It’s amusing to watch Zanjoe Marudo and Andrea Brillantes—who star as father and daughter in the teleserye Annaliza—around each other.
At the set of the ABS-CBN soap in Fairview, Quezon City, last Friday, December 14, the co-actors threw their interviewers in fits of laughter with their candid banter.
Like an older brother teasing his younger sister, Zanjoe kept “pestering” Andrea, who whined but laughed each time.
A few instances during the interview were hilarious.
Before the ten-year-old actress could answer how it feels to have fans, Zanjoe butted in, “Marami na siyang pera!” which prompted Andrea to retort, “Hindi naman! Ikaw, mas marami kang pera!”
When asked what’s the best part of her year was, Andrea was cut by a laughing Zanjoe, who teasingly announced, “Magre-retire na daw siya!”
The friendship that has developed between Zanjoe and Andrea is so evident that the entertainment press couldn’t help but ask how it happened.
It wasn’t forced, Zanjoe said.
“Bigla lang nangyari. Hindi naman siya yung plinano na, ‘Ay, magiging close ako sa batang ito pagkatapos ng show.’
“Kasi hindi naman ako... pag taping naman, tahimik lang ako, trabaho lang ako.
"Wala, bigla na lang nangyari na naging close ako sa bata.”
With an amused expression on his face, he said that for some reason, Andrea responds to his constant joshing in a positive way.
The child, he realized, is more endeared to one who jokes around her instead of one who tells her that she’s adorable.
“Siguro, nung nakilala niya ako, bargas ako sa kanya.
"Siguro ngayon lang siya naka-experience ng kasama niyang ganun sa kanya.
“So, parang masyado na siyang sawa sa mga ‘Ang ganda-ganda mo naman, ang cute-cute mo naman!’
“E, siya, hindi ko siya ginaganun!”
Talks of Annaliza’s extended airing period makes Zanjoe and Andrea, of all people, happy.
The ten-year-old actress remarked, “Masaya po ako dahil na-extend kami…
"Yung pinaghirapan namin, tapos siyempre, masaya ako dahil magkakasama pa kami hanggang next year!”
How would she feel when the show concludes next year?
She replied, “Mami-miss ko si Tatay...”
“...Mami-miss mo ba ako? Pagkatapos nito, wala na tayong pang-sine!” Zanjoe remarked, drawing more laughter.
ONSCREEN FATHER. Zanjoe’s closeness to Andrea clearly shows that the 31-year-old actor has a way with kids.
Considering he is not yet a father in real life, how does Zanjoe deliver on screen?
Annaliza, which began airing on May 27 this year, had been a challenge for the actor who said portraying Guido, Annaliza’s foster father, had been quite a rigorous process for him.
“Ang hirap kasi umarte ng nagpe-pretend lang kayo, e.
"O ang hirap umarte na kunwari mahal mo yung bata, [tapos] hindi naman.
“Kunwari, ‘Ang kulit-kulit naman nito!’ pag off cam, tapos pag sa eksena, kailangan, mahal na mahal mo.”
It helped a lot, Zanjoe said, that he and Andrea grew fond of each other on and offscreen.
“Ang dami naming eksena na kusa na lang lumalabas sa bibig namin, kusa na lang namin nagagawa nang hindi naman itinuturo, wala naman sa script.
“Tapos, nagma-match siya. Pag may ginawa ako, meron siyang sagot na sa kanya lang din manggagaling.
“Kaya parang nagiging totoo talaga yung sitwasyon.”
The actor cannot help but say, “Masuwerte ako na ganito yung batang nakatrabaho ko.”
ZANJOE’S NICHE. Zanjoe’s auspicious 2013 kicked-off with One More Try, a 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival entry that garnered awards the following year.
It also earned Zanjoe nominations for best supporting actor at the FAMAS, FAP, and Star Awards for Movies.
The film gave Zanjoe a chance to prove his skills in drama, and prove them he did.
He played the steadfast lover of Angel Locsin’s character, Grace, who had to seek help from her former lover (Dingdong Dantes) in order to save her ill child.
In March, the actor was given his launching movie, the gay-themed comedy Bromance, which validated Zanjoe’s knack for comedy.
He reckoned about the project, “Hindi ko naman in-expect na gaganap pala ako na dalawa ako, tapos Direk Wenn [Deramas] pa yung direktor!
“Siyempre, dun nabigyan ako ng way para sa comedy.
"Naniwala din ang tao na, ‘A, puwede pala siyang gumawa ng isang comedy na movie!”
Assessing his year, Zanjoe said that his 2013 was about being sure of his place in showbiz.
“Dati hindi ko pa alam kung saan ako pupunta, e.
"Hindi ko pa alam kung saan ako magwu-work, kung saan ako gusto ng tao.
“Basta lahat ng hindi ko in-expect, yun yung mga nangyari sa akin.
“Mga hindi ko naman pinapangarap na role, yun yung mga nagawa ko at yun yung mga nag-work…”
He added, elated, “Ang ganda ng 2013. Parang siya yung magdadala sa akin sa mga susunod na taon, e.
“Yung mga next projects ko, mas magiging maayos na, alam na kung ano na yung gagawin ko.
“Alam na kung saan ako papunta. Hindi yung nangangapa pa ako gaya ng dati.”