Stars who lost out on roles in Pinoy teleseryes

Why did these stars not push through with the projects slated for them?
by James Patrick Anarcon
Jan 21, 2019
<p>Angel Locsin (left) and Marian Rivera, despite being big stars of ABS-CBN and GMA-7 respectively, have had their share of projects that did not work out for them.</p>

In the world of television, especially in soap operas, nothing is final until the project airs on the small screen.

This is especially true in casting in Pinoy TV shows where changes are inevitable.

This happens when an actor or actress turns down a role, or had to back out due to personal reasons.

There are also those who did not join the final project even though they attended the story conference, or were done with look tests.

Some of these stars were changed even though they were already seen in teasers.

Sometimes, people back out of Pinoy TV shows because of better opportunities or because of story revisions. (Philippine Entertainment Portal) lists down 22 of the many stars who lost out on roles in Pinoy teleseryes, and the reason why they weren't able to do their slated projects.

Angel Locsin

Angel Locsin was first reported to portray the title role in GMA-7's adaptation of MariMar, in May 2007. Back then, the actress wasn't sure because the project was not yet formally offered to her.


A month later, in June 2007, reports floated that Angel turned down the role due to scheduling problems. GMA-7 immediately clarified in a statement that even though she was being pegged to play the role, the network had yet to formally offer it to her, which means that she cannot decline it yet.

Eventually, Angel did not push through with the project and went to London to study fashion design.

GMA-7, which already had a timetable for the project, held auditions for the lead role, with Marian Rivera bagging the role formerly played by Thalia.

Months after the MariMar controversy, Angel left GMA-7 and signed up with ABS-CBN, her current home network.

Three years later, in 2010, Angel was supposed to top-bill the project, Kokey @ Ako.

In this fantasy-series, which served as the spin-off to the 2007 series, she was supposed to be paired with Vhong Navarro.

They even participated in the cinema plug of ABS-CBN, which was launched in 2010 as part of the network's 60 years of Pinoy Soap Opera campaign.


In March 2010, however, it was announced that Angel won't be part of the project anymore.

Star Cinema, Angel's home unit for her TV and movie projects, pulled her out to start preparations for Imortal, her teleserye with John Lloyd Cruz.

Angel's role eventually went to Toni Gonzaga.

Angel Locsin in the teaser of Kokey @ Ako

Marian Rivera

Marian Rivera was all geared up for her prime-time teleserye, The Rich Man's Daughter, in the summer of 2015.

She even personally handpicked her "leading lady," Glaiza de Castro. They were already done shooting plugs for the series.

In the middle of production, before her series aired on television, Marian found out that she was pregnant with her first child, Zia Dantes.

Back then, Marian said she would still push through with her participation in the drama series.

However, after a few days, Marian decided to back out of the show due to her delicate condition. The announcemen was made by GMA-7 through an official statement.

Marian later explained her decision, saying, "Kapag may nangyari sa anak ko, hindi ko mapapatawad ang sarili ko."

Marian Rivera and Glaiza de Castro in the teaser of The Rich Man's Daughter

Alden Richards

Alden Richards was originally offered to play the lead role of GMA-7's action-mystery series, Sherlock, Jr.

However, the role eventually went to Ruru Madrid, who acknowledged that the role was first offered to Alden.

Ruru said during the show's story conference, "Sobrang thankful ako dahil para i-offer kay Alden yung show, ibig sabihin malaking project yun. Panibagong yugto sa karera ko 'to kaya nakaka-excite."

When spoke to Alden during a product event, the Kapuso actor confirmed that the role was first offered to him.

About him not pursuing the GMA teleserye, Alden explained, "Na-offer talaga siya sa akin pero I don't know what happened, parang there's been a change in story."

Eventually, Alden top-billed his own project titled Victor Magtanggol.

Alden Richards as Victor Magtanggol

Louise delos Reyes

In 2018, Louise delos Reyes was supposed to top-bill the drama series, The Blood Sisters, alongside Erich Gonzales. She was present at its story conference held on August 2017.

It was supposed to be Louise's first regular teleserye with ABS-CBN after her network transfer.

When a trailer was launched during ABS-CBN's 2017 year-end trade launch, Louise was not in the trailer, and Erich ended up playing triplets in the show.

