The first time she saw the Ciarra's character in Miss No Good, Meryll Soriano alreadythought, "‘Naku, parang ako na 'yan, hindi ko lang alam umarte. I have to getthis role!'"
So, when she was invited to a dubbing audition for the Taiwanesecharacter, the daughter of Willie Revillame went to try out.
Meryll admitted that she really felt nervous before theauditions. She described, "Kabadong-kabadoako kasi naninigas yung mga likod-likod ko. Kasi before Miss No Good, nag-try ako mag-dub ng cartoons, yung Les Miserables. Okay naman yun, kasi cartoons. Madre-madre saka konti lang yung mga linya. Noong nag-MissNo Good na auditions, sabi ko, ‘sige na nga.' Since wala naman akongginagawa, I mean, why not make use of my time, di ba?"
The 26-year-old actress said she easily fell in love withthe character she was dubbing.
"Ang cute nga niya e!" said Meryll. "Sobrang [nae-excite] ako dun sa project kasihindi naman talaga ako mahilig manood ng mga ganyan [Asianovela]. 'Tapos nungnapanood ko siya, ano ba yan, ang cute. Ang cute niya, tapos meron pa siyangpicture na kamukhang-kamukha ko! Sabi ko, ‘Ano ba yan? Para namang may babaengako sa Taiwan.'Nakakatakot!"
She added that Ciarra reminded her of her youngeryears. "Actually a few years back, whenI was really younger, ganun ako pumorma. Hindi naman ganun ka-wild, pero ganunako pumorma. I mean, with my friends, very Japanese fashion, 'tapos ganyan dinako kakulit. Sa ngayon, ganyan pa din ako kakulit. Ganyan ako ka-hyper. Hindi lang yata ako tatanda. Tatanda ako perohindi matanda yung spirit ko," Meryll said.
Was it easy to give a Pinoy voice to a foreign character?
Meryll pointed out, "Kasi hindi naman ako dubber. So nungnag-audition na, ang daldal pala niya, napagod ako. Parang gusto ko tuloykainin yung mga sinabi ko na this is for me. E, kaya lang natanggap ako, sowala na. Ang hirap po."
She further described the job by comparing it to her usualacting job. She said, "Alam mo masmahirap siya. Grabe. Sa TV, firm movements already do something. This time,hindi ka kita. So you really have to give an effort to get the meaning of thewhole scene, di ba? Ang hirap nun, hanggang pilikmata ko, umaarte. Sakaminsan, nabobobo na nga ako, parang, ‘Paano ko ba to aatakihin? Di ko na potalaga naiintindihan.' Kasi minsan, ilang hours akong nakatayo, ‘Kailangan kopong magbreak.'"
Since Ciarra has some similarities with Meryll'sreal personality, the young actress said she did not have to prepare too hard eachtime she goes to work.
She related, "Ready lang ako, kapag nandun na ko. I'm very fortunate kasi, malapit yungcharacter. Sobrang lapit talaga yung kakulitan, so I really have to reserve forthe energy. Other than that, hindi naman ako kailangang mag-prepare ng bago.Mas nagpe-prepare pa ko sa cartoons, kasi yung Les Miserables, drama. Grabeng drama. Yun lang nag-dub ako ng Les Miserables, na naka-outfit ako ng Ciarakasi galing akong promo, hindi ako nakapasok. Kasi nga, dramang-drama. ‘Sandalilang po, ah, pwedeng bigyan n'yo ko ng five minutes? Grabe yung bigat ngcharacter tapos ganito yung itsura ko.'
She also said that she became so close to the character thatshe missed the job and Ciarra after finishing the whole series in two months.
"Nalungkot ako, nalungkot ako ng grabe kasi parang nagingroutine na rin sa akin yun. Punta lang akong ABS, 'tapos ready lang akongdumaldal ng grabe," Meryll said.
Aside from enjoying the job, she also credited her dubbingexperience for improving her acting skill especially in delivering herlines.
"Ang laki ng itinulong niya sa akin. Sa pagsasalita,everything," said Meryll. "Parang itopened another lesson of acting. Lalo na sa theater, kasi, di ba, iba angano ng theater, e. Parang, pati voice umaarte na. Sa TV kasi, kinalakihan ko nasiya, e. So parang, it's already automatic. TV and film, it's super normal tome. This time, I am becoming a better actor because I am learning new things.And voice acting is really helpful."
In the said TV series, the lead character Ciarra is torn between the love of Arvin and Timmy. Both guys come into termsand will agree man-to-man to have an equal and fair footing when itcomes to courting the eccentric girl. But how will this love triangle turn out ifCiarra and Timmy find out that they have the same mom?
Miss No Good airs weekdays at 4:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN's Hapontastik.