbiz relationships after that.
But the chemistry has not vanished. It’s something you can’t take away from them.
“I don’t feel awkward if our faces touch each other. Anne knows me inside out,” says Oyo.
“I’ll never outgrow him,” Anne adds. “He will always have a soft spot in my heart. After all, Oyo was my first love.”
She also knows stepping into Aiko’s huge shoes is a tall order. Anne saw the film and knew her days of playing sweet and coy on screen are over. Like Aiko, Anne must figure in heated confrontation scenes that will demand the best in her. There’s no room for half-baked acting.
“My character, Monica, is so different from me. She’s tomboyish, so I had to borrow Oyo’s oversized t-shirt for the role,” says Anne, amused.
But not to worry. She’s no greenhorn in heavy roles. Anne has honed her acting chops as the liberated Celine in the hit teleserye Maging Sino Ka Man. She’s through with light, party girl roles and says she’s ready to go on to the next level.
Oyo, on the other hand, must summon all his acting know-how to measure up to Aga’s performance as Carlitos in the original May Minamahal.
If their co-star Cherie Gil would be believed though, the two have all the right attitude to make it.
“They don’t have the attitude I used to have (she was the figuratively and literally the problem child during her time, remember?). ABS-CBN has trained them well,” Cherie adds while looking at her younger co-stars like Michelle Madrigal, Dimples Romana and Angeli Urquico, among others.
The result, their director, Gilbert Perez hopes, will show on screen week after romantic week.
As for Anne and Oyo, they are letting the fates decide. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Yes, the guessing game continues.