By Allan Policarpio
BETWEEN Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, it is probably the relatively inexperienced young actress who bears the brunt of the local audience’s expectations, as the “AlDub” love team embarks on its first drama series, Destined to Be Yours. But if she were indeed feeling the pinch, she showed no signs of it when she recently faced the show biz press.
“No, I do not feel any pressure right now,” Maine declared. “If anything, I am more excited to finally see the things we have been working on.”
The 21-year-old celebrity is fully aware that all eyes would be on her — specifically, her acting — once the primetime teleserye starts airing on Feb. 27 on GMA 7.
But she is not too worried about the possible scrutiny; she is no stranger to it after all.
“No matter what I do, there are people who would always find something [negative] to say anyway,” she pointed out. “What is important is that I am continuing to do my best and that I am satisfied with my work.”
While she had already starred in three movies and was a main character in the Kalyeserye segment of the noontime variety program Eat Bulaga!, Maine had yet to experience the grueling grind that goes with taping a daily soap.
“I am used to having little sleep and rest. But it is entirely different when you have to do something else immediately after a day’s taping. I believe that is the biggest adjustment … Pero laban lang nang laban!” she said.
Getting the hang of scripts
According to Maine, she is still trying to get the hang of memorizing scripts.
“It is because I’ve been used to the spontaneity of Kalyeserye, in which we’re given only guidelines on how the scenes are intended to flow,” Maine explained.
Alden, although considerably more experienced in acting than his onscreen partner, has not headlined a television series since the historical drama Ilustrado in 2014. He admitted that he felt rusty during the first couple of days of taping Destined.
“I have become accustomed to doing live television. I feel I am not as sharp as I used to be, because it has been a few years since I have done a regular soap. I really have to work on reverting to ‘actor mode,’” Alden said. “But I am thankful to be doing a soap again, because this is how I started in show biz. I feel like I have more to give.”
Knowing each other
In Destined, Alden plays Benjie, a determined, newbie architect seeking to acquire a piece of land owned by the family of Sinag (Maine), a young radio jock in the province, who is bent on preserving the environment and community she belongs to. Working with Maine, the 25-year-old Kapuso talent related, had been—as always—“very easy.”
“Nothing has really changed. As we spend more time together, our real selves come out. And the projects we do help us to have a deeper understanding of each other,” Alden said.
“Knowing a person is a never-ending process … We get more comfortable with each other as we go along. I have always trusted him; we share personal things, secrets with each other,” added Maine, who quipped that the idea of Alden being “destined” for her was something that had crossed her mind.
“I have thought about that—about 24 times,” she said.
Keeping it real
And as for their fans wishing that Alden and Maine would end up developing a real-life romance, the actor said: “You can’t really help thinking about the what-ifs. We will just continue to show people what we have and what we are as partners. I guess that is one of the things people love about us: We keep it real.”
Destined introduces newbies Juancho Trivino and Koreen Medina as potential love interests for Maine and Alden, respectively—something that may not sit well with some overly protective “AlDub” fans. And so, as early as now, Alden and Maine remind their supporters that what happens in the show is purely work.
“Siguro, wala na lang pong personalan,” Maine stressed.
“I hope they understand that [having a love triangle] is a way to make the story thicker. Having that in a soap opera does not mean that there is something happening off-camera. We are like family on the set,” she added. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)