How Christopher and Jean stay in love with their craft

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
How Christopher and Jean stay in love with their craft
Christopher de Leon and Jean Garcia, as the powerful couple Armando and Dona Banson in the GMA 7 adventure series Lolong, show no signs of slowing down when it comes to their craft. What keeps them going is their passion for it. Christopher loves telling stories, while Jean enjoys every bit of acting.
STAR / File

Actors thrive with the passing of time. Christopher de Leon and Jean Garcia know that. Among the things they have mastered are to disappear into every role and get out of it at the proper time. It’s essential for thespians to keep a safe distance from the roles they portray to the hilt.

“What we do as actors is right after a take or a scene, you know, pinapagpag kaagad namin (we try to stay away from the character) for a while,” answered Christopher when he and Jean were asked about handling characters, like their powerful couple Armando and Dona Banson in Lolong, who are full of intense emotions, in a recent virtual press conference. “So, we (have time) to get ready for the next scene. That day after the shoot or taping, pinapagpag kaagad namin. Well, I do that. After a while, when you do it every day, you know, it gets into you, and then, nagiging masungit ka na rin (the role gets into you and you become, like the role, grumpy),” added he.

As for Jean, she admitted that essaying her character is tiring. “Minsan iniisip ko na mas gusto ko pang umiiyak kaysa nagagalit (Sometimes, I think I would rather cry in a scene than getting angry).” However, their years of experience have equipped them with techniques and training to sustain their energy and endure demanding roles.

“When the scene is being taken and you’re in that situation, your energy gets drained. After the director says, ‘Cut!’, (all I have to do is), take one deep breath, (then) tapos na (I feel fine and am ready for the next scene),” said she.

Recently, Lolong has welcomed new characters played by Vin Abrenica, Alma Concepcion, Rafael Rosell, Lucho Ayala and Thea Tolentino. Viewers may entertain the possibility of how they will tip the balance, narrative-wise. Tuning in to Lolong after 24 Oras on GMA Telebabad, they may also look forward to the changes these dramatis personae bring to Armando and Dona. Kapuso viewers can also watch it at 9:40 p.m. on GTV and on GMA Public Affairs social media accounts.

“Dire-diretso pa rin ito, kasi yung hatred ng mag-asawa hindi siya matatanggal kasi sobra yung nangyari sa kanila, hindi ba? Nawalan sila ng anak (Their hatred will continue and won’t easily disappear because of what happened to them, they lost a child),” said Jean.

Christopher agreed with her by saying, “Tuloy ang laban, tuloy ang paghihiganti (Their fight and revenge carry on). Actually, these will intensify more… there will be more revelations, (along with) new characters and events that will come and unfold in the coming episodes.”

What Jean loves about Christopher’s Armando and her Dona is, the Lolong couple are given the back story that explains the contexts of their characterization. “I’m happy… (the story shows) where the couple’s (hatred) is coming from, why they act that way, why they hate the Atubaw (a group of people) and the crocodiles, but tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang gulong gagawin nang mag-asawang ito kasi hindi natatanggal yung galit sa puso nila.”

Aside from love for acting, the sense of family on set and support from colleagues made work easier for Christopher and Jean. The same reasons they were able to deal with homesickness and stress. “We were like a family during our bubble taping,” said the actor.

Based on the way things are going in their careers, Christopher and Jean remain committed to and in love with their craft. They stay inspired as actors. The actress shared that she is still excited about portraying roles and has no plans of retiring. The actor added that one good thing about acting is, there’s no retirement age.

“I love to act and I’m enjoying it,” said Jean, who appreciated the support GMA has for her. “Andyan yung suporta at pagmamahal nila palagi… walang tapon kasi ang character na binibigay sa akin (The support and love of the network are always there. They never gave me characters that are not worth my time). I’m very grateful.”

“Binibigyan ako ng mga characters na binabasa ko pa lang, ay parang gusto ko ito. Pini-pitch pa lang sa akin yung character, na-e-excite na ako (They give me characters that I already like just from reading the script, or when they’re just pitching a character, they get me excited),” added Jean. “Ang dami nang tumatakbo sa isip ko (and then, a lot of things are going on in my mind). The roles that have been given to me are different. Merong nakakaawa, merong mabait, mayroon namang salbahe. That’s why I always give my best every time.” Through her screen characters, Jean is able to show the talent God has given her.

As for Christopher, what keeps him going and doing acting boils down to this: “I love telling stories. I come from a family of actors. Nasa dugo na namin yun. We are entertainers. I love telling stories. I love being part of a story. I like to create characters.”

With that, one can say that Christopher and Jean further understand human emotions and conditions through the eyes of their characters, Armando and Dona.


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