Jennylyn Mercado, Karylle, Ryza Cenon, and Rhian Ramos are among the actresses who auditioned for the lead character before Marian Rivera bagged the much-coveted Marimar role in 2007. What happened to their careers after they tried their luck bringing life to Thalia's character?
August 13, 2017, marked the tenth year when GMA-7's Filipino adaptation of MariMar was first aired on primetime television.
Back then, people anticipated this remake since the Mexicanovela MariMar made a great impact on Filipinos when it first aired on RPN-9 in 1996.
Originally shown in 1994, MariMar was topbilled by Thalia and was considered a game-changer in primetime television. The popularity of the Mexicanovela prompted ABS-CBN to transfer Mara Clara to the primetime slot.
When the remake was announced by GMA in June 2007, Dingdong Dantes was already chosen to play the role of Sergio, Marimar's leading man.
It was first reported that Angel Locsin was supposed to take on the role of Marimar but she reportedly turned it down due to scheduling problems.
However, then-GMA Vice President for Entertainment Wilma Galvante said that even though Angel wasn't officially offered the project, she was highly considered to become the lead actress.
Angel's decision to turn down the role opened the doors for other Kapuso actresses to try their luck. It was said that Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, and Jennylyn Mercado were invited to audition for the role.
Eventually, Marian Rivera became Marimar in the Philippine version.
In March 2008, an audition video leaked showing the actresses who auditioned as Marimar.
They were asked to wear two-piece outfits and do a Latina dance. They also delivered a few lines wherein they talked to Marimar's pet Fulgoso.
Did you know that an actress from ABS-CBN also tried to get the coveted part? Former GMA-7 star Nancy Castiglione had already transferred to ABS-CBN when she auditioned for the popular Thalia role.
What happened to the other actresses after they auditioned for MariMar?
Here are 15 actresses who tried their luck in bagging the role of Marimar way back in 2007:
Prior to MariMar, MARIAN RIVERA already topbilled three afternoon shows: Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako (2005), Agawin Mo Man Ang Lahat (2006), and Pinakamamahal (2006). All of these were produced by TAPE Inc.
GMA then tapped her to play mother roles in Muli (2007) and Super Twins (2007).
Eventually, Marian got the coveted role of Marimar, the role first played by Thalia in 1994.
MariMar truly jumpstarted Marian's career, allowing her to earn the title "Kapuso Primetime Queen."
Teleseryes and movies, wherein she played the lead role, came her way after the success of MariMar, which aired from August 2007 to March 2008.
She met her love of her life, Dingdong Dantes, because of MariMar. They got married in December 2014.
Currently, Marian is taping for her upcoming primetime series Super Ma'am, which was previously titled The Good Teacher.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Marian Rivera
JENNYLYN MERCADO has already done several supporting roles and bagged lead roles after winning Starstruck Season 1.
Being a homegrown Kapuso actress, she became one of the actress asked to audition for the role of Marimar.
Even though she did not win the part, Jennylyn got the lead role in the primetime series La Vendetta, which is considered as the first suspense-drama series in the Philippines.
The series was shown at the same time MariMar was on the air.
Before both La Vendetta and MariMar finished its run, Jennylyn announced that she was pregnant, causing her to be pulled out from La Vendetta and her then upcoming afternoon series Maging Akin Ka Lamang.
After giving birth, the 30-year-old actress was able to return to showbiz and even bagged more lead roles in teleseryes.
Fast forward to 2017, Jennylyn just finished doing GMA-7's adaptation of the Korean drama series My Love From The Star.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Jennylyn Mercado
KARYLLE was also one of the hopefuls who auditioned for MariMar.
Back then, her acting credentials were the shows Twin Hearts (2003) and Encantadia.
Had Karylle won the part, she would have been paired with then-boyfriend Dingdong Dantes.
A year after MariMar aired on TV, and after her break-up with Dingdong, Karylle transferred to rival network ABS-CBN.