Later, it was revealed that Louise had been cast in the afternoon series, Asintado.

When interviewed The Blood Sisters director Jojo Saguin, he explained that Louise was supposed to be part of the show, and that she and Erich were supposed to play fraternal twins.

The network apparently decided to revise the story and make Erich's character triplets, as inspired by ABS-CBN's '90s series, Saan Ka Man Naroroon, starring Claudine Barretto.

Erich Gonzales and Louise delos Reyes during the story conference of The Blood Sisters
IMAGE Dreamscape PH

JC Santos

In mid-2017, JC Santos was announced to be part of the series, Victims of Love, starring Julia Montes, Paulo Avelino, and Lorna Tolentino.

The JC-Julia tandem was even tested in an episode of Wansapanataym.

Victims of Love was eventually launched as Asintado in late 2017. JC was not part of the cast. Instead, Aljur Abrenica became Julia's other leading man.

In a December 2017 interview with, JC confirmed that he wasn't part of the show anymore. According to him, ABS-CBN had other plans for him.

It was later announced that JC would be part of FPJ's Ang Probinsyano.

Aljur told that he did not replace JC in the show, and they were both part of the original cast.

In 2018, after his participation in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, JC was announced to be part of the upcoming series, Mea Culpa: Sino Ang May Sala? This show features Bela Padilla, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Tony Labrusca.


JC later announced his plans of taking a short break from show business.

When ABS-CBN released the teaser of the show during its year-end trade launch for 2018, JC was not part anymore of the cast.

It was explained to by Dreamscape Entertainment creative manager Rondel Lindayag that they did not get another actor to fill in JC's role. Instead, they merged JC's character sketch with the role played by Tony Labrusca.


Dion Ignacio

Dion Ignacio was supposed to be part of GMA-7's afternoon drama series, The Stepdaughters, in 2018. During the press conference, it was revealed that Dion will play the older brother of Mikael Daez. Dion was not present during the presscon.

A month after the GMA teleserye's premiere, the character of Mikael Daez's older brother finally appeared in the story, but was played by Edgar Allan Guzman.

In an interview with during the press conference of Victor Magtanggol, Dion explained why he wasn't able to do the role.

"Siguro hindi nagkaintindihan sa schedule tapos noong binigay sa akin yun [role], parang apat na linggo pa bago ako magtaping.

"So nandiyan na yung Victor Magtanggol, nakapagtaping na, wala na, mahihirapan na yung schedule. Tapos nagulat nga ako, si Edgar Allan na."

In Victor Magtanggol, Dion played the husband of Chynna Ortaleza's character.

Dion Ignacio in Victor Magtanggol

Kim Domingo

In November 2018, Kim Domingo attended the story conference of Ganti, an upcoming GMA-7 series that will feature Max Collins, Jason Abalos, and Mark Herras.

No details about their characters were revealed during the story con.

In December 2018,'s Cabinet Files reported that Kim backed out of her "sobrang seksing role" in the drama series.

When GMA-7 released a plug of its 2019 TV shows, Ganti was retitled as Stolen, and only the faces of Max, Jason, and Mark were seen in the plug.

GMA-7 has yet to announce who will take over Kim's role. Meanwhile, Kim will be part of the upcoming prime-time series, TODA One I Love, as one of its supporting characters.

Kim Domingo, Jason Abalos, and Max Collins during the story conference of Stolen.

Isabel Oli

Isabel Oli was supposed to be part of GMA-7's 2009 version of Darna, starring Marian Rivera. She was supposed to portray Babaeng Tuod, one of Darna's enemies.

However, she had to back out of the project—but not because of Paolo Contis, her ex-boyfriend, and Nadine Samonte, her ex-best friend, who were part of the cast.

Isabel clarified that she had to turn down the role because she wanted to spend time with her then-ailing father (who died in 2012).

When her father's condition got better after a few months, Isabel agreed to do a kontrabida role in Kaya Kong Abutin Ang Langit. Her character had to be killed off after GMA-7 tapped her to play a kontrabida in the remake of Full House. Both shows coincided with Darna's run.

Isabel Oli was able to do two shows after she backed out of Darna: Full House and Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit

Winwyn Marquez

Winwyn Marquez was present at the story conference of the prime-time series, Pamilya Roces, her first GMA teleserye after renewing her contract in May 2018.

