Right before the curse turns the light-hearted teenager Aryana into a mermaid, ABS-CBN’s primetime teleserye is made even more exciting by characters who spice up the tale.
At the moment, Aryana (Ella Cruz) is caught in what seems to be a brewing love triangle with childhood friend Marlon (Paul Salas) and her new classmate Hubert (Dom Roque).
Fate is also drawing Aryana closer to her biological father Victor (Tonton Gutierrez) and should father and daughter reunite, rival Megan (Michelle Vito) will have to accept Aryana as her sister. Otherwise, a spiteful family drama is on its way.
At a pictorial held last May 24, on the 13th floor of the ABS-CBN Network’s ELJ building, the four main teen cast of the soap appeared to be “hanging out” more than “working” on lazy Thursday afternoon.
While on a break, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and a few entertainment writers sat down with Dom and Michelle for a brief chat. A getting-to-know interview was necessary since Dom and Michelle have not been formally introduced in showbiz before Aryana.
They have quite back stories to tell.
Dom is a 21-year-old sophomore and tourism major at the College of Saint Benilde. His role in Aryana landed on his lap by surprise.
He revealed that actress Judy Ann Santos is a dear friend of his family and that actress Beth Tamayo happens to be his aunt.
“Ito pong nakasama ako sa Aryana, sumama lang po ako kay Tita Juday saka kay Tita Jane, yung road manager po niya. And then nakita po ako nila Mother Biboy [Arboleda] tapos kinunan po ako ng picture and then pinag-audition po ako the next day.”
It still surprises Dom that three days after that audition, he already shot scenes for Aryana.
Portraying Hubert in the soap is a challenge for Dom who tried acting once. He appeared in the Kapamilya 2012 teleserye, Habang May Buhay, where he got to act with Judy Ann.
“Nag-acting workshop po ako kaso matagal na. Parang nakalimutan ko na po… ako kasi, nasa mga commercials ako,” says Dom who was also in the television ads for Voice Overload, Nestea, and the latest Dolfenal commercial.
He adds that part of the difficulty in acting that he welcomes is the dark character of Hubert. “Medyo… dinaramdam ko na yung pagiging ganun. Challenge po sa akin yung role na suyuin, or parang ligawan din siya [Aryana].”
ALONG COMES A KONTRABIDA
The girl who plays the snooty step sister of Aryana is far from having a mean bone. Michelle Vito is one young, soft spoken, gentle lass. The fact that Ella has been a good friend of hers since they were seven years old makes playing a kontrabida a challenge for Michelle.
“Actually, ang hirap po kasi sa totoong buhay po talaga, super close namin ni Ella. Simula 7 years old pa lang ako, magkakilala na po kami.
“So parang, ‘pag galit ako sa kanya, parang ang hirap po!”
This is not the first time she is playing an antagonist. Before she got the part in Aryana, 14-year-old Michelle also took on the mean girl role in Nita Negrita, a GMA-7 afternoon soap.
“Basta tuwing may role po, palaging may kontrabida,” says the tisay, doe-eyed beauty who went to a go-see four times prior to being given the role of Megan.
She doesn’t mind playing the villain for now. “Challenging naman po saka masaya."
She giggles, “Masarap mang-api!”
Michelle shares that she thinks about the times she got in arguments and misunderstandings with others.
“Yung mga nakakainis [na] nangyari po dati sa akin… siyempre, sa totoong buhay po, hindi natin maiiwasan na may maka-away tayo. So, yun po yung iniisip ko.”
She dreams of playing the bida one day, too, she says. For now she looks up to Julia Montes’ compelling acting in Mara Clara and Cristine Reyes’ fierce role in No Other Woman.
Aryana airs on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida from Monday to Friday.