Antoinette Jadaone admitted that she was impressed with Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto’s onscreen chemistry the first time the “hugot” director saw their tandem in the 2016 Metro Manila Film Fest entry Vince & Kath & James.
The Love You To The Stars And Back director recalled, “Ang natural, hindi pilit yung story nila sa Vince & Kath & James. Kinikilig ako sa kanila. Naisip ko, ‘Sino ba ‘to? Bagay sila as a team.’
“Nung nakatrabaho ko sila, na-realize ko kung bakit click sila.
“Pareho silang sincere—sincere umarte, sincere sa mga tao. Feeling ko mama-magnetize ka kapag sincere ang isang tao.
“Kaya happy lang yung set namin.”
When asked how it was like working with Joshua and Julia, the director gave her observation about the real-life chemistry between the two young stars.
"Lalo pag romantic ang eksena, mas madali lang lumalabas kasi hindi nila kailangan magpanggap na gusto nila ang isa't isa.
"Kasi in reality, halata naman na gusto nila ang isa't isa."
Direk Tonette, as Antoinette is fondly called in showbiz circles, joined Joshua and Julia at the presscon of Love You To The Stars And Back, which was held at ABS-CBN’s Training Hall last Sunday, August 20.
Here, the 33-year-old director reveals her own observation about the kilig tandem of Joshua and Julia as well as other interesting tidbits about the newest romantic offering of Star Cinema, showing on August 30.
1. Joshua did research work for his role as cancer patient Caloy.
Direk Tonette related, “When I was writing the script, nag-research ako with a cancer survivor na pareho ng sakit ni Caloy sa movie na leukemia.
“Nung in-interview ko yung cancer survivor, sumama si Joshua. Part siya ng process.”
She noted that both Joshua and Julia are committed to bringing their characters to life.
Direk Antoinette added, “Si Julia pumayag siya dito sa no-makeup makeup look, makikita yung face niya, may eye bags and all.”
2. Joshua and Julia fondly call each other “Baba.”
During the presscon, Direk Tonette did not directly answer the question to whether or not the two are already in a relationship.
But she hinted at Joshua and Julia’s sweetness off cam with the way they keep calling each other by their term of endearment.
“Tawagan nila 'Baba.' Nakakairita na nga, e. Hahaha! Inggitera?
"Parang, ‘Stop it, Baba. Don’t start, Baba.’
“Kinikilig po [ako] sa start, pero ‘pag palubog na yung araw, kailangan na nating tapusin yung eksena.
“Parang, ‘Tumigil na kayong dalawa sa kaka-Baba niyo, ha. Kasi meron tayong eksena, e.’
“As a director nakakatuwa na meron silang chemistry off screen na madali na lang i-capture onscreen.”
3. Love You To The Stars And Back is different from The Fault In Our The Stars.
Direk Tonette said she isn’t offended by netizens who compare Love You To The Stars And Back with the Hollywood film The Fault In Our Stars (2014). This American film is about two young people who are diagnosed with life-threatening ilnesses.
“Based sa trailer, in-expect na namin na may ganung comparison kasi may cancer. Pero the similarity ends there.
“Hindi naman porke may cancer pareho na yung journey ni Mika and Caloy at ni Hazel [Shailane Woodley] at Augustus [Ansel Elgort] sa Fault In Our Stars. Iba yung journey nila.
“I think they need to watch the movie first before they can judge yung kabuuan ng movie.”
4. The alien chant of Mika’s character is inspired by a song.
Direk Tonette revealed, “Gawa-gawa lang siya ni Mika.
“Pero kung kilala niyo yung banda na Kula Shaker, yung kanta nila na ‘Govinda,’ yun ang pinapakinggan ko habang sinusulat ko [yung film].
“Pag chinant niyo siya, wala naman kayong matatawag na bad spirits!”
5. The movie’s script was inspired by kilig feels from the song “Torete.”
“Yung ‘Torete’ isa siya sa mga pinapatugtog ko habang nagsusulat. Tapos sina-suggest ko siya sa Creatives namin," recalls Direk Tonette.
“Natuwa lang kami na in the end ‘Torete’ yung pinili nila.
“Yung feel ng movie parang feel ng ‘Torete’— very young, very real.”
6. Mika and Caloy’s road trip was shot in Batangas.
“Yung road trip nila papunta sila sa fictitious place na Mt. Milagros. Yun yung journey nila.
“Pero mostly in Batangas. Si Caloy isang Batangeño, si Mika taga-Manila siya.”
In Love You To The Stars And Back, Julia plays Mika, a girl who grew up believing that it's a "privilege" to be taken by aliens because their planet outside the earth is a "better" and "happier" place.
Mika then takes a road trip following her beloved mother's death. Along the way, she meets Caloy, a cancer patient who's also in pursuit of ever-fleeting happiness.
As seen in the film's trailer, the two characters are bound to seek the answer to this question: "Kung imposible rin naman, magmamahal ka pa ba?"