Lorna Tolentino still feels nervous when doing a steamy kissing scene before the cameras, but says she does it “for art’s sake.”
The veteran actress—who has at least 60 movies under her belt—told the Inquirer recently that she felt tense again on the set of GMA 7’s drama series “Pahiram ng Sandali,” where she plays Janice Alvaro, a powerful media executive who gets romantically involved with a young photographer, Alex Santiago (Dingdong Dantes).
“It’s difficult to summon ‘passion’ for a person you’re kissing, with all the lights and cameras and so many people around you,” Lorna said. “It was even tougher once, when I had to pretend I was drunk while the kiss was happening.”
In “Pahiram,” Lorna’s character is ignored by her husband Phillip Alvaro (Christopher de Leon) and is flattered by Alex’s interest. The show airs on GMA 7’s Telebabad time slot.
“People should remember that the first thing on the mind of senior actors like me is love for the craft,” Lorna said. “We’d do anything for that.”
There was a time in her career when she refused projects that required her to do love scenes.
“That was when my kids were much younger,” said the mother of actors Rap and Renz Fernandez. Lorna was married to action star Rudy Fernandez, who died of cancer in 2008.
Lorna added: “When Rudy passed away and the kids became more mature, I decided to be more open and not limit what I could do as an actress. I hope to explore other aspects of acting while I still can.”
She hopes viewers will not link her romantically to Dingdong, who has been dating actress Marian Rivera for four years now. “This is work,” Lorna said.
Promise to Rudy
She promised Rudy that she would never fall for a younger man, the actress said, adding that she intended to keep it. “He told me that dating someone younger than our kids would be unacceptable. I really pray that fate does not test me on this.”
Lorna recently signed up with GMA 7, a year after working with rival network TV5. At age 50, she said, she has had to limit her working hours to 16 a day. “I can’t do more than that, now that I am experiencing hormonal changes. I’d like to live long enough to see my granddaughter Tori grow.” Tori is Rap’s daughter with partner Leana Yap.
No to politics
Meanwhile, Lorna has consistently turned down offers to run for public office. The most recent one was for a seat in the Quezon City council in 2010.
“I helped campaign for Rudy when he ran for QC mayor in 2001. My memory of that experience isn’t exactly a good one,” she said. “I felt his pain and frustration when the people he thought were his friends and supporters turned their backs on him when he needed them most. Come election time, they all disappeared.”
She would rather just campaign now for a deserving candidate who would “really serve” the people. “I pray that I never find myself in a situation where I have no choice but to run,” she said.