Gerald & Arci: A new team to watch
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Unexpected pairing is how I describe Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz’s first team-up in the Star Cinema post-Valentine offering Always Be My Maybe. The two make a tandem which is unapologetic but speaks of a surprise chemistry (make it engaging) that moviegoers will enjoy, especially when their characters Jake and Tin-Tin essay a narrative that thrives on the complexity of a relationship.

Based on the movie trailers, it is a Dan Villegas movie that hits close to home, you know, similar to Pinoys’ penchant for multi-layered family drama.

“I’m Tin-Tin, who is always the victim of pa-fall,” says Arci of her character, who is on the verge of giving up on love. “Pa-fall refers to those pa-asa (men who give you the impression and the confusing signals that they also like you). She is siopao-zoned. It means binola-bola ka na nga (nung guy), asadong-asado ka pa rin, (the guy makes you believe that there’s something special between you and him and then you buy the idea.) Hindi (siya) nadala at paulit-ulit. (She has been trapped over and over again).”

The guy who could help Tin-Tin break away from that “vicious” cycle of romance is Jake, played by Gerald.

“I’m an aspiring photographer,” he shares. “(My character) struggles a bit with his relationships, ’wag kayong mag-alala, malayong, malayo sa totoong buhay [laughs]).”

Gerald, however, can relate to some aspects of the personal life of Jake, whose girlfriend of six years declined his marriage proposal.

“I can relate to the decision-making that my character has gone through in the movie, yung immaturity niya, yung commitment niya, yung realization niya,” he says. “There was a scene that I wrote (in the movie). That’s what I want you to figure out when you watch it and tell me about it.” If there’s any takeaway Gerald has realized in portraying Jake that men can also learn from the movie, it will be “the stupid things we do and we don’t own up to our mistakes.”

“There are many as far as relationships are concerned,” added Gerald of the lessons Always Be My Maybe offers to moviegoers, especially millennials who get into complicated affairs. “The story revolves around relationships, about commitment, the maybe (type of relationship) and the no-label one, which happens every day. That’s why a lot can relate to the story.” This is what Jake and Tin-Tin will deal with head-on in the movie.

“If love is a maybe, then it is not really love,” says Arci. “It is just an infatuation, crush or like. If it’s love, you have to be certain. Dapat sigurado ka, nakikipag-commit ka, dapat buong-buo mong ibibigay yun. Hindi yan installment. (You should be sure of your feelings since you have committed yourself to the person. You have to give your all. You can’t give love in an installment basis.) When you’re in love, there is never a maybe.”

On a professional level, Arci and Gerald never held back to come up with a “natural” interpretation of their characters. This was done with the guidance of direk Dan, who believes in creative collaboration. They would seek each other’s opinion to make the characters real, especially when film collaborators (director, writers and actors) need a female or male perspective.

“I came in the movie (set) and I just wanted to be honest with every scene and every situation, lahat ng pinagdadaanan ni Jake,” recalls Gerald.

Arci, on the other hand, has a different story because Always Be My Maybe is her big break from Star Cinema.

“I’m excited,” she says. “It is not just a 24-hour success for me. I’ve been around for almost nine years. I transferred to different networks. Then, ABS had given me this big opportunity to showcase my talent. I’m grateful. I don’t know how to thank them enough.” Since her entry to the Kapamilya network, Arci has shown her range in the acting department from Pasion De Amor’s Norma Elizondo to her “remarkable performance” in A Second Chance.

“I don’t want to be labeled (as this and that actress). I just want to give what is expected from me — playing the role well, (na) maayos at maganda.”

Proof to this are the mature, titillating scenes she and Gerald had in the movie, aside from the seemingly-straight-from-everyday-conversation lines that speak of this generation’s relationships.

“He is a gentleman,” says Arci. “I’m not (surprised) why girls fall for him.”

“She was very professional because what she did was difficult, medyo daring,” Gerald praises his onscreen partner. “We shot the love scene for almost a day. She did great. Her character would tease Jake. I wasn’t used to it because in some scenes I would normally be the starter. Her sexiness was oozing. I think it was the most intense scene I had ever done.”

With the actors’ commitment to their roles, the movie works as a kilig romantic comedy with strong semblances of what’s happening out there.

(From the screenplay of Patrick Valencia, Pertee Brinas and Jancy Nicolas, Always Be My Maybe is showing in theaters nationwide on Feb. 24.)

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