Unexpected success of tandem a ‘huge blessing’ for Jasmine, Rocco
For Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Rocco Nacino, being in a romantic relationship isn’t a requisite for genuine onscreen rapport between two actors.
“As actors, we often work and get paired with different people. You don’t have to be in love with your costar in real life in order for you to create magic. It’s up to you to draw viewers into the fantasy,” he told the Inquirer in a recent interview for GMA 7’s adaptation of the popular South Korean drama, “Descendants of the Sun.”
Rocco’s girlfriend is volleyball player Melissa Gohing. His partner in the said series, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, on the other hand, is in a relationship with businessman Jeff Ortega. “It also helps that fans these days are more open-minded when it comes to these things,” he said.
The Kapuso talents were previously seen together in the soap “Pamilya Roces.” The tandem worked and was well-received by fans. Even they were surprised.
“When you work with someone new, there’s really no telling how things will go or where the partnership will take you. Will you have chemistry? How long will it last? You can only hope that you’re on a similar wavelength and get each other easily,” Jasmine told the Inquirer.
It’s true that chemistry, more often than not, is something that can’t be forced. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop or work on it.
“It also helps when you both understand what it is you’re doing and what you want to deliver. When you work hard and inspire each other to improve, then you two have a good thing going on. That, too, can help create that magic,” she pointed out. “I’m happy we managed to develop our working relationship according to people’s expectations”
The unexpected success of his team-up with Jasmine, Rocco added, is a “huge blessing.” “It also helped that we were able to build a friendship when we did ‘Pamilya.’ We had fun working on that one,” he related.
For the fans who saw the original “Descendants,” Rocco’s and Jasmine’s casting as Technical Sergeant Diego Ramos and Captain Moira Defensor, respectively, were the most on point. Not a few observers have noted that Rocco bears some facial similarities with his Korean counterpart, Jin Goo.
“I believe it was one of the factors that got me the project. As early as 2016, people have been tweeting and messaging me about how I looked like Jin Goo; they were comparing our photos,” he recalled. “So, when I got the role three years later, the fans were like, ‘See? We told you!’”
But of course, being a look-alike or exuding a similar vibe as the original actors doesn’t necessarily equate to good, accurate portrayals. Jasmine, for her part, watched her character closely, taking down notes as she watched each episode.
“I love taking notes. I always have a notebook with me during script readings or meetings. I have a notebook for all the roles I play,” she related. “Here, I made sure to note Moira’s tendencies—when does she feel strong? What makes her soft?” Jasmine said.
“But you don’t have to follow everything point by point,” she related. “The character is the same, the backstory is the same. But there are still some tweaks for the local version. You have to be open to allow something new to happen to the character.”
Rocco had to give up another show to do “Descendants.” But the sacrifice was well worth it. “I was ready to tape that show, but then I got the role in ‘Descendants,’ after auditioning. My bosses told me I should do this, instead. So, I had to prepare all over again. But I’m happy,” said the actor, who admitted to being nervous prior to the series’ premiere.
“We were worried about how people would react,” he said. “But seeing them giving us a literal salute when we go around the country is heartening. It means a lot to us.”
“We haven’t really seen bashers, so that’s a relief! That means we’re on the right path,” Jasmine added. “Maybe these roles were meant for us.”
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