Derek quells talks about his ‘unprofessionalism’ for quitting ‘(K)ampon’
Did Derek Ramsay really leave Kris Aquino’s MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) entry “(K)ampon” in the lurch?
The issue came up when we met Derek and Andrea Torres, his costar in the steamy primetime series “The Better Woman,” in Davao City last Sunday.
The couple flew to the country’s biggest city to take part in GMA 7’s star-studded treats and merrymaking feasts for the festivalgoers of Kadayawan.
When the actor began telling us about how emotionally grueling and time-consuming the shoots for the series have been, we asked Derek if this was the reason why he quit “(K)ampon,” prompting producer Quantum Films to tap Gabby Concepcion as his replacement.
Was Derek responsible for what could lead to “(K)ampon’s” disqualification in the annual movie fiesta?
It appears that the situation is trickier than it seems: To quell speculation and avoid misunderstanding, Derek was more than ready to explain to Inquirer Entertainment the long and short of it—even before we could finish asking the question.
“When they approached me for that project, I was like, yeah, because Quantum is very close to me,” he said. “After all, I won both of my best actor awards from them, for ‘English Only, Please’ and ‘All of You.’
“I said it’s still a question mark for me, but I’m willing to do it. There was no confirmation. I went to Shanghai and competed (in a frisbee tilt). Andrea went with me. When I got back, they said ako na. I said OK. So, my handler and I filled up my schedule—and I’m already working six days a week.
“But soon after, there were some delays at hindi na raw matutuloy [ang pelikula], and I said OK. So, the minute I was told na wala na, ang daming pumasok [na offers]. My schedule was filled up already. Then, they said, tuloy ulit ang pelikula. But wala na talaga…
“We tried to fix my schedule, but I said, ‘The only way I can do this is if I sacrifice taping days. But, as I explained to Kris, I had to prioritize [my commitment to] the network. I gave her a phone call and we’re OK—that’s why she posted that status on Instagram, saying she understood my situation. Andrea was also supposed to be part of that movie, but her schedule is just as hectic, so…”
Has he already shot any scene, we asked? “No nothing,” Derek quipped. “That’s why nung lumalabas na I was unprofessional, I said, ‘Huh?’ I don’t know why news like that was coming out, because I have neither signed a contract nor shot a single scene. I never confirmed.
“I’m very experienced where the MMFF is concerned—and I’m aware of the rules. I know that they’re very strict about those. I informed them in early August pa lang that I really couldn’t do it. That’s why they got Gabby to replace me.”
Derek said that his entry to the Kapuso network came at a time when he was mulling over what to do with his life after his partnership with TV5 ended.
“When I took a break from show biz, I was like, ‘What should I do with my life?’ But GMA came to me and I decided to give my career one last push,” he recalled. “This project is definitely a challenge because of its [thematic] maturity and the difficulty of putting it on TV. It’s easy to imagine ‘The Better Woman’ as a movie, but getting this on TV, with all the restrictions that followed, was a huge challenge for us.”
War on drugs
The actor said he found it ironic that “Amo,” the action series that he topbilled last year about the country’s war on drugs, didn’t have to hurdle as many problems.
“It’s strange that you can go around shooting and killing people, but there’s difficulty in showing the story of two people falling in love—it’s weird!” he said, laughing. “But, rules are rules, and we have to abide by them. Yes, it was difficult for us to get it done, but we did get the job done, thankfully. We’re SPG.”
Another disclosure: “We’re shooting ‘The Better Woman’ like a movie because it might get shown on Netflix,” Derek said. “There’s a director’s cut, so we have the freedom to do whatever is best for the series. But our scenes have to be trimmed so they can show it on network TV.”
Ambiguity of situations
Derek said he has a love-hate relationship with his character Andrew, who has to deal with the soap’s “competing” twins, Jasmine and Juliet (both played by Andrea). More than that, it’s the ambiguity of the situations they’re thrown into that makes the roles more than fascinating to essay.
“I love and hate Andrew,” the actor mused. “But sometimes, he’s just so stupid. We have good arguments and discussions about him on the set.
“In a recent episode, for instance, I wasn’t aware I was actually making love with my wife’s twin sister! I knew that really hurt Jasmine but, technically, I didn’t really do anything wrong, did I?”
What do you think, dear readers?
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