Winwyn was not active in TV for almost one year after winning the crown in the 2017 Reina Hispanoamericana pageant.

In August 2018, Winwyn revealed that she won't be part of Pamilya Roces anymore.

She cited sensitive scenes as the reason for backing out of the project.

She said, "Meron kasing scenes na medyo sensitive nang konti na hindi siya in line sa dapat kong gawin. So we have to wait for the right project."

Winwyn was replaced by Sophie Albert, who played an illegitimate daughter who has an extramarital affair with her half sister's husband.

Winwyn Marquez with the cast of Pamilya Roces during its story conference.

Roxanne Guinoo

Roxanne Guinoo was supposed to play the lead role in ABS-CBN's 2010 afternoon drama series, Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal?

It was supposed to be her comeback to the afternoon slot, after the success of Ligaw na Bulaklak in 2008.

However, after her first taping day, Roxanne backed out of the series. Its business unit head, Raymond Gallegos Dizon, explained to ABS-CBN News that Roxanne cannot do the sensual scenes asked by the show's director, Chito Rono.

Bangs Garcia was chosen as her replacement.

After two months, Roxanne revealed that she was pregnant. However, she learned of the pregnancy a few weeks after Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal? aired its pilot episode.

In 2012, Roxanne returned to showbiz with GMA-7. She was cast as Ogie Alcasid's wife in the series, My Daddy Dearest.

However, Roxanne had to back out of the show again when she got pregnant with her second baby. Jolina Magdangal was chosen as her replacement.


Roxanne was also supposed to play the lead role in ABS-CBN's afternoon series, Pusong Ligaw, with James Blanco as her leading man. They already attended the show's look test. However, they were replaced by Beauty Gonzalez and Joem Bascon, respectively, for undisclosed reasons.

Roxanne Guinoo's standee was featured during ABS-CBN's 2009 trade launch, as she was still the lead star then of the upcoming series, Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal?

Mickey Ferriols

Mickey Ferriols was cast in a big role in ABS-CBN's miniseries, Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako, in 1998. She was tapped to play the role of Piolo Pascual's leading lady.

She was also included in the posters and promotional materials for the show.

However, Mickey failed to show up at the scheduled press conference on December 9, 1998, without any explanation. Apparently, she cancelled her contract with the network.

This prompted her then-manager, Chit Ramos, to file a case of breach of contract.

As for the miniseries, G. Toengi took over Mickey's role.

Mickey Ferriols was already in the poster of Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako when she decided to back out of the series.

Jake Cuenca

Jake Cuenca was initially announced to be part of The Legal Wife. This teleserye was top-billed by Angel Locsin as well as Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales.

Jake was even present during the look test of the show.

However, at that time, Jake was also busy doing the prime-time series, Maria Mercedes, as Jessy Mendiola's leading man.

When teasers aired, it was seen that JC De Vera took over his role.

When The Legal Wife replaced Maria Mercedes in its timeslot, Jake became part of another drama series: Ikaw Lamang.

Jake Cuenca as Luis in Maria Mercedes

Migo Adecer

Migo Adecer's character in Ika-5 Utos was written off in the middle of the series. His character, Frank, was depicted to be migrating to the United States.

Apparently, GMA-7 decided to cast him as Kyline Alcantara and Therese Malvar's leading man in the upcoming afternoon series, Inagaw na Bituin.

Migo was able to attend the show's pictorial-look test.

However, when the Kapuso network released an omnibus plug for its 2019 shows, Migo was announced as part of the upcoming prime-time series, Sahaya, starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix.

Migo was pulled out of Inagaw na Bituin to prioritize Sahaya.

Meanwhile, his replacement in the afternoon series has yet to be revealed.

Both shows are slated to air in the first quarter of 2019.

Migo Adecer and Kyline Alcantara during their pictorial for Inagaw na Bituin.

Maxene Magalona

Maxene Magalona was originally considered to play Alwina in GMA-7's breakthrough fantasy series, Mulawin.

However, she decided to prioritize her studies over a showbiz career at that time.

The role went to Angel Locsin, which opened opportunities for her.

Maxene revealed in a 2007 interview with that it was actually her who recommended Angel.

