‘Love takes time’ and other romance lessons from KimPau

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
�Love takes time� and other romance lessons from KimPau
Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino topbill the Philippine adaptation of the South Korean megahit ‘What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim.’ The ABS-CBN Dreamscape production and Viu series now airs on free TV.
Photo from Dreamscape’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino’s romantic moments in the Philippine adaptation of the hit South Korean series “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” have consistently trended online. But their next big kissing scene could break the internet.

The original version of this legendary kiss scene, where the characters of Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon take their romance to the next level, has garnered nearly 350 million views on YouTube alone. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the anticipation of the fans of KimPau, as their tandem is called, over their upcoming take on what has been described as one of the steamiest scenes in K-drama history.

The STAR learned from KimPau that taking on the kiss scenes in the K-drama spelled challenging. In “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim,” Kim portrays Kimberly Liwanag, the secretary of Vice Chairman Brandon Manansala played by Paulo.

“Actually, there’s huge pressure because everyone was really rooting for the scenes maybe because when they’ve watched the original and (those scenes) made a mark on them so our the production was very aware of it and also our director,” said Paulo in response to The STAR’s question.

“So, it took a considerable amount of time to shoot those scenes dahil ayaw namin mapahiya as someone who is adapting an original work for the Philippines.”

Kim cited as an example the recently-aired cabinet kiss, which was meticulously executed to the extent that three different kinds of cabinets had to be made for the scene.

As for their first kiss, Kim added, it took them “two days” to film it.

“Even our first kiss, if people have seen it, we had to go back (to it for) another day,” shared Paulo. “Just to make sure we were able to do what direk (Chad) wanted to happen in that scene.”

One thing is sure, Kim and Paulo have been getting their assignment right and further fueling support for the teamup since their first series together, “Linlang.”

Kim and Paulo execute one of the K-drama’s famous kiss scenes.

Asked by this paper how they are dealing with the pressure of fans wanting them to be together in real life, Paulo said, “I get where they’re coming from, like, when you see people on screen that you want to work, I would ship them as well but ahm, hinay hinay lang (let’s take it slow).

“Kim just came from, hindi naman sa nangingialam (not that I’m meddling), but Kim just came from a relationship so hayaan muna natin mag-enjoy yung mga tao (let’s allow people to enjoy) and give them time to explore a bit more,” he said.

Kim agreed, saying: “Tama naman, i-enjoy na muna natin yung ngayon, ito. (That’s right, let’s just enjoy the present moment for now.)

“And then, kung napapasaya namin sila, very thankful din kami sa suporta na binibigay nila samin, pagpapa-trend every episode so masaya kami na napapasaya namin sila. (We’re also very grateful for the support they’re giving us, making each episode trend, so we’re happy that we’re able to make them happy.)”

KimPau first knew that they had chemistry during the airing of the dark drama “Linlang,” where they played an estranged couple whose marriage broke down due to infidelity.

“Actually with ‘Linlang,’ I couldn’t imagine people shipping us because it was really dark,” recalled Paulo.

“We were always fighting and screaming at each other,” added Kim.

Continued Paulo, “There was a bit of a flashback for the sweet scenes but the whole time, we had a cat-and-dog relationship, always fighting. So I never really expected it but since ‘Linlang,’ people were shipping the teamup. And okay naman, it worked, people liked it.”

Kim couldn’t be any happier with the reception to their tandem. “Oo naman. Sino ba namang hindi kasi sa dami ng ginawa namin sana naman suportahan kami? Sobra din kaming happy,” she said.

“The reason why we’re trending (is I think because of that) so I appreciate the time given (to the show). It’s not easy to like keep tweeting or like talk about someone you admire all the time on social media. So, I appreciate that time and effort that they’ve given us,” Paulo said.

In the first place, they didn’t expect their tandem will continue to click in another streaming platform — Viu.

“Actually, it’s scary when you’re doing a show for a streaming platform because it’s hard to gather people to go to the platform or maybe if it’s a paid platform, to subscribe,” said Paulo.

“And that was what I was most nervous about — it’s how to bring more people in because of the show that we’re doing. I just wanna say that it’s really hard and nerve-wracking because there’s no certainty that people will patronize it.”

That’s why, Kim said they’re “very thankful because consistently, it’s No. 1 on the Viu app” since its debut. “I hope until the show ends, it’s still on the same position.”

But don’t call KimPau a loveteam.

The lead stars, also dubbed as KimPau by fans, share how they deal with the pressure from fans wanting their reel romance becomes real. Photos show the tandem doing their sweet scenes on set.
Photos from Dreamscape’s Facebook page

“Loveteam is very pre-pandemic,” laughed Kim.

“As our producer says, production teams in other countries don’t understand what a love team is; they always ask (what it is). I’d prefer that we’re called a tandem or onscreen partners because I don’t want the stigma attached in the Philippines when it comes to love teams.”

Kim, on the other hand, suggested that the term is no longer applicable for them who have more years, experiences and control over their careers.

“Siguro parang nalipasan na siya na salita. Because we are the right age to decide on what we want to do, on what path we want to take in showbiz,” she said.

“If the project is good, if the roles are okay for us, to give us growth or to give our audience a different taste, why would we not do it? Siguro maganda lang ang kwento.”

Speaking of the story, what have they learned about love — so far — from the series?

Paulo said, “Maybe one thing that they could take away with our adaptation of ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ is it’s really a give and take. Ang hirap kasi ng may relationship sa work but it’s always give and take. Just know the boundaries of when to stop and I mean when to be romantic with each other and when not to.”

Kim said, “As for me, based on the story, love takes time. You don’t look for it, you also don’t ask for it, if it comes, it comes. Hindi mo siya hahanapin. Darating lang talaga siya sa tamang panahon (It will come at the right time).”

Meanwhile, this early, there are talks of another project for KimPau. Paulo teased, “I’m not 100 percent sure because it might not push through but I know something is being cooked up. But it’s not for me to divulge it. It’s a surprise.”

“What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” is now being aired on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z and TV5’s weekend block.

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