GMA Films collaborates with Regal Entertainment Inc. to deliver the movie event of this Valentine season, The Promise.
This movie promises to showcase a different—and much more mature—Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin. From being cast as cute teenybopper stars, the two are now paired together as young adults who are seriously in love with each other.
Under the direction of Mike Tuviera, Richard and Angel shed their inhibitions by shooting two major love scenes together as well as countless kissing scenes in The Promise. During the February 1 press conference of the movie at Dunkin Donuts, SM Megamall, Richard and Angel share details about their latest Valentine offering.
INTIMATE SCENES. Richard recalls the emotions that he felt while shooting intimate scenes with his co-star Angel. "Pag pinanood nyo po yung dalawang love scenes, talagang eksakto dun sa istorya. Mararamdaman nyo talaga kung bakit ganun yung approach na ginawa namin. Yung first love scene was exploration...experimental pa lahat so iba yung approach nun. Yung pangalawang love scene mas passionate na at mas intense but it was done very, very well."
For her part, Angel finds their love scenes to be very romantic. "Makikita mo yung passion pero tender pa rin yung pag-atake. Maganda yung pagkakagawa ni Direk Mike—yung pag-edit niya, yung paano niya kinunan yung eksena. Napaka-romantic."
Since it was the first time that the young stars had shot a love scene in front of a camera, it was natural for them to nervous while shooting the scene. "Nakakanerbiyos talaga...kaya buti nga itong si Chard, kinukulit niya ako kaya nawawala yung tensiyon. Mahirap pero noong nakita namin yung resulta, happy naman kami," says Angel.
When asked if she would have done the love scenes if she were paired with another actor, Angel paused a while before saying "hindi siguro."
GENUINE FEELINGS. A lot of people are curious whether the love scenes were done for real or if they were just staged. Richard clarified this by saying, "During the scene talaga it was real. Siyempre, you can't naman fake that e. Kasi pag finake mo, makikita yun sa screen-makikita ng audience yun. The emotion was real, of course. During that moment, everything was real. You can't fake that kasi makikita yun pag awkward yung halik."
Angel affirms this by saying, "Oo [you can't fake it], kasi pag ginagawa namin yung eksena, kailangan ma-feel namin yung eksena. Plus, komportable naman ako kay Chard, komportable rin siya sa akin kaya mas maganda yung lumabas sa screen."
When asked to recall the emotions that he felt during their passionate love scene, Richard divulges, "Dami-daming emotions...pero I was very happy with the scene. I was very happy and proud. And I felt like ako na yung pinakaswerteng lalaki sa mundo dahil si Angel Locsin yung kasabay ko dun sa eksena."
TURNING POINT. According to the matinee idol, The Promise is a turning point in his career. "I felt very excited and challenged for the character and at the same time siyempre kinabahan din ako. This was the type of script na I've been waiting for a long time," claims Richard.
He adds: "I think this is a role [which] is a turning point from being a TV star, teen star to an actor. So I was very excited for the project. I was always looking for that challenge. I want to challenge myself to see how far I can push it and this was the right project for me."
Angel also feels that this movie is a big step for her, causing her to reminisce about the times when she and Richard were still starting out in the showbiz industry. "Habang iniilawan kami, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Chard, dati noong nasa Click pa tayo, magkambal pa tayo.' Sinabi nga ni Richard na ice-cherish niya yung moment na yun kasi sabay naming ginawa [yung love scene]. E di ba kami ni Chard, sabay rin kaming nag-start niyan, ang dami na naming pinagdaanan."
The two stars do have a lot of history together. They were both part of GMA-7's youth-oriented program Click. Angel and Richard then became onscreen partners for the fantaserye as well as the movie version of Mulawin, wherein they portrayed half-human, half-avian characters. In 2004, they topbilled the horror flick Sigaw, which is to be remade by Hollwood producers to become "The Echo."
For the past few years, Angel and Richard have topbilled several Valentine offerings such as Let the Love Begin (2005) and I Will Always Love You (2006). Regal Entertainment banked once again on the onscreen chemistry of the two by pairing them up in Mano Po 5: Gua Ai Di (2006)-even though Dennis Trillo was supposed to be the love interest of Angel.
CLASSIC ROMANCE. The Promise is an adaptation of the romance classic Wuthering Heights by the British novelist Emily Jane Bronte. It was first adapted for the big screen by Reyna Films via the movie Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (1991) starring Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.
In The Promise, Richard plays Daniel while Angel is Andrea—making them the modern-day Heathcliff and Catherine, the lead characters of Wuthering Heights. The screenplay of The Promise was done by Raquel Villavicencio who also did the screenplay of Hihintayin Kita sa Langit.
Angel admitted that she had watched Hihintayin Kita sa Langit in the past but she says she does not want to use it as a basis for her performance in The Promise. She says that if she would be compared to Dawn, "isang malaking karangalan yun kasi si Ms. Dawn Zulueta yun e... napakagaling na artista at napakaganda pa."
Richard explains: "I don't wanna compare myself to the other actors of other generations. I want to be a good example for this generation, for this era. And I think this is a project that the youth today will remember. We need these kind of movies nowadays kasi bihira na nga ang gumagawa ng ganitong klaseng pelikula sa panahon ngayon."
The Promise opens in theaters nationwide on Valentines Day, February 14, 2007.