She recalled, "Actually, noong napag-usapan po namin sa meeting noon, they really want to get me, I said... Nahiya naman ako, nag-meeting pa kami and everything, 'tapos hindi rin natuloy. So sinabi ko, ‘Tita Redgie [Magno, program manager of GMA-7], what if kunin ninyo po si Angel?'"

Both actresses are now with ABS-CBN.

Maxene Magalona in one of her earlier shows for GMA-7

Yen Santos

Yen Santos was supposed to play the leading lady of Gerald Anderson and Jake Cuenca in a teleserye titled Because You Loved Me.

The three ABS-CBN stars even met with members of the press after their story conference held in April 2016. They revealed that the show will have the world of triathlons as its milieu.

Soon after, they started taping their scenes in Bulalacao, Mindoro.

Being a triathlete character, Yen had to learn the sport, which included swimming in the ocean.

A few months later, it was reported that Gerald would be reuniting with his former love-team partner and ex-girlfriend, Kim Chiu, for the series.

Kim and Gerald ended up top-billing the series Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin, while Because You Loved Me was shelved. The Kimerald series tackled the world of triathlons.

In an exclusive interview with, Yen revealed that she has a fear of the water, but still tried to train for the project.


However, she decided to back out because she doesn't want to be the cause of delay.

Yen Santos during her first taping day with Gerald Anderson for Because You Loved Me

Vin Abrenica

Vin Abrenica's first project with ABS-CBN after his network transfer was supposed to be in Bea Alonzo and Ian Veneracion's soap opera titled The Second Wife.


He was supposed to be the third wheel to Julia Barretto and Enchong Dee's characters.

However, with the show changing its title to A Love To Last, major changes were also made to its storyline and characters.

As a result, Vin did not become a part of the show anymore.

Apparently, Vin was given a bigger project: as one of Maja Salvador's leading men in the ABS-CBN drama series, Wildflower.

Meanwhile, two new characters were added as Julia's leading men in A Love To Last: Ronnie Alonte and Khalil Ramos.

Khalil was later eased out of the show, and Jameson Blake entered the series as Julia and Ronnie's new third wheel.

Julia Barretto and Vin Abrenica for A Love To Last

Lorna Tolentino

Lorna Tolentino was first offered to portray the lead role in GMA-7's adaptation of Saan Darating Ang Umaga? This project is part of its Sine Novela umbrella series in the afternoon block.

Lorna was supposed to portray the character first played by Nida Blanca in the 1983 film.

However, when she was offered the role, Lorna already said yes to ABS-CBN's offer: a prime-time series with Gabby Concepcion titled Dahil May Isang Ikaw.

Lorna also decided to sign a contract with the Kapamilya network after many years of working with GMA-7.

Amy Austria was said to take over Lorna's role, but when the show aired, it was Lani Mercado who played the character.

Lorna Tolentino was paired in Gabby Concepcion in Dahil May Isang Ikaw.

Dina Bonnevie

In 2007, two projects fell on Dina Bonnevie's lap at the same time. They were both TV adaptations of classic films.

In ABS-CBN, she was offered to play a major role in the network's SineSerye presentation, Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos?

Starring Roxanne Guinoo, Jake Cuenca, and Joross Gamboa, it was a modern adaptation of the 1988 movie titled Natutulog Pa Ang Diyos.

In GMA-7, Dina was offered to play the role formerly played by Gloria Romero in the classic film, Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap. Nadine Samonte and Dennis Trillo were tapped to portray the lead roles.

Both were scheduled to air in the same month.

Dina took part in a pictorial for Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos, where she would play the mother of Roxanne Guinoo.

A few weeks after, it was reported that Glydel Mercado would take over the role of Dina in Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap.


The report also stated that the staff of the GMA-7 Sine Novela were surprised to learn that Dina did a pictorial with the Kapamilya show.

Dina later explained in a press conference the reason why she turned down the GMA-7 offer.

According to her, she and her manager, Arnold Vegafria, thought that Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? would be canned and both shows won't air at the same time.

Dina Bonnevie in Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos

Meryll Soriano and Angelu de Leon

Meryll Soriano and Angelu de Leon were both considered to play mother roles in ABS-CBN's remake of the hit '90s soap, Mara Clara.

In this Pinoy TV show, Meryll was offered to play Clara's biological mother, Susan.

