Elle Villanueva, Thea Tolentino look back on intense ‘four-page’ scene in ‘Makiling’

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Elle Villanueva, Thea Tolentino look back on intense �four-page� scene in �Makiling�
In a drama, like their recently-concluded ‘Makiling,’ Elle Villanueva (above) and Thea Tolentino know that acting out confrontational scenes comes with the territory. They are up for it. In order to deliver, the Sparkle GMA artists bank on the importance of preparing ahead of time and connecting with creatives whom they work with.

MANILA, Philippines — As stars of the recently-concluded revenge drama, “Makiling,” Elle Villanueva and Thea Tolentino as sisters Amira and Rose were not spared from doing some really intense, confrontational scenes. The Sparkle GMA artists know that it comes with the territory of their work.

“We requested to get (the script for) the scene like a week before, so we could prepare ourselves,” said Thea about her and Elle’s emotionally-charged confrontation scene, with dialogues that captured their characters’ feelings, in a recent press conference. “We got a heads-up that it was a four-page scene.”

As reliable collaborators, Thea and Elle were game for it but also made their suggestions.

“What we told them was, Thea and I hoped that there were no malalim na Tagalog (Tagalog words that were difficult to remember and deliver),” shared Elle, adding that saying them quickly was extra challenging to them. That’s why once they had the script for the sequence, Thea and Elle began memorizing the dialogues, as well as focusing on and immersing themselves in the scene.

“Every time Thea and I had a scene, I could feel her connection to mine (as we portrayed our characters). Even off-cam, I could feel that she was my sister,” said Elle, who could attest to Thea’s commitment to play the part and collaborate with co-actors.

“So, parang hindi mo kailangan bigyan ng malaking preparation kasi ramdam mo talaga siya (it’s like you don’t need to give it a lot of preparation because you really feel it.) What I really admire about her as an actor is that she’s unselfish and a giver in terms of emotions.”

For Thea, being on the same page with the creatives did count a lot.

“What’s good about the show is that what we really did was to connect with everyone, not just with our co-actors during the scene, but also with those who made up ‘Makiling.’ Kung hindi namin maintindihan yung side din nila, parang hindi magiging isa yung goal namin (If we don’t understand their side, it’s like our goals won’t be aligned).”

Thea reiterated the importance of getting the views of the actors, director and the pool of writers, and then consolidating them.

“We would talk. Then, if there was something we couldn’t understand, they would explain to us what they really wanted,” recalled she.

Let’s say in the confrontation scene between Amira and Rose, Thea and Elle were informed that it was the new take on the usual slapping and hair-pulling scene, replacing the physical actions with words, said Thea.

After doing emotional scenes, how do the young actresses de-role themselves?

“For me, right after the scene, whoever was playing the character who said hurtful words to my character, I needed to talk to the person. I had to give the person a high five, or a hug so that I wouldn’t hold on to the words that person said to me,” said Elle.

Thea, for her part, shared, “Parang bihira ko na pong ma-experience yung hindi makabitaw agad kasi ang dami naming kinukunan sa isang araw (it seems I rarely get to experience not letting go immediately because we have so many scenes to shoot in a day) and we needed to learn on the set the efficiency of changing emotions right away. It’s part of our work, and we’re learning it along the way.”

The group interview also allowed Thea to look back on the challenges of playing Rose, who could be mean and nice in different situations.

“Although mabait ako in person, pero hirap po talaga ako. Parang mas bagay talaga sa akin magmaldita (although I’m a kind person in real life, but I find it challenging to play a nice character. It seems that playing the snob, mean character fits me more.”

With their inspired performances in “Makiling,” it’s safe to say that Thea and Elle will soon be seen in either an afternoon drama or a primetime show that will further showcase what they’re made of as young stars.

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