Bela Padilla said she has Lovi Poe to thank, for her meaty role in the latest GMA 7 series, “Love and Lies.”
Poe reportedly thumbed down the project because she had already accepted a lucrative offer from rival channel TV5.
“I’m okay being Lovi’s replacement,” Padilla said. “The role of Denise is very interesting. I would have auditioned for it if it weren’t offered to me. Coming from the drama series ‘Magdalena,’ it’s refreshing to do a character who is strong, loud and bubbly.”
Padilla plays opposite Richard Gutierrez in this nine-week “suspenserye” that premieres on GMA 7 Monday night.
In “Love and Lies,” Padilla (as Denise) gets to travel around the country with Gutierrez, who plays a Navy soldier (Edward) in search for his missing wife, Cathy (portrayed by Michelle Madrigal).
Director Mark A. Reyes said he was pleased to work with Padilla again. “I’ve worked with her in two projects before. I know she could pull this off. True enough, when she reported on her first day at work she already understood her character,” said the director, adding that there was no need to revise the script for Padilla to fit in.
“The only change she had to make was to dye her hair black. She had hair highlights the first time I met her for the show. I told her that she looked too sophisticated to play a lower middle-class exotic dancer. She had no problem changing her look to fit the role,” Reyes recalled.
When asked how her current boyfriend, businessman Neil Arce, reacted to her playing a pole dancer, Padilla said: “He’s actually very supportive. Denise’s being a sexy dancer is only incidental. Here, she’s really the female version of Robin Padilla (local action star and Bela’s uncle). The show will not focus on her being sexy. The pole dancing scene is only one of many interesting scenes I will be required to do on the show.”
Padilla will be working closely with a stunt instructor. She said: “According to the script, my first stunt will be to jump from the trunk of a moving car. I feel nervous just thinking about it.”
Padilla and Arce, have been going out for “a little over six months” now. She said the relationship has the blessing of her parents. “My mom is okay with it because Neil always visits me at home,” the 21-year-old actress pointed out. “However, I still have a curfew.”