She was given several acting projects in her new network.
Currently, Karylle is one of the hosts of the Kapamilya noontime variety show It's Showtime.
She also worked on several international shows such as The Kitchen Musical (2011) and P.I.: Private Investigator (2017).
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Karylle
When RYZA CENON won the Ultimate Female Survivor title in Starstruck Season 2, she immediately got supporting roles on TV.
MariMar could have been her big break on TV, however, she did not win the part.
Ryza proceeded to do supporting roles in soap operas.
She once earned a leading lady role in the 2011 series Machete starring Aljur Abrenica. Unfortunately, the series was cut short.
The actress then resumed playing supporting roles in her succeeding shows.
In December 2016, she finally landed a major kontrabida role in the afternoon series Ika-6 Na Utos.
Currently, the show is considered a top-rater in the daytime slot and her character Georgia has become a household name.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Ryza Cenon
RHIAN RAMOS was known as the resident leading lady of Richard Gutierrez in his TV shows before she auditioned for MariMar.
She did not get the role, but Rhian was given the lead role in the remake of Sharon Cuneta's movie My Only Love, where she was paired with Mark Herras.
Rhian also played the lead in GMA's adaptations of LaLola (2008), Zorro (2009), and Stairway to Heaven (2009).
She also enjoyed portraying main characters in GMA original teleseryes such as Ilumina (2010), Genesis (2013), and The Rich Man's Daughter (2015).
Rhian's last regular series was the afternoon series Sinungaling Mong Puso (2016).
She also had a special participation in My Love From The Star.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Rhian Ramos
KATRINA HALILI was groomed as a kontrabida after finishing Starstruck Season 1.
She was unable to get the role of Marimar, but through this TV series, she got her major break as a villain.
Katrina was tapped to play Angelika, the main rival of Marimar played by Marian Rivera.
At that time, rumors circulated that Katrina and Marian were not getting along with each other while taping for the show. However, their friendship prospered after finishing the show.
After her kontrabida role in MariMar, Katrina finally landed her first lead role in a series: the afternoon show Magdusa Ka in 2008.
It was a good start for Katrina since the show was nominated at the 37th International Emmy Awards for Best Telenovela.
In the years that followed, Katrina played more kontrabida roles along with a few kind-hearted roles in teleseryes.
Katrina just finished the afternoon series D' Originals.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Katrina Halili
When PAULEEN LUNA transferred to GMA-7 in 2005, she was considered as one of the promising new talents of the Kapuso network.
When she did not get the role of Marimar, Pauleen was given more challenging roles in Kapuso seryes: as a kontrabida.
She played antagonist roles in the shows Ako Si Kim Sam Soon (2008), Ikaw Sana (2009), Trudis Liit (2010), and Unforgettable (2013), among others.
Pauleen is a co-host of Eat Bulaga! while pregnant with her first child. She married co-host Vic Sotto in January 2016.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Pauleen Luna
CHESKA GARCIA was known for playing kontrabida roles in teleseryes before she auditioned for the Marimar role.
When she did not get the role, she focused on hosting the defunct lifestyle show Us Girls on Studio 23.
In 2008, Cheska stopped doing teleseryes after getting married to long-time boyfriend Doug Kramer.
She is now a full-time mom and a social media influencer.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Chesca Garcia
BIANCA KING was being groomed as a kontrabida in GMA-7 when she auditioned for MariMar.
She did not get the lead role, but she was still included in the series as Natalia Montenegro.
Natalia is one of Marimar's workmates in Villa Santibanez who eventually became her nemesis. Natalia pretended to be Marimar using the pendant she stole from her.
Bianca would work again with Marian Rivera as her main villain in the 2008 fantasy series Dyesebel.
In 2011, Bianca finally got her turn assuming a lead role via the afternoon series Sinner or Saint.
Currently, Bianca is now with ABS-CBN and is currently one of the lead actresses in the afternoon series Pusong Ligaw.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Bianca King
When LJ REYES did not get the role of Marimar, she bagged antagonist roles in teleseryes.
