Melissa Ricks would rather wait for her 18th birthday before doing her first kissing scene. As Sally in Love Spell: Hairy Harry, she was expected to lock lips with co-star Matt Evans but she backed out at the last minute.
During the press conference held last September 13 at the ABS-CBN compound, Melissa related what happened during their taping for the kissing scene. "Meron dapat kissing scene pero nag-usap kami ni Matt...ewan ko, naiilang lang po ako siguro," she recalls.
"Nagkakahiyaan kaya nag-usap na lang kami kung anong gagawin. Yung hindi sa lips, dun na lang sa malapit. Naka-six takes rin yun, iba-ibang anggulo kasi," explains Melissa. "Noong una, kinakabahan ako [thumps her chest]. Pagkatapos nun, nagtatawanan na lang kami."
When will she be ready to do a kissing scene? "‘Pag eighteen na ako, kailangan na," she admits. It seems that her fans will have to wait for Melissa to come of age on January 9 before she agrees to lock lips with anyone. "Siguro sa next project ko po, handa na po kami kasi ngayon, pareho po kaming may ‘ilang' factor."
For his part, Matt says that he was just as nervous as his onscreen partner. "Tensiyonado na tensiyonado po ako nun," recalls Matt, who plays the lead character Harry in the mini-series.
When asked to speculate why fans continue to be thrilled by their tandem even though they know that Matt is committed to his girlfriend Olyn Membian, Melissa points out that she and Matt have completely opposite personalities. "Si Matt, sobrang kulit. Ako po, sobrang tahimik. Lagi niya akong pinapatawa at kinukulit."
Matt thinks that their offscreen compatibility translates into good onscreen chemistry. "Siguro si Mel na-appreciate niya yung pagiging makulit ko," he says.
"Inuubos nga niya yung pagkain ko sa set," interjects Melissa.
When asked about their true feelings for each other, Matt declares that he had (and continues to have) a crush on Melissa. "Dati, crush ko siya. Actually, hanggang ngayon meron pa naman. Humahanga ako sa kanya kasi siya ang babaeng hindi mahirap pakisamahan, madaling kausap, hindi mahirap mahalin."
According to him, this does not pose a problem for his girlfriend Olyn because the two are good friends.
A surprised Melissa reacts candidly to Matt's declaration. "Crush mo ako, Matt?! Ngayon ko lang po nalaman ‘yan. Hindi po niya sinasabi. Siyempre, flattered po ako, dahil hindi naman niya sa ‘kin sinasabi yun ng personal."
Love Spell: Hairy Harry
Director: Andoy Ranay
Cast: Matt Evans, Melissa Ricks, Sharlene San Pedro, Aaron Junatas, Tetchie Agbayani, Efren Reyes, Jr., Mario Magalona, and Frances Makil-Ignacio
Harry (Matt) is a dog-lover who also works as a dog trainer. His clientele includes his childhood friend Sally (Melissa). The two get along well despite the presence of Sally's insecure and persistent admirer William (Puma de Borja). However, when Harry and Sally start to fall for each other, the young man suddenly finds himself transformed into a dog in the middle of the night.
The hapless Harry then finds out about their family's curse—that he should not fall in love or else he will transform into a dog at sunset and go back to being a human upon sunrise. Will Harry and Sally realize that what they feel is only "puppy" love or will they find a way to break the curse?
Joining Matt and Melissa in this aDOGrable mini-series are Sharlene San Pedro, Aaron Junatas, Tetchie Agbayani, Efren Reyes, Jr., Mario Magalona, and Frances Makil-Ignacio.
Watch the two dog lovers in Love Spell: Hairy Harry, which airs at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning after Princess Hours on ABS-CBN.
Click MORE PICTURES to view photos of the cast members.