Jo Berry lives her childhood dream in GMA’s new inspirational series

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Jo Berry lives her childhood dream in GMA�s new inspirational series
Growing up, Jo Berry aspired to become a lawyer with the intention of making a difference in the lives of others. It has been granted since the Kapuso actress stars in the GMA Afternoon Prime series, ‘Lilet Matias: Attorney-At-Law.’ She says, ‘This is my most challenging role so far. I’m always careful when it comes to doing court scenes. We want to make it (my portrayal) right.’

MANILA, Philippines — Jo Berry is poised to essay another endearing character in the GMA Afternoon Prime series, “Lilet Matias: Attorney-At-Law,” with a narrative about hope, justice, and self-worth.

The inspirational show is the Kapuso actress’ follow-up to “Little Princess,” whose protagonist never falters to fulfill her dreams.

Climbing the corporate ladder, becoming a leader, and breaking the glass ceiling are some of the character’s personal achievements.

“Yes, actually, for me, this is the most challenging role so far since she’s a lawyer and it’s a legal drama,” answered Jo in one of the questions sent by The STAR. “Parati akong maingat (I’m always careful and mindful) when it comes to doing court scenes.”

“Siyempre, ayaw nating ma-bash at siyempre, gusto naman nating magawa nang tama (Of course, we don’t want to get bashed and of course, we want to make it right).”

That’s why she was open for any recommendations from the creative and production teams to play Lilet Matias, described as “a little person with a big purpose in life,” by a GMA News Online article.

“They recommended that I watch TV series such as ‘Suits’ and ‘Boston Legal,’” shared Jo, who binge-watched the American shows. “Tinapos ko sila actually parang saglit lang kasi nagmadali ako. Pero tinapos ko.”

It’s safe to say that through all this, she has further gained understanding about the genre of “Lilet Matias,” the series, and the professional life of Lilet Matias, the character.

“They were very hands-on,” said Jo about the men and women behind the show. In fact, she, series director Adolfo Alix Jr., the writers, and the production team attended a court hearing.

In a previous virtual group interview, Jo shared that among the roles she had portrayed in her shows, including “Onanay,” “The Gift,” and “Little Princess,” the latter’s character named Princess was closest to her in real life and personality-wise. Princess dreamed big for herself and persevered for her family.

“Lilet Matias,” however, speaks of Jo’s childhood dream. That is to become a lawyer.

“Gusto ko talaga yung parang ang laki nung girl power (I like the idea of girl power) and at the same time I like the part that she can help,” said she of her latest character. “Literal naman, alam ko naman na hindi ko kayang makatulong physically.”

“So, in a way, since I was young, it has been my aim to make a difference in any capacity or in my own little ways,” continued she. “Me and my papa share the same dream. We both want to become lawyers. It’s my childhood dream.”

Playing Lilet Matias, in some way, has granted Jo’s wish to become a lawyer, who evaluates the merits of a legal case, offers pieces of advice to clients, and defends them in court.

Her interview with the GMA Integrated News revealed that when she was growing up, Jo aspired to become an attorney with the intention of making a difference in the lives of others, particularly people with dwarfism and disabilities. She also mentioned that she’s grateful to GMA for having given her the chance to act and represent a certain segment of society.

Jo was also given the chance to share her thoughts on chasing one’s dreams.

“Trust yourself. That’s the No. 1 thing you need,” said Jo in the TV interview, “kasi kapag wala kang tiwala sa sarili mo, hindi mo ma-a-achieve ang kahit na ano (if you lose self-confidence, you won’t be able to achieve anything) and, of course, you always remember that everyone encounters challenges (or is going through challenging situations). So, use them as fuel to strive to be the better version of yourself.”

With that, Jo is acting not just to entertain people but also to advocate for something.

“What’s really being discussed in it (‘Lilet Matias: Attorney-At-Law,’) as an advocacy is, of course, justice for everyone, not just for powerful people and rich people,” said she. “It’s for all. Everyone has the right to seek and find justice in their lives.”

According to Jo, in the same online interview with this paper, one of her considerations in accepting a project is its purpose, like, in the form of advocacy.

“Kasi alam ko po na nandito ako ay hindi lang for myself, kundi para na din sa kanila (I’m here not just for myself, but also for those I represent).”

By the way, Jo was part of a business process outsourcing company before trying her hand at show business and establishing a name for herself.

Although her dream of becoming a lawyer is somewhat her inspiration for becoming Lilet Matias, Jo still needs an expert perspective during taping day.

“Every time we have a court scene, there’s a lawyer on set. We feel free to ask questions kasi mahirap pong mag-linya ng hindi mo naiintindihan (it’s difficult to deliver lines without you knowing what they really mean) especially if there are (legal) terms involved,” shared she. “You know ordinary people don’t use them every day. Meron din kaming alalay ng lawyer (we have help from a lawyer).”

With that, Jo is off again to bring her adorable personality and acting talent to make everyone laugh and cry with the character Lilet Matias.

(Watch ‘Lilet Matias: Attorney-at-Law’ weekdays at 3:20 p.m. on GMA Afternoon Prime and Pinoy Hits. Filipinos around the world can catch it on GMA Pinoy TV.)

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