Three talents of ABS-CBN Star Hunt together in one film

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star
Three talents of ABS-CBN Star Hunt together in one film
Maxine Trinidad, Beaver Magtalas, and Mutya Orquia form a love triangle in the romance-comedy flick, ‘When Magic Hurts,’ with Gabby Ramos as director. It was shot in the scenic and picturesque Atok, Banguet, with a few scenes taken in Baguio. The ABS-CBN Star Hunt talents are working for the first time. Mutya gets her first starring role on the big screen with ‘When Magic Hurts,’ where she is paired with young actor Beaver and shares the limelight with former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ teen housemate Maxine.
STAR / File

Three young artists of ABS-CBN Star Hunt get to work together for the first time in the romance-comedy flick, “When Magic Hurts,” with Gabby Ramos at the helm.

Beaver Magtalas, Maxine Trinidad, and Mutya Orquia form a love triangle in the film that was shot in the scenic and picturesque Atok, Banguet, with a few scenes taken in Baguio.

One of the reasons teenage actress Mutya remained scarce on TV in the pandemic was that she was not to allowed to come out yet, as per the regulations of the government regarding teenagers ages 15 and below.

She was only 14 at that time, so Mutya was forced to remain indoors. Before “Darna” in 2023, Mutya, who will turn 18 in May, did not do any TV project. She was forced to stay indoors and concentrated on her home study program.

People remember Mutya as a young mermaid in ABS-CBN’s afternoon teleserye with an eponymous title after her name, when she was only five years old.

She also appeared in “My Binondo Girl,” which was followed by other series like “Ikaw ay Pag-ibig,” “Be Careful With My Heart,” and “Pamilya Ko,” her last TV project before the pandemic.

“When I talked to direk Gabby while we were shooting ‘When Magic Hurts,’ na-mention ko sa kanya na gusto ko rin gumawa ng action,” disclosed Mutya.

In 2023, Mutya joined the cast of the action-fantasy, “Darna,” at that time, she was already allowed to come out on TV.

She gets her first starring role on the big screen with “When Magic Hurts,” where she is paired for the first time with young actor Beaver Magtalas. Also joining them in a love triangle is former “Pinoy Big Brother” teen housemate, Maxine Trinidad.

“Working with Beaver was good,” said Mutya. “He would ask me about the right thing to do in what particular scene. I want to experience other roles and do other stuff in the future.”

For Mutya, she was challenged when her director told her to show her strength but deep inside, you’re still broken.

“Kinabahan ako when I heard that,” admitted Mutya. “Kailangan, strong outside but fragile inside. For me in my portrayal, I observe my acting because this is just my first film.

“For all you know, I did my best naman. Direk Gabby allowed me to do my character and he was very open to suggestions. For me, that was a big help.”

Beaver, who was painfully shy before, had to gain enough confidence to make him essay the lead role in “When Magic Hurts.”

“Tinulungan ako ni direk Gabby to play my role,” attested Beaver. “I am also super thankful to my parents. Super akong kinakabahan. I can’t find the right word to say how nervous I am for the film. One thing that really prepared me for this film was I gained more confidence.”

For Beaver, doing a romantic-comedy was one of his early target projects in film although his first was the sci-fi fantasy flick, “Genius Teens” (2022).

“I’m very thankful that I received this project (‘When Magic Hurts’),” Beaver said. “This was very fulfilling for me. This is my first lead role.”

Maxine, who is also making her big screen debut in “When Magic Hurts,” is relatively a newbie in the industry. She was discovered in “Pinoy Big Brother,” where she became known to viewers. She also appeared in a TV series on the Pie Channel.

“I can really say that experience is the best teacher,” Maxine said. “‘When Magic Hurts’ is very challenging for me. I really took the opportunity to take the Star Magic acting workshop under director Rhyan Carlos.”

She added, “I can truly say na lahat naman napag-aaralan talaga. I can’t deny that I really felt nervous when I’m in front of the cameras and working with the veterans, as well. I can’t really say that I was able to give justice to my role. But I really did my best and the audience can say that when they watch the film.”

Choosing Atok, Benguet as the locale for “When Magic Hurts” was not a total challenge for direk Gabby. “Mutya needs to be from the province,” he said. “The next question is where will we put her? Dapat kailangan, malayo.”

“Baguio was suggested. I said marami ng gumamit ng Baguio. Sagada was next suggested. I said marami na rin gumamit ng Sagada. Try natin ‘yung Atok sa Banguet. Nag-location-hunting kami, so pinuntahan namin ang Atok.”

“Nakita namin ang mga locations na pwede naming gamitin sa movie — ang flower farm, ang cypress trees. Ang daming magagandang lugar. Na-pinpoint namin lahat,” he added.

With story and concept by Angel Gwenavere and Jerome Baguio as screenwriter, “When Magic Hurts” started principal photography last September.

“Hindi mahirap mag-direct at mag-assemble ng cast,” offered direk Gabby. “Ang mahirap, three days na naka schedule na kami sa Baguio and Atok, may bagyo na paparating that September.”

“We couldn’t back out. Hindi naman kami nabigo sa mga artists namin. All of them were so professional,” added he.

Direk Gabby and his production staff wanted to get all the flowers in bloom that was why they opted to go to Baguio and Atok in September.

“Ang hinihintay namin the paper roses,” insisted direk Gabby. “Ayoko ng mga daisies or sunflowers. Doon kami sa paper roses, ‘yung hindi natin nakikita. Sa awa ng Diyos, when we got the Baguio and Sagada, konti na lang ang mga paper roses. But when we returned last December, nandoon na ang mga bulaklak.”

Bankrolled by Rems Productions, “When Magic Hurts” is supported by Star Magic since the three lead stars are Star Magic talents.

The first plan was to film “When Magic Hurts” in Japan or Korea. “But when we searched locations, nakita ko ang Atok, Benguet. Inikot ko ang Atok,” shared direk Gabby.

“We decided to make this film solely Filipino, so we worked on a tie-up with Atok (Benguet) and tourism in the Cordillera region. That can be compared with the great locations in other countries. But we can be proud that this film is also made by Filipinos.”

Others in the star-studded supporting cast of “When Magic Hurts” are Claudine Barretto, Dennis Padilla, Soliman Cruz, Angelica Jones, Archie Adamos, and comedienne Whitney Tyson.

Completing the cast are Aryanna Barretto as the young Olivia, Julian Roxas, Panteen Palanca, Aileen Papin, Dennah Bautista, Cassie Kim, and Blumark Roces.

“When Magic Hurts” uses the popular ballad, Got To Believe in Magic, as its theme song, recorded by Fil-Am artist Cedric Escobar and released by PolyEast Records.

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