Director Maryo J. de los Reyes feels conflicted about the news that the GMA 7 prime time soap opera “Munting Heredera” has been extended until January next year.
“It’s supposed to wrap up Jan. 10. That means we will be working throughout the holiday season,” he conceded.
That Direk Maryo will be spending Christmas and New Year with his “Munting Heredera” family is also a blessing because he has grown fond of the cast, led by veterans Gloria Romero, Roderick Paulate and Boots Anson-Roa, and child stars Mona Louise Rey, Kyle Danielle Ocampo and Barbara Miguel.
The cast and the story, he explained, are the secrets to the show’s success.
“I wanted a contemporary treatment,” said the internationally acclaimed filmmaker behind “Magnifico.” Even though it’s a sudsy soap opera, he said he wanted the situations to be grounded in reality. “Our villains are not infallible. They get hurt and make mistakes. They are not superheroes.”
Case in point: Villainess Katrina Halili was killed mid-stream. No, Direk Maryo insisted, Katrina didn’t get upset that she was written out of the show.
“I asked her about it,” he recalled. “She said she was okay. Of course she misses the show, but she visits us often on the set.”
Katrina said that she has come to regard the “Munting Heredera” cast as her second family.
Direk Maryo related: “I asked the writers why they killed her. They said that was how far her character could go in the story.” Such shocking plot twists has made the show continuously riveting, Direk Maryo said.
As Ynez Veneracion, who plays another meanie character, would put it: “Our show caught people by surprise. It clicked even though we didn’t have big stars.”
A welcome addition to the show is young actor Monmon or Jesus Ramon Neopolo Domingo, who suffers from cerebral palsy in real life, said Direk Maryo.
“Monmon reminds me of the character played by Isabella de Leon in ‘Magnifico,’” he said. “To my surprise, he takes direction very well.”
Apart from working on TV and the movies, Direk Maryo is also the manager of the all-male group Masculados Dos.
He thought of pairing Ynez with the boys in their concert at the Library in Malate recently. “Ynez is now getting lots of offers to do live shows.”
Another performer whose life Direk Maryo wishes to turn around is “Magnifico” star Jiro Manio, who’s currently confined in a rehabilitation center. “He’s been in rehab for half a year. I hope the industry will give him another chance. Jiro is a talented actor,” he said.