Heart and JC feel pressured starring in afternoon soap Ngayon at Kailanman

In Ngayon at Kailanman, the characters of Heart Evangelista and Arci Munoz (upper right frame) are competing for the affections of JC de Vera. Luis Alandy and Ramon Christopher play the villains in the latest installment of Sine Novela.

The pilot episode of Ngayonat Kailanman aired on GMA-7 yesterday, June 8, and it was ranked as the16th highest-viewed show with its rating of 16.6 percent, according to nationalratings provided by Taylor Nelson Sofres. It also received a rating of 21.1percent, according to Mega Manila ratings provided by AGB Nielsen.

This remake of the Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez film is helmed by MikeTuviera, the same man behind Heart Evangelista's previous show Luna Mystika.This marks the first time that Heart is paired with JC de Vera.

During the press conference of Ngayon at Kailanman, Direk Mike pointedout the changes that they did to make this afternoon soap opera different fromthe movie version, which was shown in 1992.

"Nung napili ang Ngayon at Kailanman, we were very confident kasimaganda na yung plot niya, maganda talaga yung istorya.

"The first step na ginawa naming was to expand. Pwede naming i-stretch yung mgaplots kasi siyempre one-hour-30 minutes lang siya, mabilis lang siya. SaSinenovela, we can flesh out the characters and yung istorya. Yungpinanggalingan nila at kung saan sila pupunta.

"Yung mga favorite moments nyo from movie nandun parin. Yung nagliligawan sila...pero dinagdagan po namin," narrated Direk Mike.

Earlier that day, JC de Vera told reporters that he was already mesmerized byHeart's beauty when they were Grade 2 students in Colegio de San Agustin. Heartlaughed before saying, "Siyempre it's nice to work with JC. It's funny becausenever ko siyang naging kaibigan nung Grade 2 kami. Classmates kami but afterall that time...pareho kaming naging artista...nakakatawa.

"Working with him and seeing how much he's grown asan actor, nakakatuwa. It's inspiring to work with him because he's always there100 percent and he's very professional," says the female lead star.

PRESSURED BY RATINGS. Heart and JC were both lead stars in primetimeshows before they were given this afternoon soap opera. Heart was the leadinglady of Mark Anthony Fernandez in Luna Mystika while JC was paired withRhian Ramos in LaLola.

What was their reaction when they learned thattheir show would be placed in the Dramarama sa Hapon block instead of theTelebabad block?

JC says that he is more pressured now because of the limited audience duringthis particular timeslot.

"Alam naman natin yung Luna, nag number one. Yung LaLola, nagingnumber one rin. Ako, personally, nape-pressure ako kasi nanggaling kayo sanumber one shows nung primetime tapos biglang magpapang-hapon kayo, yungpressure nandun. Mataas yung ratings n'yo noon, kailangan pag pang-hapon kayo,mataas rin ratings n'yo dapat kasi mas maliit na yung market. Mas konti na yungviewers kaya mas nakaka-pressure. Kung hindi n'yo tatapatan, mas higitan diba?"

JC jokingly added, "Na-kontrata ko na rin lahat ng katulong, mga securityguards na manood sila."

Heart admits that she gained a new perspective about afternoon soap operas whenshe accepted this project.

"Pressure po siya pero I had a good talk with Direk Mike during the taping of LunaMystika when everything was about to start and he made me look at it in adifferent way. It says where you're at in your career.

"You're given a chance...para siyang malaking sandbox na pwede mong paglaruan.Pwde mong hasain ang drama, ang acting, which is always a good opportunity whenyou're a good actress. To not be stagnant about your craft, kumbaga practicesiya at nahahasa nang nahahasa ka.

"Taping two to three times a week and focusing on drama...minsan you're at thatpoint na sumisigaw ka at sobrang nagiging emotional ka na at nabi-break na yungboses mo. Maraming bagong nuances na lumalabas and you do it all the time.Also, it's nice doing a movie of Ms. Sharon Cuneta...it's flattering so why not?"

OTHER CAST MEMBERS. Aside from JC and Heart, Ngayon at Kailanman alsostars Ramon Christopher, Dion Ignacio, Luis Alandy and Arci Munoz.

Monching (Ramon's nickname) described his character by saying, "Ako po si Leo,ako ang parang financer ni Luis Alandy na si Ronald, ang kapatid ni Ayra [Heart].Nilulong ko siya sa bisyo, pagsusugal at sa ibang raket na pang-kriminal. Anghidden agenda ko aya para mapalapit siya sa akin at pag nabawi nila yunghacienda, maibalik niya sa akin yung pera ko."

Luis Alandy is cast as the delinquent brother of Ayra (played by HeartEvangelista).

"Ako po si Ronald Noche, kapatid po ni Ayra. Sa movie, si Mark Gil ang gumanapna Ronald. Ako yung dahilan kung bakit nawala yung hacienda sa amin. Pinalubogko yung business namin pero kahit nawala yung hacienda namin, feeling komayaman pa rin kami. Kahit may nakukuha akong pera, sinusugal ko. Ang buhay ko,lumaki sa sugal. Later on, malalaman nila kung gaano kasama yung character niRonald," says Luis.

Arci Munoz is the girl obsessed with Edwin (JC de Vera). "Ako po si DonnaBenitez, yung gumanap po sa movie, si Ms. Cherie Gil. Ako yung ex-girlfriend niEdwin. Yung character ko dito mayaman na magaling mangabayo so nag-trainingkami dito ni JC. What Donna wants, Donna gets. So si Edwin, inaangkin niya athindi niya hinahayaan na mapunta kay Ayra."

Dion Ignacio acts as the right-hand man of JC de Vera. In the original film,Dion's character named Duds was portrayed by Rustom Padilla.





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