Two of the most bankable stars of Star Cinema—John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga—are paired in a movie that's raising expectations in the box office.   

Photo: Paul Mata

Host and actress Toni Gonzaga was all praises for John Lloyd Cruz, her new partner in an upcoming Star Cinema film, in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on their first shooting day at Grilla restaurant in Libis, Quezon City, last night, September 2.

"Ako, kahit siguro hindi ko makakatrabaho si John Lloyd sa mga eksena ngayon, e, alam na alam naman natin yung husay niya at ang galing-galing niya sa trabaho niya. At bilang isang actor ay isa din ako sa mga pinahanga niya. Isa siya sa pinakamasuwerteng actor sa henerasyon natin ngayon," Toni said.

John Lloyd, on the other hand, gave the credit to others in Toni's statement.

"Masuwerte tayo kasi nahahawakan tayo ng mga director na hindi tayo pinapabayaan, tulad ni Direk Cathy [Garcia-Molina]," said the multi-awarded actor.

He likewise returned the favor and confessed that he is a fan of Toni and is very eager to work with her.

"Im very excited kasi matagal na akong fan ng humor ni Toni, ng work ni Toni, yung talent niya, yung hosting. Sa ganoong aspeto, wala akong magiging rason para hindi ako ma-excite na parang finally makakatrabaho ko siya sa pelikula," said John Lloyd about his leading lady.

For her part, Toni said it took days before it sunk in that she would be paired with John Lloyd.

"Siguro kasi alam ko, kasi iba yung tinatahak ng career ni John Lloyd," she said. Then, she told John Lloyd: "Siyempre, kumpara sa mga dati mong roles, iniisip ko yung mga susunod mong mga roles, ano na, e, action star ka na, e!"

John Lloyd gave out a reply that invited laughter from the people inside the restaurant. "Actually kasi, akala niya, parang after Luis Manzano, parang tuluyan nang masisira na career ko," he said, referring to his kissing scene with Luis in the movie In My Life where they played gay lovers.

"Kasi, puro lalake na gusto mong ka-partner!" was Toni's quick reply.

NEW TEAM-UP. John Lloyd and Toni have worked together before, in the defunct ABS-CBN teleserye Maging Sino Ka Man Book 2. But both admitted that this movie project is different because they will assume roles as a loveteam.

How are they getting along with each other?

"Actually, hanggang ngayon, hindi pa kami masyado ka-at ease," admitted Toni. "Pero I'm sure in the coming days, and with the help of Direk Cathy and the crew and everybody else... Kasi si John Lloyd, kilala na yung mga staff ni Direk Cathy, tapos ako naging pamilya ko na din sila. Hindi magiging mahirap para sa aming dalawa."

John Lloyd, who was very relaxed that night, said jokingly, "Nasabi na ni Toni gusto ko lahat sabihin... Nabasa niya utak ko!"

Will there be a kissing scene in their movie. And if there will be one, would it hamper their respective relationships? Toni has been with director Paul Soriano for a few years now, while John Lloyd admitted his relationship with Shaina Magdayao a few months ago.