“I was afraid that I would suddenly be replaced by someone more popular,” said actress Kris Bernal of her coming TV project on GMA 7, “Prinsesa ng Masa,” which sat on the drawing board for a year before it was finally green-lighted this month.
“I kept thinking that a lot of things could happen in a year,” Kris shared with the Inquirer. “Now, I just feel thankful that the show is finally pushing through, with me in the lead role. I waited for this for a long time.” Kris was last seen in the local adaptation of the Korean hit series “Coffee Prince,” which ended its run in November 2012.
Kris attended the recent signing of an agreement between GMA 7 and Avon Philippines to produce the series, which will premiere on Sept. 23. Present were GMA 7 chair and CEO Felipe L. Gozon and Avon president for Asia Pacific and the Philippines Bob Briddon.
How are you able to relate to your character in the new series?
Like my character Princess, I dreamed early on about having a good life. That’s why I joined [the talent search] “Starstruck” on GMA 7. We’re both fighters. We both work hard to ensure our family’s future. Only recently, my sister and I put up a company that sells designer items. By working as an Avon lady, Princess is able to slowly fulfill her dreams.
This is also a reunion for you and your previous screen partner Aljur Abrenica.
We were last seen together in “Coffee Prince.” Now, we’re preparing by attending workshops with Pen Medina and Laurice Guillen. I know our supporters are excited. As for AJ (Aljur’s nickname), he hasn’t changed. He’s still the sweetest guy I know.
Don’t you regret turning down an offer to do an indie film because of this project?
Nakakapanghinayang. It could have been a good opportunity for me to showcase my depth as an actress. It could have signaled the big switch from my pa-sweet image to a more mature and sexy one, since the movie is about a cocaine addict. But GMA 7 knows what’s good for its artists—that’s what I kept in mind when it decided to pull me out of the cast. I took it as a sign from God [that now is not yet the right time for a major change in image.]
Is it difficult to be a TV personality?
This is true especially if you’re always told to do something that doesn’t exactly suit your personality. There’s actually a directive from GMA Artist Center telling talents to make sure they look their best when seen in public. I used to have a hard time complying with this [directive].
You’ve led the Ligang iLike team on “Sunday All Stars” for two weeks. How were you as a team leader?
I replaced Jolina Magdangal, who was instructed by her doctor to rest because of her pregnancy. It was overwhelming to be in charge of a big production number every week. I had to take care of everything, from the concept and music to the overall look of the team. I also had to decide which artists to invite as guest performers. It really ate up a lot of my time. Luckily, I wasn’t too busy then and was able to focus on the task at hand. It was tough.
Weren’t you worried that the weekly competition would cause conflict?
There have been misunderstandings. As a leader, I thought of ways to make each member shine in the performances. There are 10 of us in the team. There were times when some members felt neglected, or that they didn’t get enough exposure. But this happened because they failed to attend the meetings. To settle the issue, I suggested that we highlight only one artist per week. It’s not good for the team if we always try to upstage each other.
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