"I am great and I feel very blessed. I'm very grateful. No reason to complain, no reason to cry. There are pains in life but if you put it all together, life is still very good," says Cherie Gil. Photo: Noel Orsal

Balik-teleserye ang magaling na aktres na si Cherie Gil sa pamamagitan ng bagong afternoon soap ng ABS-CBN na Pieta. Cherie plays the role of Amanda, ang mabait ngunit palabang ina ng bidang si Rigor (Ryan Agoncillo). Ang yumaong beteranang aktres na si Ms. Charito Solis ang orihinal na Amanda sa pelikulang Pieta.

May pressure ba na si Ms. Charito Solis ang unang gumanap sa role ni Cherie sa Pieta?

"Medyo," pag-amin ni Cherie nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa presscon ng Pieta na ginanap last Tuesday, October 21, sa Dolphy Theater sa ABS-CBN.

"She was my teacher, my mentor. She taught me a lot in acting. My first experience in filmmaking was with her. She played my mother. Nasigawan na ako niyan. Napagalitan na niya ako. Na-walkout-an na ako niyan. But I can never forget the things I learned from her. I love her and I respect her.

"In fact, the last movie I made with Tita Chato was with Carlo J. Caparas's film which is God Save Me, and I enjoyed that work immensely. Because after many years of not working, na tumanda na ako and grown up na, we were able to talk to each other in an adult fashion. And that what has won me my first Best Supporting actress role. Tita Chato is one actress that I truly loved and respected. And it is an honor that in fact I'm playing a role that she did before."

CLOSER TO HOME. Mabait na ina ang ginagampanang role niya sa Pieta. Of course, nakilala siya bilang kontrabida sa mga teleserye at pelikula. Hindi ba siya nahirapan sa role niya?

"No, I think it's closer to home. I think it's more like me. This is more human," sabi ni Cherie.

Inamin ni Cherie na natutuwa siya dahil ang character niya ay hindi nagre-require ng magaganda at glamorosang damit na kadalasan ay napapanood sa kanya sa mga past roles niya.

"At last I don't have to worry about what to bring from my house. I don't have to bring my whole closet because all I needed was tsinelas. For a change, I have no worries on what to wear. I am enjoying it really a lot.

"And I have to thank also Direk Toto [Natividad] and Direk Don [Cuaresma]. It's just an amazing experience to work with them. Alaga talaga nila ako at pinapaalalahanan about my old habits kumbaga, like there are moments na kapag matapang na ang dating ko, bibigyan ako ng signal ni Toto na 'palambutin mo nang konti'. Kasi siyempre I've been playing kontrabida roles for so long. And there are moments na kapag kumakain ako nakakalimot ako, like yung paghawak ko ng fork, yung ganun.

"It's really a great turning point now to do this part especially to work with Ryan. I'm very excited. Who would have thought na we were together in Star In A Million [si Cherie as judge at si Ryan as host] and pareho kaming madaldal. It's always great to come to the set when there's someone you can talk to. And I see in him the young Eddie Mesa, my dad, because of the nose somehow. I love this moment. And I'm so thankful to ABS-CBN for giving me this part. And of course to be playing Tita Chato's role in a wonderful masterpiece by Carlo J. Caparas."

Ano ang challenge na na-encounter niya rito sa Pieta?

"Most of the scenes dito iyakan talaga. There comes a point na one after another scene, mabilisan ba. So, ang challenge dito is to be prepared all the time so may mahugot ako na fresh. Minsan nauubos na rin yung luha mo. And, of course, si Direk Toto naman and Don know how to work with the actors, mino-motivate nila ako."

So far, ano ang pinakamahirap na eksena na nagawa na niya for Pieta?

"Lahat ng mga iyakan," sagot ng aktres. "Pero other than that, I think yung moment na I was approaching the body, supposedly the dead body, ang notion is baka yung ang anak ko. How to show the relief of finding out that he wasn't my son. And, of course, the fear without words. Sometimes the simplest scenes are the hardest."