Megan & Tom: Riding High

CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Marimar, awwwwww!!!!

As soon as 2013 Miss World Megan Young breaks into that all-too-familiar scream of joy, followers of Marimar, the hit telenovela that took the country by storm almost a decade ago and remade Tagalog version starring Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, will surely be kept glued to the Kapuso Network starting Aug. 24.

Marimar made Marian and is expected to do the same to Megan who’s tackling her biggest TV break so far, with Tom Rodriguez as his leading man playing Sergio. Mucho Macho Tom was a breakout star in the ground-breaking Kapuso bromance My Husband’s Lover.

Conversations let Megan and Tom answer a set of questions separately. No, they didn’t see the Marimar Dingdong-Marian version so they made no comment. Reminded that Dingdong and Marian were committed to other partners and nevertheless ended up together (until they got married on Dec. 30 last year, and now expecting their first child, a girl, in November), Megan and Tom were mum. She has neither denied nor confirmed that she and Mikael Daez are an item, same with Tom who is linked to Carla Abellana. Will “history” repeat itself? You can never tell. Stupid Cupid is standing by.

Anyway, here’s how Megan and Tom (photographed in Calatagan, Batangas) separately answered the questions


How differently will you play the role?

“What’s great about Marimar 2015 is that the script is going along with ‘today.’ Maganda kasi maipapakita ang Filipina na handa sa kahit anong pagsubok, ang Filipina na hindi takot humarap sa mga bagay na hindi siya pamilyar. Kaya iba na rin ang pagganap ko bilang Marimar, kasi nire-represent ni Marimar ang makabagong Filipina.”

How are you preparing for the role?

“Marami kaming preparations para sa Marimar 2015. Akala ko noong una, pagsasayaw lang ang kailangang pag-aralan ng mabuti, ‘yun pala pati na rin ang horseback riding at diving! To be honest, I was really scared when we had our first horseback riding lesson because I’m afraid of horses pero mababait ‘yung mga kabayo na nakasama ko. Para din silang tao na nagre-rely sa emotions mo. Kung takot ka, matatakot din sila. Kapag kalmado ka, kalmado din sila.

“Ang totoo niyan, tawag sa akin ng mga kaibigan ko, “scaredy-cat.” Maraming mga bagay ang kinatatakutan ko - like horses and swimming alone in open water, which I both have to do for the teleserye. For others, it may look easy and fun and I have to admit, it really is! Pero noong nagsisimula kami ng training, natakot talaga ako. Mabuti na lang at maalaga ang production team namin. Kumbaga, sila ‘yung mga nag-bigay sa akin ng comfort at confidence habang nagtri-training ako.”

You’re quite tall and it’s hard to find the perfect leading man. How do you find Tom Rodriguez?

“Tom is actually pretty tall, which is great. He’s actually taller than me! I think I just look very tall because of the way I project (pang-beauty queen! Hehehehe!).”

How well do you know each other so far? How do you find him?

“Tom and I worked together on a show before. So, medyo matagal na rin kaming magkakilala. Ang difference lang ngayon is that kaming dalawa na ang magkapareha sa Marimar. I’m really happy that Tom is my partner because he is so hard working and so dedicated to his craft.

“He is such a gentleman and I can see why so many people admire him. Maalaga siya sa leading lady niya at ang pinaka-nakakatuwa doon, ay pati na rin ang mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya, ang mga taong tumutulong sa kanya. Napakagalante niya sa lahat ng tao.

“In terms of work, it’s great because as artists, we collaborate to make sure what we’re doing is in sync. We both talk a lot about what we’re going to do for our characters and how we’re going to attack a certain scene we’re shooting.”

How passionate will your love scenes be?

“I think that since Marimar is mainly focused on the love story of Marimar and Sergio, that those scenes will definitely be passionate.”

Speaking of Miss World, aside from raising your market value, what has the title done to you, how did it change the way you look at life?

“It has taught me to be more confident in what I do. It’s taught me to fight for what I think is right, in of course the most positive way. The best thing I got out of Miss World, is that there is always a positive solution to things whether big or small.”

How has the title defined your lifestyle, your purpose in life?

“Being Miss World has really opened my eyes into being more giving. Everyday, you have someone complaining about why things around our area aren’t being done. I try to help out in my community in the best way that I can. I start with the people I meet or cross paths with. Even though I may not see these people again, I make sure that in some way, maybe there’s a way that I can uplift them or help them.”

What other roles would you like to play after Marimar? 

“I’ve never had a ‘cute role.’ I’ve always had that ‘tough girl’ role. Gusto ko sana mala-Koreanovela because I love watching shows like that. A character that is Kenkoy, just like me.”

Describe Tom in three words.

“Gentleman, debonair, thoughtful.”


Did you ever think that you would bag the plum role of Sergio in Marimar?

“The news came as a pleasant surprise. Although I never imagined I would ever be Sergio in this lifetime, still I am ecstatic to have been bestowed such a beloved role in Philippine and Mexican television history.”

How do you identify with your character Sergio? What of yourself do you see in him?

“If there is one thing I can readily identify with Sergio, it would have to be his love for adventure and extreme sports. But more than that, deep down there is a side of Sergio that is very compassionate and loving, and perhaps that is something I strive to always incorporate into my life.”

How are you preparing for the role?

“With every role, I always try to identify with the character on a human level. To find out what needs they are actively seeking as a person and what makes them tick overall. With such an iconic character as Sergio though, I knew I would have to incorporate the physicality of the character into my preparation. So I started boxing and doing circuit training to get in proper shape.”

How well do you know Megan? What have you discovered about each other so far?

“I’ve worked with Megan a few times in the past and it is really nice to know that despite all her achievements, she has remained as humble and grounded as when we first worked together.”

How passionate will your and Megan’s love scenes be?

“I believe that it’s a bridge I would have to cross when I get there. For now, I cannot say what will be asked of us, but I know Megan is a professional and so we will do our very best to give justice to the roles given to us any way we can, as our abilities would permit.”

How much more challenging is Marimar than your hit starrer My Husband’s Lover (with Dennis Trillo)?

“Each role definitely has its own sets of challenges. My Husband’s Lover was the first heavy drama show that I had ever been part of where I was one of the leads, and so that challenge felt like an insurmountable one for me. Right now, with Marimar being such an iconic and beloved love story, I feel the same challenge as I did with MHL but in a different way.

“The biggest challenge for me would be breathing new life and new dimensions to a character we’ve all grown up with and loved. I am really excited to take on that challenge because I know at the very least, there will be something to be learned there for me.”

Describe Megan in three words.

“Down to earth.” 

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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