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Sue Ramirez gets what she wants in The Broken Marriage Vow

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Sue Ramirez gets what she wants in The Broken Marriage Vow
Sue Ramirez takes on her biggest role to date in ABSCBN’s upcoming primetime series The Broken Marriage Vow. The show premieres on Jan. 24 on the Kapamilya Channel, TV5, A2Z, among others, with advance streaming on iWantTFC and Viu tomorrow, Jan. 22.
STAR / File

Sue Ramirez has embarked on her biggest role to date, as a mistress who gets what she wants in ABS-CBN’s upcoming primetime series The Broken Marriage Vow.

In the Dreamscape Entertainment-produced adaptation of the popular BBC show Doctor Foster which also spawned the megahit Korean version The World of Married, the 25-year-old plays the other woman Lexy Lucero who will cause trouble in the seemingly perfect marriage of Jodi Sta. Maria as Dr. Jill Ilustre and Zanjoe Marudo as David Ilustre.

The Broken Marriage Vow premieres Jan. 24 at 8:40 p.m. on the Kapamilya Channel, TV5, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN’s Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, and TFC. Before the official broadcast, the show will be available on iWantTFC and on the pan-regional streaming service Viu tomorrow, Jan. 22. (Viu was the OTT platform where Filipino K-drama fans first had access to The World of the Married when it aired in 2020.)

Sue on playing one of the main roles in the ABS-CBN adaptation of the hit BBC show Doctor Foster: ‘How did I land the part? I think it was destiny and prayers. As well as trust. I will be forever grateful.’

Given Filipino viewers’ predilection for K-dramas, casting for this series stirred interest and hype, especially among fans of the “highest-rated drama in the history of Korean cable television.” Before Sue was announced last year for the part — perhaps one of the most-loathed characters in K-drama history — different names were floated with the Kapamilya network fueling the guessing game with teasers, et al.

Now, the story can be told as to how Sue scored the role, without even having to audition and fight for it.

“How did I land the part? I think it was destiny and prayers. As well as trust. Pinagkatiwalaan po ako ng mga tao, ng mga nag-desisyon ng sino ang gaganap sa mga roles and I will be forever grateful. (Lexy) will be a part of me and me of her, of course. But I also didn’t know how I landed the part. I’m just really grateful that I did. Naiiyak ako,” she shared with The STAR in a recent one-on-one.

The funny and bubbly actress recalled how surprised she was of the offer as her last show was the TV5 sitcom Oh My Dad.

“It’s somewhat far from the last character I did so I really didn’t expect the call and the pitching, but I’m grateful that it did happen,” she said, before jokingly adding: “Actually, kung hindi nga ito in-offer sa akin, pipilit ko talaga sarili ko (laughs).”

“I think this is one of the roles or characters that I’ve been dreaming to do. And now, I finally have the chance to do it so we really gave it our all.”

Sue is a huge K-drama fan herself and saw The World of the Married long before news broke of a Pinoy adaptation.

“I know a lot of people enjoyed watching it. That’s why I was so honored,” she said, stressing that while the show is faithful to the original material, it is proudly Filipino. “Of course, yung bubog ng mga characters, iba sa mga bubog dun sa ibang bansa because culture is such a big factor sa mga emotions na nailalabas ng mga tao.”

There are also new characters that are not seen in the original and the K-drama, she added.

Mistress role

Sue described her character as “sweet but fierce” who doesn’t easily get flustered and is “very Zen because she’s a yoga instructor. She always knows how to get her way in the method that she knows,” she said.

Detailing her preparation for playing a mistress, which included binge-watching films with similar themes and talking to a real person with a similar experience, Sue said she had to keep an open mind and any form of judgment at bay.

“Thank God, I was never in a situation like that,” she said in a separate presscon. “But I really had to embrace Lexy and all of her emotions and everything that she felt. I really had to open my mind. Of course, personally, I’m not gonna do it but I cannot deny the fact that it is happening in real life. I cannot blame or judge people based on their decisions because I don’t know their story, where they’re headed for and where they’ve come from.”

According to Sue, she is so unlike her character, “including her choices, even the way she walks, she talks — it’s very, very different from how I would do it in real life.” But if there’s something similar with her and Lexy, it’s that “we’re both babies because I’m the youngest of five siblings, I’m a mommy’s girl, and everybody in the household calls me baby.”

