Unique love storyline brings ‘Asawa ng Asawa Ko’ close to viewers

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier Cruz - The Philippine Star
Unique love storyline brings �Asawa ng Asawa Ko� close to viewers
GMA Network's family drama follows a married couple whose lives are turned upside down when one spouse gets abducted and presumed dead.

GMA’s popular series “Asawa ng Asawa Ko” continues to linger in one’s mind because of its plot, the way it was presented, and the actors who portray the characters caught in a unique entanglement.

In a nutshell, it’s a family drama that follows a married couple — Cristy (played by Jasmine Curtis-Smith) and Jordan (Rayver Cruz) — and their daughter, whose lives were turned upside down when Cristy was abducted and presumed dead. Jordan gets remarried, this time to Shaira (Liezel Lopez), and life goes on. That is until Cristy returns years later after escaping her abductors.

Esteemed director Laurice Guillen is at the helm of the series and has an impressive track record when it comes to family dramas. Also, being an actress, she is aware that plots may tend to repeat but she was eventually drawn to the project because of one important detail.

“There was a farfetched but intriguing circumstance that would give the story a richer context, namely, the kidnapping and the four-year experience that would transform the protagonist from a protected, middle-class bride to a toughened survivor when she returns. That was the thing that was ‘different’ in this project,” direk Laurice said.

Rayver Cruz plays Jordan, a man with two wives and Jasmine Curtis-Smith plays the abducted first wife Cristy.

She then shared certain scenes that she felt particularly proud of because they involved many characters at once. For a director, this requires the ability to view the scene as a whole while still recognizing the humanity of each individual character on screen.

“I am proud of the entire kidnapping mise-en-scéne at the seaside resort, the hostage exchange at the bridge, and the escape by sea from the rocky shore at night. I like scenes that move — even the ones in quiet, physically confined spaces because the challenge is there to explore the subconscious spaces,” she said.

To achieve this, she makes sure the actors convey the correct emotion. “That is largely what I do as director — agree with the actor on what the experience or feeling is. That is why I also like the accidental meeting of Cristy and Leon (Joem Bascon) in a public space. There are no lines but the look they give each other summarizes the four years they lived together.”

To prepare for her role as Cristy, Jasmine took the character profile provided by the show’s creatives to heart. “Along with our script, we were also given small details we could use to add and give more shape to our characters — give them their individual nuances,” she said.

Director Laurice Guillen: Although ‘Asawa ng Asawa Ko’ is fiction, actors are able to bring the characters to life.

Jasmine admitted to feeling “incredibly challenged” but that she was determined to grasp “the opportunity to work under the helm of direk Laurice.”

It’s a sentiment shared by her co-star Rayver. When he learned that direk Laurice would be directing the series but that auditions were required, he remained determined to join the cast.

“Doon po talaga, sold na ako agad. Matagal ko na pangarap na maging direktor si direk Laurice. Nakatrabaho ko na siya pero bata pa ako noon at bilang co-actor. Alam ko na nakakakaba pero matagal ko nang pangarap na maka-work siya as a director,” Rayver said.

To prepare for his problematic role as a man with two wives, he portrayed Jordan as an expressive man. “Hindi sya nahihiyang i-express yung nararamdaman niya sa body language niya, kapag kausap niya ‘yung mga asawa niya. Big, big, big part talaga si direk Laurice sa paghanda at pag-evolve ng character ko. Masasabi ko na ‘yung ginawa naming atake sa show, halos lahat kami, iba sa mga atake na nagawa na namin dati,” Rayver added.

Direk Laurice is shown giving instructions on the set of the series. The director has an impressive track record when it comes to family dramas.

As a director, Laurice said she goes the extra mile to keep her actors on track. “The actor’s work needs to be authentic in order to touch the audience,” she said. “I can tell immediately when an actor is not ready because the tendency is there to repeat what he or she has done before, or to imitate some other actor’s performance.”

Their efforts have not been in vain as “Asawa ng Asawa Ko” fully resonated with Kapuso viewers. “For me, nag-work siya kasi ‘yung camaraderie, ‘yung buong show parang pamilya kami sa isang buong show, ‘yung chemistry ng lahat,” Rayver said.

Jasmine believes it clicked “because as Filipinos, our love for family is very strong, and we’ve captured an audience that seems to look for and love justice.”

Direk Laurice sees it a bit differently. “Although ‘Asawa’ is fiction, the actors are able to bring the characters to life and share their experience with the audience in an authentic way. That is why, at some point, the audience thinks of the character and the actor as one and the same,” she said.

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