More than 8 actresses auditioned to be the leading lady of JM de Guzman for Precious Hearts Romances presents Araw Gabi.
For his second showbiz comeback, the 29-year-old actor is paired with Barbie Imperial, 19, in this afternoon series that will begin airing on ABS-CBN on April 30.
What was JM's first impression of the former Pinoy Big Brother housemate when they first met?
"First time kaming nag-meet nung screentest.
"Makulit na cute. Makulit at masarap ka-eksena," said JM about Barbie during the press conference of Araw Gabi held recently.
As for Barbie, what was her first impression of JM?
"Masungit kasi hindi tumatawa masyado," she admitted.
"Pero nakuha ko naman po ang kiliti niya. Kumbaga sa taping, minsan lang siya mag-smile.
"Nagpapansinan naman kami pero si JM, seryoso siyang tao."
JM said he chose to do this afternoon series instead of starring in a movie produced by ABS-CBN's film production arm.
"Nung in-offer sa akin, may in-offer na movie from Star [Cinema] and ito [Araw Gabi].
"Pero hindi pa po ako pinapayagan ng rehab na gumawa ng sabay.
"Parang pinapili...Pinag-usapan namin kung ano ang uunahin ko. Para dahan-dahan, para hindi ako mabigla."
In 2014, JM confessed that he had a drug addiction. In 2015, the award-winning actor suffered a relapse and re-entered a rehabilitation center due to drug use. In 2017, he received a certificate from the Therapeutic Community program indicating that he has been substance free for two years already.
For his second showbiz comeback, JM vowed: "Sa ngayon talagang pagtatrabahuhan ko po, sineseryoso ko siya.
"Unlike before na binitawan ko. Ngayon, nakadikit ako sa support group."
JM de Guzman and Barbie Imperial will top-bill the Kapamilya afternoon show Precious Hearts Romances presents Araw Gabi.