Angelu was tapped to portray Mara's real mother, Almira, who was renamed as Alvira in the 2010 version.

However, both of them had to turn down the offers.

For Meryll's part, she said that she could not accept the ABS-CBN offer at that time because her father, Willie Revillame, had an ongoing conflict with the network.

It was during this time when the Kapamilya network suspended Willie from Wowowee, and eventually scrapped the noontime show in its roster of programs.

Meryll reasoned out that it was improper for her to do a show with ABS-CBN at that time, and she declined the project as a sign of support for her father.

Meryll Soriano was the first choice for Mylene Dizon's Mara Clara.
IMAGE Noel Orsal

Meanwhile, Angelu de Leon already said yes to GMA-7's offer—the afternoon series Sisid, as the mother of Jackie Rice.

Her Sisid role was a follow-up offer to Angelu after she did another afternoon series, Koreana, starring Kris Bernal.


In the end, Mylene Dizon was tapped to play Meryll's supposed role, while Dimples Romana was cast in Angelu's role.

Angelu de Leon in Sisid

Alessandra de Rossi

In 2007, Alessandra de Rossi was offered to play a role in ABS-CBN's TV serialization of the 1992 film, Hiram na Mukha. The remake would be top-billed by Heart Evangelista.


Alessandra's role was not divulged yet when it was reported that she did not accept the offer, and remained loyal to her network that time: GMA-7.

Apparently, GMA-7 was able to stop Alessandra from transferring by offering her a kontrabida role in the then-ongoing prime-time series, Super Twins.

A year later, in 2008, Alessandra turned down an offer from GMA-7, which was a kontrabida role in the prime-time series, LaLola, starring Rhian Ramos.

It may be recalled that in late 2007, Rhian and Alessandra had a conflict in the taping of the Kapuso romantic-fantasy series, LUV Pow, which was eventually shelved.

Alessandra later decided to transfer to ABS-CBN, which had an existing offer for her.

However, Alessandra clarified that the LaLola offer wasn't exactly the reason why she decided to leave GMA-7 at that time.

The actress explained, "Kumbaga, ang tagal mong walang project, 'tapos o-offer-an ka ng role na hindi mo matatanggap. So, anong kakainin ko bukas? Puwede ba akong umalis? Pero hindi ako galit. As in, sobrang naiintindihan ko na baka wala lang silang maisip."


Alessandra eventually returned to GMA-7 in 2011.

In 2012, she turned down another role in a Kapuso series. She was supposed to be the main kontrabida role in the remake of Temptation of Wife, top-billed by Marian Rivera.

Alessandra was supposed to be the mistress of Marian's husband, and this required her to do intense, provocative, kissing scenes, which Alessandra is not comfortable doing.

GMA-7 decided to switch her and Glaiza de Castro's TV projects: Glaiza would fill in Alessandra's role in Temptation of Wife, while Alessandra took over Glaiza's role in Haram.

However, the network decided to shelve Haram, a teleserye depicting the love story of a Muslim girl and a Christian soldier. It was supposed to be top-billed by Kylie Padilla and Dingdong Dantes.

As replacement for the show, GMA-7 conceptualized the series titled Pahiram ng Sandali.

In the series, Alessandra was cast in a mistress role, but her scenes would be less daring compared to her supposed show, which is why she accepted it.


She even quipped, "Kung alam ko lang, e, di tinanggap ko yun! Pero nakita ko ang plug, hindi ko kaya yun."

Alessandra de Rossi in Tayong Dalawa, her first regular series with ABS-CBN after leaving GMA-7 and turning down LaLola.

Derek Ramsay

Derek Ramsay was supposed to be the leading man of Cristine Reyes in the 2011 afternoon series, Reputasyon. In fact, they already did workshops together as part of their preparation for the series.


However, when the series was launched in July 2011, Rayver Cruz, Cristine's then-boyfriend, already took over the role.

Derek later explained that he had to turn down the role because he already said yes to two movies that would be showing while Reputasyon is on-air: No Other Woman and Praybeyt Benjamin.

Derek Ramsay in No Other Woman.
IMAGE Star Cinema

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<p>Angel Locsin (left) and Marian Rivera, despite being big stars of ABS-CBN and GMA-7 respectively, have had their share of projects that did not work out for them.</p>
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