Bela Padilla officially takes over the role of Denise, a character that Lovi Poe was originally given in the new GMA-7 primetime soap, Love and Lies.
At the grand press launch of the “suspenserye” last night, April 1, at the GMA Network Annex Studio, Bela says that taking on a task she was not handed right off the bat is not a problem for her.
The 21-year-old Kapuso actress also says that regardless of the character being handed to her co-network talent, the role is still definitely something she would eye.
Bela explains, “It’s the first time I get to do a character that’s not iyakin, hindi siya malungkutin, ganun.
“Ngayon, very strong yung character ko, very bubbly, very masayahin. Ang iniiyak niya lang lagi, pamilya niya.
"So, kakaiba sa lahat ng role na ginawa ko."
She adds, “Ngayon, medyo maingay ako. Pinapalakasan nila yung boses nila sa akin.
"So very… yung personality ko dito, very big, very loud.
“So, natutuwa ako na I was able to get the role.
"Lovi, in a way, thank you, also.”
Lovi, whose contract with GMA-7 ended in March, is currently negotiating with her home network. While it has not been confirmed yet, the actress is rumored to transfer to TV5.
Meanwhile, the turn of events came at the right time for Bela, who was only told that she would replace Lovi last Thursday night, March 28.
“Friday morning [March 29], nag-taping na ako,” Bela informs the press.
“So talagang medyo napasubo talaga… masyadong mabilis na nangyari for me yung buong show.”
WHY BELA ACCEPTED THE ROLE. Bela admits that the first thing that made her agree to accept the role in Love and Lies is that she gets to work with Richard Gutierrez.
The actress, who got excited over their first taping together, says that she only used to watch Richard in the soaps Sugo and Mulawin back in high school.
“So, parang nakakatuwa na dati pinapanood ko lang siya. Ngayon kaeksena ko na siya!”
She further relays, “We all know that Richard is one of GMA’s flag bearers and you don’t pass up opportunities like that. There are reasons kung bakit siya ganyang level.
“So, I want to see how he works. I want to experience working with him.”
On their first taping day, Bela found the soap’s leading man “very nice.”
“He makes everything comfortable on the set.
“Siyempre, alam niyang first time ko siya makatrabaho and first scene ko rin yung sa buong show, so normal lang na kabahan ka, di ba?
“So, ginawa niyang very comfortable for me. Nagpakuha siya ng chair, ganyan. Maasikaso siya, nakakatuwa,” says Bela.
MORE ACTION SCENES MORE THAN SEXY SCENES. While Bela’s character, Denise, is introduced as a pole dancer, the actress clarifies that she will be doing more action scenes than sexy ones.
She says that the sexiness of her character is merely “incidental.”
“If you get to see my role, yung peg nga nila sa akin, Robin Padilla na babae, e.
"Lagi akong naka-boots, lagi akong naka-leather jacket or maong jacket.
“So, ano siya gumalaw, e, lalaki siya gumalaw. Coincidence lang na sexy siya."
The actress emphasizes, “We’re not gonna focus on the sexy part. The pole dancing is just one scene.
“I guess if people are waiting for me to show some sexiness here, that’s what they’re gonna wait for—the pole-dancing scene.”
Delving into action is among the reasons Bela took on the role, in fact.
“My character kasi is very different from every other character I’ve done.
"It’s the first time I’m doing a playful [character] na yung hindi masyadong iyakin.”
Bela feels that Denise’s kick-ass character is a break from her titular role in Magdalena.
“Pahinga siya sa Magdalena na every scene umiiyak ako.
“At least dito, makaka-try ako ng action scene. Actually, halos lahat ng eksena ko dito, action scene.
“I’m also living up to my last name in this. I get to be the girl Robin Padilla in this show.
“So, it’s going to be fun for me.”
SEXY. Asked how she feels about being typecast into sexy characters, Bella remarks, laughing, “Wala po akong magagawa dun kung sexy po ang tingin nila sa akin. Wala po akong magagawa!”
If she has it her way, the actress says she would rather take on roles that would require her to do heavy drama.
She also clarifies, “Honestly, when they told me that Magdalena was gonna be a sexy show, I was expecting na talagang sobrang sexy, yung matatakot ako.
"But when I got to the set, they made me wear pants, they made me wear polos.
"Parang hindi naman ako pina-sexy masyado. Lagi lang siyang biktima.
“So, I think it was a bonus for me because everyone took care of me in Magdalena, and I hope also Love and Lies takes care of me.
"And so far, sa nakikita ko, yun naman yung nangyayari.
“Yung sexiest lang dito sa show, nag-shorts lang ako, e, lagi naman akong naka-shorts every day.
“So, hindi ko rin siya tatawagin na ‘bastos-sexy.’ [It’s] very far from that.
“This is such a nice role and I’m happy I got it.”
If anything, Denise’s character empowers women.
Bela states, “My character will show the women out there, the women who listened to and watched Magdalena before, they’re gonna see that even if you’re just a girl, you can fight for your family.
“You can jump across, like, rivers, and climb walls just to find your family na you wouldn’t expect you’d do before.
“So, may mga ganung eksena lang ako dito na parang hindi ko akalain na magagawa ko dati.”
NO LIES. The contradictory title of the soap, “love” and “lies,” prompted one writer to ask if Bela is one to tell lies or white lies when necessary.
Bela initially replied, “Dito sa show, parang ako yung pagsisinungalingan.
"Kawawa ang character ko dito. Kept in the dark siya.
“Pero in a way, to get all her loves ones back in her life, yung mga kapatid niya, she’s gonna have to say a few lies also.”
In real life, however, Bela stressed that she does not have reasons to lie.
“And hopefully I never have to,” she quipped.
Bela believes that even white lies are not excusable. She said she finds them “scary.”
“Scary ang relationship na yun, a,” she stated.
“Blessed ako sa side na ’yan. Parang I don’t feel the need to lie in my relationship.
“And I’m quite certain that the person I’m in a relationship with is not lying.”
As confirmed by the actress, she and non-showbiz boyfriend Neil Arce have been a couple for a little over six months now.