The grand press conference tendered by GMA-7 for its new primetime series, Zorro, momentarily tempered the ongoing rift between the network's senior vice-president for entertainment, Ms. Wilma Galvante, and talent manager Annabelle Rama.
Annabelle's son, Richard Gutierrez, plays the lead role of the iconic noble swordsman who defends the townfolk against villains and unjust officials.
The Kapuso Network drummed up the hype last night, March 16, by staging a presscon complete with grand production design staged at the spacious Studio 7 of the GMA Network Studios in Quezon City.
The feisty Gutierrez matriarch was reportedly impressed and touched with what she saw, prompting her to burst into tears while in the middle of the presentation.
HOPING FOR RECONCILIATION. "Oo nga, naluha daw siya," Richard said when told about his mother's slight emotional outburst.
Richard was not able to greet his mom and even Ms. Wilma during the press conference as he was busy preparing for the presentation and chatting with members of the entertainment press.
Asked for his reaction about the worsening gap between his mother and the network executive, Richard said, "Kung ako lang ang papipiliin, siyempre mas gugustuhin ko 'yong wala na lang ganung klaseng gulo. Pero sa ganitong klaseng business, hindi naman natin maiiwasan 'yong nagkakaroon talaga ng misunderstanding, miscommunication, at minsan nagkakaroon ng conflict.
"Pero ako, labas ako dun sa gulo ni Mommy and Tita Wilma. Pero siyempre ako, nasa likod ako lagi ni Mommy. Kung anong desisyon niya, kung saan siya masaya, 'yong buong pamilya namin nasa likod niya."
During the height of the word war between the two parties, Richard along with the cast and crew of Zorro were all stationed most of the time in Bagac, Bataan, making it difficult for the 25-year-old actor to catch up on what was happening in Manila.
"Sobrang busy namin sa Bagac, Bataan. Parang nakahiwalay na kami sa mundo, so hindi ako nagpapaapekto sa mga gulo dito sa Maynila. Naka-concentrate ako sa project ko ngayon," he said.
If the opportunity presents itself, Richard said he's willing to act as mediator to resolve the strife.
"Ako kasi, I'm doing my job the best way I can. Binibigay sa 'kin 'yong malaking project. Ako naman as an actor, it's my responsibility na ibigay 'yong 110 percent ko sa mga projects ko. Sana kung makakatulong ako sa rift ni Tita Wilma 'tsaka ng mom ko, I will do my best para pagbatiin silang dalawa."
That probable scenario, however, would have to wait according to Richard. And just like his brother, Raymond Gutierrez, the Zorro lead star remains optimistic that the warring parties will someday bury the hatchet for good.
"Sa ngayon siguro, masyado pang mainit," he said. "Pero eventually, hopefully, nakikita ko naman na magkakaayos sila."