The love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla called KathNiel has been known for teenybopper roles until “Barcelona: A Love Untold” came along.
Director Olivia Lamasan said she worked hard in transitioning the two to adult actors via the movie.
“Mahirap iyon kung sanay ka sa teenybopper, tapos andoon ka, tina-transition mo sila. Parang pinapanganak mo silang maging mama at dalaga,” she said.
Kathryn made an impact as the perky Chichay on “Got To Believe,” then as the bright and positive Mikay on the “Princess And I.” However, in “Barcelona,” people see a more subdued and mature Kathryn.
“We thought of bringing that back, ’yung pagka-perky,” the director admitted. “When we were doing this look test, we tried it, but I said ‘Oh my god, it’s not going to work.’ So sabi ko, ‘Let’s make her real. Tanggalin natin ’yung pagka-perky niya. Let’s make her real’ and that worked.”
Olivia shared Kathryn’s willingness to prove herself as actress. She noted how Kathryn earned mixed criticisms when she reprised the role of Yna Macaspac, previously played by Kristine Hermosa, on “Pangako Sa’Yo.”
At the onset I asked Kathryn, ‘Kathryn, what made you accept this project (Barcelona).’ She said, ‘Inang, I want to be able to explore kung hanggang saan ko madadala ’yung aking acting ability.’ She was very honest in saying na she came from ‘Pangako Sa’Yo,” na parang hindi maganda ’yung naging reception of how she did the Yna character because she was heavily compared to Kristine Hermosa. She was very honest in saying na ‘I want to be able to prove myself.’ Ako malaki ang tiwala ko kay Kathryn kasi lumaki siya sa akin. Ang galing-galing niya noong bata,” she said.
Daniel, on the other hand, struck Olivia as an “intelligent” actor. She said he was very serious during the shoot and would often talk to her to discuss his character.
“Sabi ko, ‘Ang talino ng taong ito. Grabe ang depth.’ Iba talaga if one has lived through and lived with pain. Right away nakikita mo, nakikita mo na sa mata. Sabi niya, ‘Sobra akong excited sa pelikulang ito. Dito naramdaman ko na I need to focus at aralin talaga ’yung role. Ngayon ko lang naintindihan ano ’yung craft,”’ she said.
Back in Barcelona
The story was made according to their ages, real-life situations and the characters they portray. They did the movie for 52 days, spending 21 days of those in Barcelona.
“Pinakauna ’yung kwento, kinda tricky. Because of their limitations, ’di ba nagta-transition sila at teenagers pa sila, anong klaseng kwento ang i-implement namin? Kasi limited pa sila, we can’t delve pa into heavy relational issues because those would require some physical intimacy and we all know na wala pa sila doon,” Olivia said.
Kathryn and Daniel, of course, also had their share of constructive criticisms from Olivia, who admits to be very strict when it comes to memorizing lines.
“Sa akin hindi rason na masaya ka or pagod ka, i-deliver mo. After that, doon kami nag-gel. Every sequence we would shoot, there’s always a discussion. They’re very much interested to discuss kung ano mangyayari sa characters nila. Grabe ’yung naging commitment.
“Minsan ganoon, something bad happens in order to give birth to something okay,” she said.
After working with Kathryn and Daniel, Olivia proudly said they are better “actors.”
“We have achieved the objective. I’m very much fulfilled na na-achieve namin ’yung objective na na-transition namin sa kanila. Happy ako sa passion and commitment (nila). All throughout, palagi ko silang sinasabihan na ‘Focus and love your cr aft. Go out of your way to always improve yourself.’ Natutuwa ako na now they are concerned not only with their fans, but with their audiences,” the director said. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)
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