The success of Jodi Sta. Maria-Richard Yap loveteam came as a big surprise in the showbiz industry.
Who would have thought that these two personalities who had never worked together before would click superbly for the morning romantic-comedy show, Be Careful With My Heart.
Now more popularly known by their characters’ names, Maya (Jodi) and Sir Chief (Richard), they proved that no romantic relationship is needed for a loveteam to work.
BEFORE THE BIG BREAK. Jodi had been in the industry for 14 years before she got this big break.
She started in ABS-CBN’s youth-oriented show Gimik (1999) where she was part of the extended cast.
That same year, she was one of the lead characters in another youth-oriented show, Tabing Ilog, where she was paired with Baron Geisler.
Since then, Jodi has become more popular with the supporting roles she played in Ligaw na Bulaklak (2008), Tayong Dalawa (2009), Tanging Yaman (2010), and Noah (2010).
Though she had to wait a number of years before she was given her big break, Jodi believes that this project was given at “just the right time. Being at the right time, then the right place and giving in to what God wants you to have.”
As for Richard, he was first noticed for his role as “Papa Chen” in the primetime drama series My Binondo Girl (2011), where he portrayed the biological father of Kim Chiu’s character, Jade.
He actually won the Outstanding Breakthrough Performance award from 2012 Golden Screen TV Awards, an award-giving body organized by the Entertainment Press Society Incorporated (Enpress).
Richard admits to Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) that up to now, “Medyo naiilang nga ako, kasi hindi ako sanay sa ganoong klase ng atensiyon.
“Pero, baka masanay rin tayo later on... I don’t know... siguro dahil sa bago pa lang tayo.”
LOVETEAM’S SUCCESS. Jodi, 31, and Richard, 46, are both happy with their respective personal love lives.
Before Richard tried his luck in showbiz, he was a businessman with a wife and three kids.
Asked if his wife gets jealous of her female fans who would ask a picture with him, the Chinese heartthrob immediately replies, “She’s very supportive.”
He even relates a story about his wife where, “yung time na Binondo Girl pa, sinasabihan niya ako kapag may kissing scene na mag-ayos at mag-toothbrush ako!”
On the other hand, Jodi is a proud mom to her son Thirdy, her child with former husband Pampi Lacson.
Though her marriage with Pampi didn’t work out, the actress says she’s “happy and inspired.” A lot of people believe it's because of her rumored boyfriend Jolo Revilla.
Jodi is thankful to the fans who are very supportive of her team-up with Richard Yap, even though they’re not in a romantic relationship.
“Alam naman talaga ng mga tao na what we have is onscreen,” she says.
“Tanggap naman po nila, e. Ang gusto nila magkatuluyan is yung characters.”
So, what is their loveteam’s secret?
“Kasi we have real friendship,” Richard remarks.
Jodi explained her leading man’s statement, “We really talk about personal matters, hindi yung parang nasa taping lang…
“[And] it’s important that Richard and I believe in the characters kasi importante yun as actors.
“I think ‘yon yung isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit effective ‘yong onscreen partnership namin.”
And though they don’t end up together, Richard assures their fans, “Nagka-develop-an na nga kami… as close friends,” followed by a hearty laugh.
FROM TV TO FILM. Aside from the audience's warm reception, another proof of the Jodi-Richard success is that their show was extended many times.
Last February, viewers thought the show would end this June, but it was extended again. This time, business unit head Ginny Ocampo couldn’t give a definite statement on how long the show would go on.
The cast and crew, especially Jodi and Richard, are very grateful, of course.
“It’s very overwhelming!” Richard exclaimed.
“Nakakatuwa kasi, as you know, ang timeslot natin, it’s not really nasa prime [primetime].
“So nakakatuwa lang na sinusuportahan pa rin ng mga tao.”
Pero ngayon, hindi na lamang sa telebisyon mapapanood ang tambalang Maya-Sir Chief, dahil ginawa nang pelikula ang kanilang programang Be Careful With My Heart.
Katunayan, isa ito sa mga kalahok sa 39th MetroManila Film Festival, na ginaganap tuwing Disyembre.
Kung pumatok sa telebisyon ang loveteam nina Jodi at Richard, bumenta rin kaya ito sa takilya? Iyan ang aabangan ng lahat, lalo na ng kanilang mga fans.