Mark has more ‘baking’ to do

(The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The run of TV5’s Baker King has been extended until September. This is the good news shared by its lead star Mark Neumann when the Kapatid star graced the 29th anniversary celebration of this paper last week.

Fans will have more “screening time” with their own kilig prince whose boy-next-door charm and knack for acting were first shown in Artista Academy and later on in a Wattpad episode shot mostly in Hong Kong.

“It’s good news and it means more work,” said Mark, who is even more charming and energetic in person. “(With this development,) we could still complete the entire story and could follow (exactly) the original story.” Because of time and artists’ schedules as considerations in the production of Baker King, some parts of the Koreanovela have to be “compressed,” missing few scenes from the original plotline, said Mark, who is Takgu San Miguel, love child of Johnny Lee, president of Gustavo Bread Factory, in the adaptation.

“Since the show has been extended, we will have the opportunity to improve the story more (pagandahin) and complete it. We’re gonna add the tandem of me and Shaira (Mae, who plays the role of Sunshine, the granddaughter of Master Javier). In the original story, my character and his childhood friend (Sunshine) were separated. (Perhaps,) there’s a bit after story,” he reiterated. Mark is given more time to understand and explore Takgu. By the way, the character is on his way to becoming the most-sought-after baker in town.

“What I’ve noticed about the character Takgu is, he is very   me,” Mark said. “We’re alike. We’re both makulit and laid-back. And I kinda like the transition — from me to him, although there are few adjustments to be made.”

Like most of the televiewers, Mark can relate to the hard life Takgu has gone through in the fictional story and the hard work the character has shown in his profession as baker and heir to the Gustavo Bread Factory business.

“I kinda went through what Takgu experienced in life,” Mark said. “I also work for my family. His story is heartwarming. I can relate to him in a way.”

And that’s the point how Mark has navigated his character Takgu, making him real to the Kapatid viewers and different from the Takgu of the famed Koreanovela.

“I watched it (Baker King) three times,” recalled Mark of his early character-study preparations. “I watched the Filipino-dubbed version and the original with English subtitles. I’m used to watching Japanese animé. Doing this, I was able to get into the character’s emotions and I was able to learn the nuances. My approach is close to the original character.”

Having played Tagku on TV for months now, many now recognize Mark as the Pinoy Baker King and he appreciates it. However, his newfound popularity has never gone to his head. Mark remains grounded.

“I get overwhelmed every time (people) call me by my character’s name, Takgu,” he said. “Before when I did Wattpad, mostly ang pumapansin sa akin ay mga girls and teen girls. Ngayon, natutuwa ako na ang pumapansin sa akin ay (ordinary people like) tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers and truck drivers. It’s  really a good thing because it means I have reached out to people, and they are watching my show.”

With that, Mark has cut across markets. He is grateful to his mother network for giving him projects such as Wattpad presents The Magic in You and Baker King.

What’s in the pipeline for Mark after the Kapatid primetime show? He implied that he might star in another TV series. Sources say that Mark will also be busy doing an action movie for the Metro Manila Film Festival. For sure, Mark is all eyes on this as action is his favorite movie genre, along with drama. “I wanted to become a dramatic-action star,” he said.

Since taping for a weeknight show is physically and emotionally taxing, Mark wishes to give himself the much-needed break like taking it slow in the Land of the Rising Sun. It is also a pat on his back for a job well-done. “If my plan will push through, it’s my first trip to Japan, which is part of my bucket list.” Aside from modern-meet-traditional sceneries the country offers to visitors, it is Japan’s cool weather that’s endearing to Mark. The trip will also serve as a post-birthday gift for Mark, who will turn 21 on Aug. 23.

(Baker King airs weeknights at 9:30.)

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