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Claudine, Mark find âperfect timeâ to reunite in film
Claudine Barretto and Mark Anthony Fernandez lead the cast of the upcoming mystery-drama Deception, a co-production between Viva Films and Borracho Films. Their long-awaited reunion film will remind everyone how much the Mangarap Ka teen stars and former sweethearts have evolved as actors and individuals.
STAR/ File

Claudine, Mark find ‘perfect time’ to reunite in film

Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2021 - 12:00am

Romance-comedy or drama is the go-to or usual genre for every loveteam’s big-screen reunion. For Claudine Barretto and Mark Anthony Fernandez’s long-anticipated movie collaboration, however, drama-mystery is the vehicle of choice.

Its title Deception speaks of a theme that reminds one how much the then teenage lead stars of Mangarap Ka have grown and evolved as actors and individuals.

“I said yes to this project because it’s different,” said Claudine about giving her nod to do the Joel Lamangan film, with Easy Ferrer as the scriptwriter, in a recent virtual media call. “The story is different. It’s not the Filipino movie that you usually get to watch. (Joel Lamangan) is very close to my heart. Basta ‘pag sinabi na Joel Lamangan, hindi ako hihindi talaga.”

The actress continued, “It’s also a reunion for Mark and me. Ang tagal-tagal na naming pinagplaplanuhan yung reunion na ito at ngayon lang nangyari.” She added that accepting Deception is her way to support new producer Borracho Films, which is headed by her best friend, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio.

Mark also agreed with Claudine by saying that he and Claudine had been wanting to do a reunion movie project but, “wala lang kaming script na pinanghahawakan ng mga time na ‘yun (We didn’t have a script to work on at that time). Luckily, direk Joel had found the right script for us.”

Material highlights Claudine

and Mark’s acting talent

A huge part of the equation is director Joel, who patiently waited for the material that will not only give fans of Claudine and Mark the reunion project they deserve but will also showcase their idols’ acting brilliance.

“Alam ko na mahuhusay silang mga artista kaya umisip kami ng kakaibang istorya na maaaring hingan sila, maipakita ang kanilang acting ability (I know their capability as actors; me and my team thought of a story that would highlight that),” said direk Joel.

“Deception is it… Malaki ang hinihingi sa mga aktor upang mabigyan ng buhay ang mga karakter na ito (It demands a lot from the actors to breathe life into their characters and give them justice). Marami na kaming na-isip na istorya pero ito ang aming napili at ito ang pinakabagay at pinaka-challenging sa kanilang dalawa.” This sounds very good to everyone as a tour de force performance may be expected from Claudine and Mark.

From what one may gather from the story conference, Claudine takes on the role of Rose, a former actress who is finally released after serving a 10-year imprisonment for the death of her husband, Jericho (Mark) and for burning their house.

As she faces the world again, Rose will look for her son, who has been placed in an orphanage and crosses paths with a man named Ethan (also Mark), a dead ringer for her departed husband. The latter used to be a stuntman who became a celebrity.

Aside from building a new relationship with her son, Rose is determined to redeem herself and uncover the real events that transpired on that fateful day.

Revisiting their

Mangarap Ka chemistry

“Mark and I haven’t seen each other but we’ve been talking on the phone,” said Claudine of how she and Mark are reestablishing working rapport. “Marami kaming napag-usapan about our past, about this movie, kung ano yung gugustuhin naming mangyari sa pelikulang ito (about how we envision our characters in the film).”

Looking back on their work in the teen-oriented flicks Pare Ko and Mangarap Ka, Claudine described working with Mark as very easy, “meron talaga kaming… rapport, we do have that rapport together.”

This is the same harmonious working relationship that they will bank on once filming commences soon this month. Even if their real-life romance didn’t have a “proper closure,” Claudine and Mark never had a problem. They remain respectful of each other.

“He has always been the same Mark na minahal nating lahat (that we all loved),” she said. “Alam naman nating lahat na napakabuting tao ni Mark. Hindi naman mahirap mahalin si Mark. Bilang kaibigan, mahal na mahal ko yan.”

As for Mark, he recalled having a great time doing Mangarap Ka because “each moment and minute (of the film) was fond (and well-cherished) for me,” he said. “If I was asked to do it again, (I would and) why not?”

Fit for the roles

Given their maturity and sense-making ability, Claudine and Mark are hands-down perfect for their roles. Deception makes the perfect acting piece for them.

“Marami na rin kaming na-experience (We’ve experienced a lot in life),” said she. “We are now in our 40s. There are a lot of things na napag-usapan namin na napagdaanan namin, na-experience namin na, I think now is the perfect time to do this (movie) with Mark. Kaya siguro hindi natuloy yung dating mga pelikula because this movie is nararapat para sa amin (the right one for us).”

During the media conference, Claudine was also asked about her then decision to put her showbiz career on hold.

“It was a very painful decision for me,” said the actress. “When Raymart (Santiago) and I, nung nag-hiwalay kami (when we decided to separate), I felt that I really had to step back from show business because kailangan ako ng mga anak ko. I didn’t want them to feel na one day, ‘pag gising nila wala na silang nanay, wala na silang tatay. It was a very painful decision, but at the end of the day, my priority will always be my children. And looking at them now, individually, syempre iba-iba yung needs and personalities nila and mga gusto nila, I really try to make time for them and try to go out of my way.”

She said she always prays to God and seeks His guidance to become a good mother to her kids.

Claudine and Mark’s experiences as parents will help them understand the cinematic life of Rose and Jericho. Although acting is their passion, the two still experience “first-day jitters” and need to be on their toes as they take on this new project. That’s why, this early, Mark has started rehearsing and preparing for his role.

“Every time there’s an MMK (Maalaala Mo Kaya) project or something, meron na akong nerbiyos na hindi ko na-feel dati… (I will always have that nervous feeling),” said Claudine. “But then again, pinapasok ko sa utak ko na ‘Ilang taon kang nag-teleserye, since you were 15’ (I would remind myself that I did teleserye acting for years), kung kakalawangin man, kailangan lang ng warm-ups (If I get rusty, all I need are some warm-ups).”

After that, Claudine and Mark are in their element to give viewers and fans the entertainment they deserve.

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