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Entertainment

Khalil, Gabbi love the thrill of playing new roles together

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Khalil, Gabbi love the thrill of playing new roles together
Real-life couple Khalil Ramos and Gabbi Garcia will star in GMA 7’s Stories From the Heart: Love On Air as radio show host Jojo and online seller Wanda. Personality-wise, his character is traditional, while hers is very outspoken, quirky and animated.

MANILA, Philippines — Khalil Ramos and Gabbi Garcia enjoy the prospect of getting new projects, but they also anticipate the possibility of portraying never-before-done roles.

Case in point is the Kapuso couple’s latest Afternoon Prime series, Stories From the Heart: Love On Air, whose light romance-drama story will take off today after Las Hermanas.

Set in the contemporary milieu, wherein people are caught in the intersection of traditional media and new media, GabLil will take on the characters of radio show host Jojo or Joseph Garcia, and online seller Wanda Dimaano. Personality-wise, he is “traditional,” while she is “very outspoken, quirky and animated,” as described by the actors. The lead characters will offer one a slice of life on how people deal with and mend a broken heart in the time, perhaps, when many explore the world of algorithms.

“I really, really enjoy, you know, experiencing new roles, new projects because I’m in love with the thrill (of doing them). I’m also in love with the art of storytelling,” said Khalil in a recent virtual media call. “So, when you have both, yung ganong ka-intense na passion, parang hindi ka nagta-trabaho. You really enjoy doing it, nagkukwento ka not for money, not for fame, but because it’s something that you really love doing.” He said that he is also aware of the challenges that a new project will pose, but is game to conquer them.

For her part, Gabbi looked at it as “an opportunity to grow as an actress,” which pushes herself to sit down and study the character from all possible angles, if one may add. “These types of roles challenge you to be a better actor,” added she, who appreciated the advantages of the new-normal taping. “We have all the time in the world, when we’re doing the quarantine (before entering the bubble)… we really get in touch with (ourselves) as an actor. It’s always exciting to receive new roles. It pushes you to be better.” This is a way for actors like Khalil and Gabbi to feed their imagination and creativity and stay away from complacency.

Similar to their previous collaborations, Khalil and Gabbi are comfortable working together and playing lovers on the small screen. Their first appearance, since he became a GMA Artist Center talent, was an episode in Regal Studio Presents. Stories from the Heart: Love on Air is Khalil and Gabbi’s anticipated follow-up to it. Work has become a boon, definitely not a bane, in their romance.

“I feel like there’s no secret to it,” reflected Gabbi on collaborating and sharing the same working space with Khalil. “But the important thing is that we were best friends first before (we became) partners. Para kaming mag-barkada ni Khalil.”

Her recollections of them doing things together and having the same hobbies are tell-tale signs that their romantic and work relationship is on the right track.

“If you really love the person naman, it’s not all about the secret or the formula,” said Gabbi, “it’s just really (about) staying together.”

Part of a healthy relationship, too, is making sure that both partners are having fun and keeping a stable form of communication, shared Khalil. “Sinasabi namin kung ano ang nararamdaman namin (We express what we feel for each other).”

These essential ingredients for a relationship to work have inspired Khalil and Gabbi to embark on creative endeavors outside show business.

“We have passion projects. We work on a digital series. We have a podcast,” enumerated he. “We love collaborating and we love letting out that creative juice and producing. As long as we’re having fun, then that’s how, I guess, we keep the flame on when it comes to working with each other.” So far, Khalil and Gabbi are enjoying the entire experience. They seem to consider their Stories from the Heart: Love on Air roles exciting.

“For my role, punong-puno ng ganyan,” answered Gabbi when asked if Jojo and Wanda will make a commentary on gender stereotypes. “That’s one of the reasons why I love this role very much. For Wanda, binabali niya yung (she challenges the) stereotype that men should be the breadwinner, that men should provide, that men should pay for things,” added Gabbi, whose character encourages women to stand up for themselves. All this is creatively and implicitly embedded in the day-to-day conversations of the lead characters and the genre of the series.

“They are very different people,” said Khalil. “DJ Jojo or Joseph is on the other side of the spectrum. He is not at all close to being a progressive human. But then, it just goes to show that it only takes one person, one person’s opinion, one person’s way of thinking to kinda get you or snap you out of it and make you see life in a bigger picture… Magkaibang-magkaiba yung views nila in life.”

By riding and eavesdropping on the characters’ “He Says, She Says” interactions and witnessing their “frenemy” relationship, viewers get to see again how love changes everything and everyone. It seems that no one can say no to that.

GABBI GARCIA KHALIL RAMOS
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