Regine ‘quirky & animated’ in primetime comeback
Phoebe Marquez (The Philippine Star) - March 18, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Having left the primetime scene when she got pregnant five years ago, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid is all geared up to return to teleserye acting.

In Poor Señorita, GMA 7’s latest primetime offering, Regine plays the character of Rita Villon, an heiress and successful owner of a perfume company. Yet despite her wealth, Rita is sad and lonely, and feared by her employees for being a strict and perfectionist boss. But in a twist of fate, Rita will find herself stripped of her wealth and dependent on five street children to survive. “That’s when the adventure starts,” Regine says during a presscon for the show.

“Quirky and animated” is how Regine describes Rita. She admits that she’s more comfortable doing comedy rather than drama because it is closer to her real-life personality. “Mas sigurado ako sa comedy. Mas kengkoy ako, I don’t mind kung pumangit ako,” Regine explains.

For her portrayal of Rita, Regine says she doesn’t want Rita to be a loud character but rather an imposing one. Regine says she’s basing her portrayal of Rita on Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. But Regine admits that since it’s a comedy, one of her biggest challenges is to bring out the comic side in Rita’s strict character.

“With this soap, I have to be consistent in terms of movements. I have little gestures, little mannerisms para kapag nabago siya ng panahon, makikita mo rin yung difference, na binago siya ng experience niya,” adds Regine.

That said change in behavior will come when Rita stumbles upon the five street children, played by Ayra Mariano, Jillian Ward, Miggs Cuaderno, Zymic Jaranilla and Caprice Cayetano, who will teach her the true value of life and happiness. Also joining the cast are Mikael Daez, Sheena Halili, Kevin Santos, Valeen Montenegro, Jaya, Ervic Vijande, Ralph Noriega and Snooky Serna. Ricky Davao and Dingdong Dantes will also play special roles.

With the show’s big cast of actors, Mikael ­— who plays Rita’s love interest in the series ­— is thankful for Regine’s bubbly personality. “Mataas ang energy niya, nakakahawa. Nakakagaan ng working environment,” Mikael says about working with Regine.

On the other hand, Regine admits to limiting her interactions with the kid actors on the set. She explains that now that she’s a mother to four-year-old Nate, she has the tendency to be close to children. Regine, however, fears that if she sees the child actors cry for a scene, it might make her break out of her character. She says Rita is still in her cruel personality stage. “Kapag nanay ka na, iba na yung tingin mo, kapag nagda-drama na sila, iba na eh, parang iba effect nila sa akin. So ayoko muna, kasi masisira yung mojo ko sa character ko. I’m trying to build up the character,” Regine explains.

And while Rita is a rich girl who turns  poor, Regine’s real-life story, as everyone knows, is the opposite, having started from the bottom all the way to the top. She says that how and what she is now as an artist is the result of coming from nothing and molding her artistry through years of experience in the industry.

And it is her love for her craft that drives her to be extra cautious of her health. Regine admits that she has a particular cut-off when it comes to shooting hours, a precaution she has observed even from her previous shows because she says she suffers from migraine if and when she doesn’t get enough sleep.

Asked for an opinion on actors’ working hours, Regine says there has to be a regulation to be able to protect both the actors and the production people. Just recently, she posted on her Instagram account a news article about Chiz Escudero’s proposed bill limiting working hours for the entertainment and information industry to 12 hours, captioning the said post with “Praying for this.”

“We also want to perform to the best of our abilities. We don’t want to get sick because we know that the production and the show that we’re doing will suffer,” she says. But Regine also understands that less working hours may mean more expenses for the production. “So you also have to take that into consideration. We’re also aware of that, which is why gusto namin to meet halfway. We don’t want to demand na very ridiculous na, we don’t want that. We wanted it regulated lang. Hindi naman yung 24 hours,” she explains.

Additionally, Regine believes that actor’s dedication to his work plays a big role in the success of a production. She admits that in some cases, actors are the ones that cause delays in the production. “One of the factors is us, pagdating ng hindi ready,” says Regine. “So kelangan sa sarili rin namin ng discipline, makisama, come prepared, para ang shooting mo, dire-diretso, walang delay, para matupad natin yung certain hours,” she adds.

(Poor Señorita is directed by Dominic Zapata. The show will premiere on March 28 on GMA Telebabad after 24 Oras.)

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