Hero, Sky & Marlo enjoy the challenge of portraying real-life people

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Hero, Sky & Marlo enjoy the challenge of portraying real-life people
From left: Marlo Mortel, Hero Angeles and Sky Quizon play as the Villadarez Brothers in the April 2 episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK), hosted by Charo Santos-Concio.
Artists' respective instagram account

If you think acting is all about memorizing lines and doing things as truthful as can be under imaginary circumstances, then think again. Actors do rigorous preparations to deliver an impressive performance, especially when they portray real-life people in Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK), hosted by Charo Santos-Concio.

Hero Angeles, Marlo Mortel and Sky Quizon topbill the weekly drama anthology series, featuring the story of the Villadarez Brothers that is set to air tonight, April 2. Director is Raz dela Torre.

During the virtual media conference held recently, the three Kapamilya actors said they dedicated themselves to transforming their physical appearance close enough to that of the brothers.

“We really have to prepare ahead of time,” began Sky, a former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemate. “After the script was sent to me, binasa ko na ng buo and I started to build my character in my head and then I asked questions. Sabi nga ni direk Raz, actor on research. Kami nila Kuya Hero, we asked about the timeline because our episode, it’s a journey, like with my character, at first, he’s 13 years old, then 19 until he turned 22, so the sense of maturity nag-iiba doon sa character. But since the material is anchored on facts, direk Raz reminded (the actors) that there should be certain limits because you’re portraying real people and the circumstances are real. That’s why the liberty to do things is limited para mas makatotohanan ‘yung ‘pag deliver.”

Although this is the sixth time for Marlo to be in an MMK episode, he still finds portraying a character for the drama anthology program as the most challenging acting assignment “because I’m not the emotional type of person, so dito ko iniiyak lahat. Diyos ko talaga, hirap na hirap din ako talaga lalo na yung panahon na wala pang-cut-off at hanggang 6 a.m., 9 a.m. iiyak pa kami.

“But really, you can’t help but cry over every story. After my last MMK episode in 2018 or 2019, sabi ko pagbalik ko dito, I want a fresh perspective,” added he. “Ayoko na ‘yung parang hindi ako prepared. That’s why I prepared emotionally so that every after take, I would ask direk Raz if I did okay because I took a break in acting. MMK is the perfect opportunity to show, you know, your authentic self kasi ang hirap magpaka-fake in this kind of program because you are depicting a true story of people whose life stories are mostly tragic ‘yung nangyari sa buhay. But it’s not about making people (the audience) worry but inspiring them to get up, overcome anything and go through difficulties. So, it’s very challenging — physically, emotionally, mentally — we just don’t cry. Buong katawan ang preparation.”

For his part, Hero devoted some time to studying his character and, as one of the Villadarez Brothers, he would watch some interview videos about them online.

“Nagpaka-stalker din ako sa social media accounts nila (laughs) to see the way they dress up, to study their nuances, the way they talk and how they move so that I can apply to my character. Then, on the set, I would share to them (my co-stars) everything I’ve learned or kung ano ba ‘yung nalaman ko about the brothers. That way, we can at least show to the viewers our close resemblance to them.”

Hero added that he never stops polishing his craft. He loves learning from actors, whether newbies or seasoned stars.

“Hindi lang pala sa contest mo matututunan ‘yung mga kailangan mong matutunan,” stressed the actor, whose acting career began after his stint in Star Circle Quest in 2004. “You have to meet different types of people, different directors, different actors because you can learn so much from them.”

“Just like in MMK, I’ve been a part of the show for many times and in those times, I was able to meet a lot of people who would give pieces of advice,” he said. “My co-actors, especially, contributed a lot to my growth as an actor. I believe that in whatever field you’re in, kahit hindi sa pag-arte, may matututunan ka sa mga tao na mas bata sa ‘yo or older sa ‘yo.”

Meanwhile, direk Raz said the toughest part of doing MMK is giving justice to the story because the nature of MMK is different from a teleserye where taping takes a longer time to finish.

“In MMK, the turnover is so quick na parang gumagawa kayo lagi ng pilot episode — new set of actors, new script and location — and on top of that, they are real people’s stories. So, it’s a must that when everything is set and done, you have to think what to prioritize above all and that’s really giving justice to the story because these real people put their heart and soul in sharing their letters to you para makapulutan ng aral ng manonood. So, parang ang hirap naman or masakit sa loob kung hindi sila matutuwa sa mapapanood nila na ginawang pagkwe-kwento (on screen).”

Direk Raz expressed admiration for the actors, including Peewee Trinidad who played as the grandmother, for giving their best acting performance. “They really did their part well because they knew the importance of giving justice to the story. They lifted each other up and they talked to build chemistry.”

He, too, said the episode on Villadarez Brothers also highlights how Filipinos value their families.

“I think, for us, it’s part of the Filipino culture to check on the welfare of every family member. Unlike in other cultures wherein once they have their own families parang that’s their only concern. Sa atin, parang lagi nating nakikita that whenever help is needed, whenever emotional support is needed, we’re always there for each other and I think that’s not spoken a lot because we take it for granted kasi lagi na nating nakikita. Through MMK, we are reminded of the things that we should be proud of,” direk Raz concluded.

(Watch MMK Saturday nights at 8:45 on A2Z Channel. It is also available on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook and iWantTFC.)


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