While Sue couldn’t weigh in much on the topic of infidelity because “I really don’t have the experience for it,” she believes what is wrong is wrong.

Sue, however, said she wouldn’t want to consider Lexy as kontrabida. “I think Lexy is a victim, victim of flowery words, broken promises and also, a victim of ‘the broken marriage vow.’”

Nevertheless, for playing the third party, Sue is ready to be bashed. “I’m not afraid of being bashed if the basis is a character. The more I’m being bashed, the more I’ll be thankful to the people because at least, they appreciate what I’ve done with the character.”

She jokingly appealed to her future haters: “I’m calling on everyone to just be calm. There’s still a pandemic so ‘wag po masyado manggigil yung mga puso niyo (laughs). But it’s OK with me, I will accept everything. I’m not one to stop them from feeling gigil towards the roles that we play in The Broken Marriage Vow. Go, guys! I’ll even join you in the bashing (laughs).”

Acting with Zanjoe, Jodi

Sue was gushing when she talked about her work experience with Jodi and Zanjoe.

There’s a scene in the teaser trailer where she slaps Jodi’s head when the latter drops the bombshell to her parents that “your daughter is sleeping with my husband.”

It was one of the “scariest” things Sue had to do for her role. She told The STAR during the exclusive interview: “Takot na takot talaga ako nung binatukan ko si Ate Jodi. Actually, sorry… but kinailangan kong gawin. Ayoko ko pong mananakit lalo na alam ko yung tao na napakabuti, so labag na labag talaga, ayokong saktan si Ate Jodi. I really didn’t want to hurt her.

“I tried asking her if we could fake it, that she would just jerk her head or di nalang didikit yung kamay ko. But then, she really guided me through it and that made me less scared.”

She further praised her co-star for being a calming presence on set. She would even do acupuncture on her and others — whenever they felt stressed during the bubble shoot in Baguio City at the end of 2021.

“Actually, Ate Jodi keeps everybody balanced on set. Whenever we feel afraid, she’s the person we run to… because she has the best words and she always knows what to say when you’re in that situation,” she said.

As for acting alongside her ultimate showbiz crush Zanjoe, Sue admitted she was prohibited from calling the actor “Kuya” on set.

“Ang showbiz crush ko nuon pa man ay si Zanjoe and if you ask me now, ‘Who’s your showbiz crush?,’ it hasn’t changed. Napaka-torpe ko pong klase ng tao, if I have a crush on that person, (I become really shy). ‘Pag nakatalikod siya, kuya pa rin ang tawag ko kay Z. Of course, I’ve worked with him in Annaliza (in 2013) and he was my kuya there. So, I haven’t lost my respect and that image I have for him.

“Sabi niya sa akin, di ko na raw siya pwede maging crush kasi matanda na daw ako (laughs). Then, na-realize ko na, 25 na nga pala ako tapos happy-happy crush ko. But iba pa talaga ang paghanga ko sa kanya.”

When it came to their love scenes together, she candidly confessed that she used this “happy crush” on Zanjoe as motivation. “Oo, talaga! Siempre naman. Dahil crush ko si Z, kailangan ko i-channel yung mga emotions na kilig and ibang klaseng gigil, and a little spice and rawr (laughs).”

Lessons learned

For Sue, there was no shortage of lessons from working on The Broken Marriage Vow, which is directed by Connie Macatuno and Andoy Ranay.

“Masama bang sabihin na resilience? Kasi ang tagal po namin nag-lock-in, almost two months talaga. We really had to be resilient and patient with each other, and alam mo yung ayaw mo nalang tingnan ang kalendaryo? Ayaw mo nalang malaman, ano na ba ang date ngayon and gaano ba katagal ang uwi mo?”

From her character, despite flaws and all, she learned idealism. “Kasi ako, I have the tendency to settle. Medyo mababaw yung kaligayahan ko kasi nga baby so konting ano, naha-happy na ako agad-agad, sobrang content na ako sa lahat. The character taught me how to be idealistic, that I should think if there’s something I want to reach, I should find a way to reach that… and to look forward and have the confidence to do the things that you’re afraid to do.”

As for the show’s hard lessons on love and relationships, Sue said, “When you make a decision for your relationships, think that it’s not just you and (the person you have a) relationship with that are affected. So many people are surrounding you — parents, friends, maybe children — who will be really affected by your decisions. So, we really need to think carefully before making (a decision). And maybe: Be compassionate to people around you. Do the right thing.”

SUE

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