Richard Gutierrez is back on GMA Telebabad through Codename: Asero. The first sci-fi romantic series of the Kapuso Network will start airing on Monday, July 14.
During the grand press conference of the show last Wednesday, July 9, at the AFP Theater, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, GMA-7's senior vice president for entertainment Ms. Wilma Galvante declared that Codename: Asero is the most expensive project of GMA Network so far.
"I will tell you honestly, frankly, this is the most expensive one so far. Talagang nagpaliwanag kami kay FLG [Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, CEO and Chairman of GMA Network], ‘Atty. Gozon, payagan ninyo kami dito dahil maganda ito.'"
In the first two weeks of the show, Codename: Asero will showcase some scenic places in Dubai, including the Al Ain desert, Jumeirah Beach, the Spice Souk, the Gold Souk, the Villa Rotana, the Qamardeen Hotel, and the Dubai Creek. Aside from the places, the program also features state-of-the-art props and grand set designs. The production team also uses high quality film and equipment to create a unique and distinct texture on screen.
The viewers should not only watch for these expensive production elements, they should also look forward to the stunts of this action-packed series because its fight director is none other than Richard Gutierrez, who happens to be the lead character in Codename: Asero.
Richard said that he would be choreographing all his action sequences in Codename: Asero. The young actor even trained on the Filipino martial arts called Tapondo, which would fit his character as a secret agent.
Tapondo, according to Richard, is "a Filipino martial arts derived from combat aikido. This is what the our military use and what our police enforcement use also."
He also said that he has been training ever since he was taping for his previous show Kamandag. "Actually, inaral ko 'yan during Kamandag pa in preparation for this show kasi alam ko pagpasok ng show na ito magiging sobrang hectic ang schedule ko."
The 24-year-old actor also told the press that he will be doing most of the stunts himself, without resorting to a double. "So far, ako pa ang lahat gumagawa. Pero siyempre kapag itataya na ang buhay...Siyempre hindi naman siguro kami aabot sa ganun. Pero siyempre as much as I can, I do my own stunts," said Richard.
NEWEST KAPUSO IN CODENAME: ASERO. The show will not only feature gadgets and stunts, it will also be the first teleserye of Heart Evangelista in her new mother network.
Although this would be their first time to work together, Richard said he already felt comfortable with Heart, especially on their kissing scenes, after they had some bonding time together.
He related, "Noong binigyan kami ng kissing scene ni Direk Mark, he saved it, e. Hindi niya kaagad kinunan kahit nasa first week 'yong kissing scene. The prodution team made sure na nag-bonding na kami ni Heart, close na kami ni Heart, para wala ng ilangan, para kapag nakita mo on-screen maganda na 'yong chemistry namin.
"Noong nagkaroon kami ng pagkakataon na mag-bonding ni Heart, nakilala namin 'yong isa't isa. Magkaibigan na kami noong ginawa namin 'yong kissing scene."
He then went on to describe Heart as a co-actor, "Si Heart kasi sa una, siyempre iisipin mo parang ang hirap niyang lapitan. Intimidating kasi ang beauty ni Heart, e, pero once na makilala mo siya, once makausap mo siya, malalaman mo kung gaano siya katotoong tao at kung gaano siya ka-sweet. Not a lot of people know this siguro, pero si Heart napaka-sweet niyang babae, not only to me but to a lot of people."
Joining Richard and Heart in Codename: Asero are Richard Gomez, Janno Gibbs, Michael V., Carmina Villaroel, and Paolo Contis. Also in the cast are Ramon Christopher, Ehra Madrigal, Chynna Ortaleza, Francine Prieto, Rhian Ramos, and Ms. Caridad Sanchez.
Completing the cast are Marky Cielo, Rainier Castillo, Bobby Andrews, Bubbles Paraiso, Rocky Gutierrez, Elvis Gutierrez, Martin delos Santos, Chariz Solomon, Jenny Miller, Sheree, Ysa Villar, Joanne Quintas, and Shyr Valdez.
THE SEARCH FOR TRUE IDENTITY. Codename: Asero is about a young man named Grecko Abesamis (Richard) who will do anything to protect his family. But unknown to his family, Grecko lives a double life as the talented Agent Phoenix of The Advocate. It is a secret agency whose mission is to get rid of lawbreakers in the world.
The Advocate's number one opponent, on the other hand, is the secret agency called The Empire whose ultimate goal is to destroy The Advocate.
The story begins when The Advocate sends Agent Phoenix on a mission. During his mission, Grecko meets the lovely Emily San Juan (Heart Evangelista) in Dubai. During this quest, The Empire finds out Grecko's true identity as Agent Phoenix and comes up with a plan to retaliate.
The Empire kidnaps Grecko's sister and only agrees to release her if he can find and deliver an important software needed by the wicked The Empire agency. Grecko finally agrees and goes on the deadly mission.
The mission proves to be lethal to this talented secret agent. He is barely breathing when a Japanese scientist tries to rescue him. Grecko undergoes a delicate procedure, an operation that will cause all of his memory to disappear.
Now, he is unable to remember his life as Grecko or his life as The Advocate's star agent. The Japanese scientist turned him into a powerful cyborg named Codename: Asero.
Catch the whole cast of Codename: Asero during the grand launching on SOP this Sunday, July 13. A primer of the show titled Codename: Asero, Journey from Dubai to Manila will also air on GMA-7 this Sunday after Ful Haus.
Codename: Asero airs on the Kapuso Network after the newscast 24 Oras.
Click HERE to view photos of Asero cast members.