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Donny, Belle recall âawkwardâ start as loveteam
Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano star in their first acting project as a loveteam via the youth-oriented series He’s Into Her. The romantic-comedy will stream on iWantTFC on May 28, two days ahead of its May 30 premiere on the Kapamilya Channel A2Z and Kapamilya Online Live.
STAR/File

Donny, Belle recall ‘awkward’ start as loveteam

Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2021 - 12:00am

Although they’ve worked together in the past, both Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano never thought that they would become a loveteam that fans have since dubbed as DonBelle.

“There was awkwardness,” disclosed Belle when asked about working with Donny on their first project as an onscreen pair. “We seldom talked at first but when we began the lock-in taping, on the third day, it felt easy working not just with him but also with the whole cast.”

Donny agreed and admitted that he’s innately introverted and just “slowly went into the extrovert spectrum na rin these past years. But when I was growing up, I was an introvert, so I don’t really talk to people that much if I don’t know them. And I feel like ‘yun nga may pagka-awkwardness sa amin sa start.”

But the lock-in filming served them well.

Donnie said, “It took us three days to get to know each other and for the chemistry to get better. I feel like mas naging effective ‘yung lock-in set-up (for us) because we’ve become really close and we just embraced our characters as well. We’re just focused on our characters and we gave our best for the viewers.”

The two young Kapamilya artists play lead roles in He’s Into Her, a youth-oriented romantic comedy series from ABS-CBN Entertainment, iWantTFC and Star Cinema. The story is based on the best-selling Precious Pages-LIB novel of the same title authored by Maxinejiji.

In the series, Belle is the provincial lass Maxpein, who agrees to live in Manila for the opportunity to study in an international school. As she tries to fit in, she meets the arrogant Deib Lohr, dubbed as Mr. Popular in school. The two begin to clash when Deib gets their entire batch to prank and bully Maxpein.

However, as Deib intensifies his pranks and bullying tactics to “crush” Maxpein’s spirit, he also realizes he’s slowly falling for her.

Donny observed that Belle needed some time to come out of her shell. They also never had the chance to really talk to each other in past acting projects. “But through time, I’ve discovered that she’s very energetic and there’s a side to Belle na outgoing and very easy to work with.”

Belle, on the other hand, said that she initially felt hesitant to approach Donny because she was worried he would ignore her. “But it turned out, sobrang opposite ng iniisip ko. He’s super nice and I found out during the shoot that like me, it also takes time for him to open up to people he doesn’t know.”

Meanwhile, series director Chad Vidanes had seen in Donny and Belle the passion and dedication to their work. He said that both would often ask him more details about their characters. They were not content with just reading the script.

Donny shared that he and Belle would always discuss a scene before facing the cameras. Their emotions, he added, should come out as natural as possible for the scene to be effective.

“You really have to feel it,” stressed Belle, who also revealed that she and Donny attended workshops, team-building sessions and acting classes.

When asked about the qualities of Donny that Belle found “nakakakilig,” she said that there was one scene that Donny was not part of, but he stayed behind the camera to support her “kaya feeling ko dagdag factor sa kilig.”

Donny humbly said, “It’s just the way we support each other because it’s very hard if your co-actor is not in it but we all felt (being) in the moment while doing scenes and we really gave our all. Like direk Chad said, we do not just read the script but we support each other and that’s the biggest thing.”

He’s Into Her also stars Jeremiah Lisbo, Vivoree Esclito, Kaori Oinuma, Rhys Eugenio, Joao Constancia, Criza Taa, Ashley del Mundo and Gello Marquez. It will start streaming on iWantTFC come May 28, two days ahead of its premiere on May 30 on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z and Kapamilya Online Live via the YouTube Channel and Facebook page of ABS-CBN Entertainment.

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