Some of the shows she did were: Una Kang Naging Akin (2008), All My Life (2009), Time of My Life (2011) among others.
In 2015, LJ became a part of the modern adaptation of MariMar with Megan Young as the lead actress. LJ played the role of Inocencia, who was a kontrabida.
In 2017, LJ did two succeeding afternoon teleseryes: a kontrabida role in Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa, and one of the lead stars in D' Originals.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of LJ Reyes
NADINE SAMONTE was one of the Starstruck graduates who immediately landed lead roles in teleseryes.
Nadine wasn't able to get the coveted role, but she was still included in the series as Inocencia, the ally of Marimar when she became Bella Aldama.
Aside from MariMar, Nadine was also the lead actress in the afternoon series Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap at that time.
After getting lead roles in afternoon shows, Nadine took on the challenge of portraying kontrabida roles in other teleseryes.
In 2011, Nadine left GMA and transferred to TV5. When TV5 stopped doing teleseryes, she went to ABS-CBN.
Currently, Nadine is inactive on television and is focusing on being a full-time mother.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Nadine Samonte
When VALERIE CONCEPCION returned to showbiz after her pregnancy, she was given supporting roles and eventually, a lead role in the afternoon series Sinasamba Kita in 2007.
During that time, she auditioned for the role of Marimar.
However, the following Monday after Sinasamba Kita ended on GMA-7 that year, everyone was surprised when she was introduced as a new host in the ABS-CBN noontime show Wowowee.
After playing lead roles in short installments of Precious Hearts Romances, Valerie became popular as a kontrabida after her portrayal as Coney Reyes's main villain in 100 Days To Heaven, aired in 2011.
Valerie then returned to GMA-7 in 2013 via the primetime series Anna Karenina. Since then, Valerie would intermittently do shows for GMA-7 and ABS-CBN.
Currently, Valerie is playing an antagonist role in Mulawin vs. Ravena.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Valerie Concepcion
When CAMILLE PRATS transferred to GMA-7 in 2005, she transformed herself into a more daring actress and took on the lead role in the afternoon series Kung Mamahalin Mo Lang Ako.
This may also be the reason why she did not have any qualms about auditioning for Marimar, where she had to wear sexy clothes.
However, Camille did not get the part. She agreed to do mature roles in her next teleserye: Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan in 2008.
After taking on several lead and kontrabida roles in Kapuso teleseryes, she is currently hosting the GMA News TV talk show Mars with Suzy Entrata.
Camille is now expecting her first-born child with husband John Yambao.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Camille Prats
After winning the Ultimate Sweetheart title in Starstruck IV, JEWEL MISCHE had a promising career ahead of her.
She did not win the chance to play Thalia's role. However, the actress got her big break when she was paired with Richard Gutierrez in Kamandag in the same year that MariMar aired on television.
In the projects that followed, Jewel played supporting roles.
In 2011, she decided to transfer to ABS-CBN and took on kontrabida roles. She eventually left show business to settle down with husband Alister Kurzer.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Jewel Mische
NANCY CASTIGLIONE first became active in show business in 2001, when she did the series Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga and was included in the youth-oriented drama Kahit Kailan.
She was also tapped as a host of Starstruck Season 1.
It was in 2005 when she got a breakthrough role in a teleserye for her Muyak character in Encantadia.
Nancy was already with ABS-CBN when she auditioned for the role of Marimar.
However, she wasn't able to get the part. Since then, she stopped appearing in TV shows.
In 2008, Nancy reinvented herself as a singer and used the screen name "Nancy Jane." One of her songs was titled "Love Song," which was part of the techno genre.
Nancy eventually left show business and got married. She currently lives in Canada and has three children.
She also recently launched a vlog (video blog) about beauty.
Photo by: Screengrab from GMA / Instagram account of Nancy Castiliogne