Working with Christopher de Leon a dream come true for Ayen Munji-Laurel: “Nandoon pa ako sa tuktok ng SM Aura; lumabas ako because I screamed.”

Ayen Munji-Laurel on emotionally-draining role in Beautiful Strangers: “The conflict was sobrang intense that my character went through a lot, and is still going through a lot because we’re still taping."



Emotionally draining and tiring.

Ganito ilarawan ni Ayen Munji-Laurel ang kanyang role bilang Lourdes de Jesus, nanay ni Kristine de Jesus (na ginagampanan ni Heart Evangelista) sa GMA-7 primetime series na Beautiful Strangers.

Ikinuwento ni Ayen ang karanasan niya sa set nang makausap siya ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ilan pang press people noong Setyembre 3 sa Victorino’s Restaurant sa Quezon City

“Ito yung first na ginawa ko na deglamorized [ako] talaga, totally deglamorized.

“I get to the set na konting-konti ang makeup. Tapos ang dami-dami nang nangyari sa character ko, kasi ako yung other woman ni Christopher de Leon [who plays Ronaldo Castillo, Kristine’s father].

“Naghirap ako because iniwan niya kami. Wala siyang choice but to leave me because [ang character] ni Dina Bonnevie [Alejandra Valdez-Castillo, Ronaldo’s wife] naman came into the picture.

“So the conflict was sobrang intense that my character went through a lot, and is still going through a lot because we’re still taping.

“Parang ang dami-daming nangyayari. Nasunugan ako. Namatayan ako ng ate. Yung ate ko, iniwan yung anak niya.

“Pinakagat ako sa aso ni Dina Bonnevie [as Alejandra Valdez-Castillo]. Sobrang dami. So the whole time, mayroon akong scar sa face. Prosthetics takes a lot of time to put on your face.

“So sacrifice talaga. Mahirap yung role, but the challenge is something to be thankful for because you’re working with of course, Christopher de Leon, Dina Bonnevie, together with Heart and Lovi [Poe].

“They’re all professional and inspiring to work with. So, it’s a blessing na part ka ng ganitong klaseng teleserye na maganda yung istorya.”

Nagpapasalamat si Ayen sa GMA dahil sa magagandang roles at proyektong ibinibigay sa kanya.

“You know, to be offered roles that are good, and GMA has always been nice to me. Ever since Amaya [a historical fiction and period drama series], hindi na nahinto. So, nagpapasalamat talaga ako.

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“Ngayon, ginagawa ko itong Beautiful Strangers. I’m just so thankful for another great project.”


DREAM COME TRUE. Inamin ni Ayen na natupad ang pangarap niyang makatrabaho sa isang teleserye si Christopher. Gustung-gusto raw niyang maging leading man ang aktor noon pa.

“It’s a dream come true for me, totoo iyon.

"So ang galing ng timing din. Kasi katatapos ko lang ng Second Chances. Then eto, Beautiful Strangers. A week lang ang pahinga ko.

“Actually, pinag-usapan namin iyan ng manager ko, si Popoy [Caritativo]. Sinabi niya sa akin, ‘Guess who yung makakasama mo dito sa teleserye? Christopher de Leon!’”

“Nandoon pa ako sa tuktok ng SM Aura, lumabas ako because I screamed. Sabi ko, ‘Really?’”

“Tapos in-explain na sa akin ng manager ko kung ano iyong gagawin ko. Sabi niya, ‘Kaya lang deglamorized ito.’ Sabi ko, ‘Okay.’”


INITIAL ADJUSTMENTS. Ilang adjustments ang ginawa ni Ayen sa unang taping at eksena nila ni Christopher dahil hindi siya nakasama sa ginawang workshop ng ibang cast members.

“Noong umpisa, nag-adjust ako, e. Nag-adjust ako like any other artist would go through siguro pag kasama mo si Christopher. Hindi kasi kami nag-workshop.

“They had a workshop. Nag-team workshop sila way before I came into the picture. So, noong dumating ako doon, sa set na kami nagkita.

“So, you know, you’re trying to feel each other. So, super adjust talaga, in terms of chemistry and the lines that we have to say to each other.

“It can’t come from anywhere, e. You have to understand where it’s coming from. Aside from you know, katrabaho mo ang isang Christopher de Leon.”


OTHER CO-STARS. Kinamusta din ng PEP kay Ayen ang iba niyang co-stars sa Beautiful Strangers at ano ang na-discover niya sa mga ito.

Una naming pinag-usapan si Dina Bonnevie.

“Ms. D can be very funny. Akala mo lang suplada siya, akala mo mataray, pero when you get to talk to her, mabait naman. Masarap siya kausap, no nonsense, and she knows what’s she’s doing which I appreciate. It’s nice to work with her.”

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Natutuwa si Ayen na makatrabaho si Heart.

“Working with Heart is so refreshing, actually, kasi normal pala siyang tao. Kasi ang tingin ko sa kanya noon parang untouchable, sobrang protected, sobrang sheltered.

“Now, it’s so nice to work with her because magaan katrabaho, walang arte. Masayahin din, alam mo yung ganun.

“Marami rin kaming on the side na tsika rin here and there about personal life na I appreciate kasi she’s also open. And ano siya, easy to work with.”

Puring-puri din ni Ayen si Lovi bilang aktres.

“Alam mo, nakakatuwa iyong batang iyon kasi ang lalim ng pagiging artista niya, sensitive actress. And alam mong malayo ang mararating niya bilang artista.

“Kasi kita ko iyong hindi fake, it comes from the heart. Kasi yung mga eksena niya, ang hihirap din ng mga ginagawa niyang eksena.

"Akala ko hihimatayin siya last Monday kasi the eksena was talagang nagwawala siya.

“E, ako yung kaeksena niya, si Christopher at si Heart. She was hyperventilating kasi iyak siya nang iyak. Imagine siguro for an hour iyak siya nang iyak because ganun kahaba yung scene.

"Siyempre ilang anggulo, di ba?

“So, you can see that she’s going to go far, at mabait, hindi maarte. Very pleasant to work with.

“At saka pag gagawa ng eksena iyan walang arte. Naglakad sa daan iyan nakapaa. Wala siyang pakialam kasi she’s in character.”


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