Xian Lim explores new acting territory, tandem in Hearts on Ice

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Xian Lim explores new acting territory, tandem in Hearts on Ice
Xian will show everyone the world of figure skating through his character Enzo, son of a known mall owner, in the GMA Telebabad primetime series, Hearts on Ice. The actor will be paired for the first time with Ashley Ortega, whose Ponggay dreams of becoming a figure skating champion. To bring realism to his portrayal, Xian attended training on the ice rink to understand the basics of the sport.

MANILA, Philippines — Xian Lim seems always game when it comes to handling new acting challenges, from genre to role and onscreen partner. It speaks of his aspiration to become versatile and commitment to offer viewers something new every time.

From playing young husband named Edward, who experienced a “gender switch,” in the light romance, family and fantasy drama, False Positive, with Glaiza de Castro, Xian explores a new acting territory. That is to portray Enzo, whose love for music may help him glide and jump into the world of figure skating in the new GMA Telebabad primetime series, Hearts on Ice. This time around, Xian forms a tandem with Ashley Ortega.

The country’s first figure skating drama premieres on March 13 at 8:50 p.m.

“Hindi naman dapat talaga malimitahan ang isang actor to portray any type of role (an actor should not limit himself or herself when it comes to the range of roles to play),” said Xian when The STAR commented that he can be paired with any actress and can thrive in any project, given his looks and talent, during a brief phone chat.

He added that what makes a thespian different from the rest is, if she or he can create chemistry with any leading man or leading woman given to her or him. “I see acting as a vessel, na kahit saan ako ilagay, dapat magampanan ko nang maayos yung proyekto (whatever project I’ll be tapped to do, I should deliver and do justice to it).”

The teaser of Hearts on Ice shows that Enzo is into music production and thinks that there’s nothing left for him to discover, but someone comes along and makes him realize that there’s more that the world can offer him. So, Enzo will keep on dreaming.

Well, the images from the show’s promotional materials suggest that the character will give figure skating a try.

“Tuloy, tuloy yung pag-ensayo ng ice skating (I continue my training and exercise for ice skating),” Xian gave all a glimpse of his work routine to get into his character.

He further shared, at the time of the interview, that taping is still on-going or in progress. “When they told me about the role, of course, I asked if they (the people behind the show) were sure that I was really cast for the role kasi hindi ako marunong mag-skating (I didn’t know how to skate) and they said that ‘Yes, definitely we would want you to be part of the show.’

“Then, I said, ‘OK, game, I’m up for the challenge. I’ll enroll myself (in a skating class) with a professional coach and everything.’ So, I could know the basics and I know that’s the theme and what the show is about. I really put in the work and effort.”

Again, all this is part of Xian’s creative process in understanding Enzo and bringing realism to his portrayal.

“And really, that’s also what I want to see, just my respect for the viewers also, na makita naman nila na pinaghirapan itong show na ‘to (that we really work hard for it)… it’s something worth watching,” said he.

In the Kapuso Insider interview, the actor recalled that when the role was offered to him, his first reaction was “How would I do it? Because I’ve tried ice skating before, pero hindi naman yung todohan… I was thinking, ‘Paano nga ba?’ It’s gonna be from level zero, working my way up, but with enough passion and dedication, I feel, I think na magiging masaya ito, especially once kami ni Ashley ay nasa ice na and we’re doing steps and choreography.”

The same source shared that Xian spent months of training on the ice rink and passed the Pre-Alpha-Delta proficiency test. By the way, Ashley is a professional figure skater.

“The level of challenge is different I believe,” he said in this paper’s one-on-one, “dahil ibang mundo yung tina-tackle niya (the show tackles a different world as compared to the ones we normally watch). It’s the world of figure skating and at the same time, iba din yung energy na binibigay ng mga bago kong kasama (my fellow creatives give me a different kind of energy), especially, Ashley Ortega, iba yung chemistry.

“Ashley’s someone I never thought I would be able to work with, and of course, the veteran actors there na nakasama namin na talagang iba yung batuhan ng energy namin.” So, Xian enjoys the collaborative work on the set.

The story will see Enzo and Ponggay (played by Ashley) as childhood friends and then, being reconnected again. He is a son of a known mall owner, while she has the passion for figure skating. “It’s a story about love, it’s a story about finding one’s passion and achieving that goal, achieving that dream,” shared Xian in Kapuso Insider. “It’s a family story.”

Asked how Xian established onscreen chemistry with Ashley for their project, the actor told The STAR that “With Ashley, I think we, of course, merong ilangan kasi (we had the usual awkward moments because) we had never met ever before we started this show… so, I think it really helped that while I was having my training, she was also there training for her role. I guess natatawa na lang kami sa isa’t-isa kasi lagi akong nahuhulog sa yelo, siyempre masakit, it’s my first time, it’s very awkward for me. I think that’s how we (tried to) break the ice.”

Besides acting, Xian is also into screenwriting and directing. That’s why this paper inquired if he considers doing Hearts on Ice a breather from his other creative passions.

“It’s a nice break and at the same time, it’s a really wonderful learning experience because seeing my director come up with different shots and seeing how hard he works, nakaka-inspire, nakaka-motivate (it inspires and motivates me) that this is what it takes to be great,” said Xian about working with director Dominic Zapata.

Towards the end of the interview, which he generously granted, Xian reiterated that actors should never limit themselves when it comes to roles they play, projects they do and people they work with.

“Definitely, and that comes with a challenge na parang people are always gonna say na parang hindi mo kayang gawin yan… bakit mo gagawin yan (that you can’t seem to do it and why will you do it), all the more that you should do it and take the challenge because dapat walang boundaries,” he concluded.

The actor in Xian is simply excited to essay a new and meaty role.

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