Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Creating distinct characters is the name of the thespic game

/ 12:10 AM March 22, 2017
Joshua Garcia (left) and Julia Barretto

Joshua Garcia (left) and Julia Barretto

Young star Julia Barretto has been more active and visible of late, with new TV-film projects like “Vince & Kath & James” on the big screen and “A Love to Last” currently on ABS-CBN.

She also starred in a recent “Maalaala Mo Kaya?” episode, where her acting prowess was put to the test in a challenging medical drama.


While all of these initiatives are welcome, we detect a limiting problem that Julia and her handlers should attend to and try to remedy, because it could get in the way of her bid for thespic “cred”: She acts dependably and intensely enough, but doesn’t pay sufficient creative attention to characterization.

In other words, the roles she plays are different, but she’s too consistently “Julia” in all of them, with minor variations on pretty much the same theme and basic character “spine.”

More creative and ambitious thespians make it a point to come up with characters that are distinct from one another in temperament, look, motive, character traits, etc.

Yes, they’re all young and female, but they’re different people, and the fact that a single thespian is creating them makes the achievement truly notable and worthy of praise.

The fact that Julia has yet to step up to this higher level of creative enterprise and achievement is a limiting factor in her bid for artistic “K.”

Even Julia’s MMK episode fell short in terms of thespic insight. She hit all of the emotional and dramatic “marks,” but the lack of uniqueness and specificity in terms of characterization made her portrayal come off as insufficiently felt, “earned” and, consequently, less convincing.

Fact is, Julia’s costar, Joshua Garcia, fared better in the MMK episode and showcase.

This is a welcome follow-up for him after his strong showing in the MMFF film, “Vince & Kath & James”—and a sign that his home studio has bigger and better plans for him this year.

Its confidence in his stellar promise is well-placed, as his focused and felt portrayal in this TV showcase indicates.


Despite being limited by looking “too much” like a younger John Lloyd Cruz, Joshua is able to make viewers overlook that momentary distraction by concentrating on his assigned character’s feelings for his medically challenged love.

Yes, he’s devoted to a fault, but the actor makes his character’s “improbable” commitment believable through sheer dint of emotional veracity.

Would that Julia and other “young-adulting” stars and starlets could strive harder to come up with different personas whenever they act onscreen.

‘Always JaDine’ performance tour

Fans of the JaDine love team in the United States and the Middle East are excited about James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s ongoing “Always JaDine” performance tour in California and Texas, culminating in a big finale at the World Trade Center in Dubai on May 5.

Produced by Viva Live and NY Entourage Productions, the show also features comedian Chad Kinis and the G-Force Dancers.

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TAGS: A Love to Last, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barretto, Vince & Kath & James
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