Yam says costar Gerald ‘a gentleman,’ not a womanizer
Actress Yam Concepcion, who is paired with Gerald Anderson in the drama series “Init sa Magdamag,” said she has been reading social media comments and is aware of people telling her to be wary of working with the controversial actor.
The comments were in reference to Gerald’s being a playboy and to accusations of him cheating on actress Bea Alonzo with his “Between Maybes” costar Julia Barretto. He recently admitted that he is dating the latter.
“I’ll be honest. Yes, I am reading the memes,” Yam told reporters during a recent Zoom meet. “Natatawa at natutuwa ako (I find it funny and I feel glad) seeing the reactions of people to the show’s trailer and scene drop. They said, ‘Mag-iingat ka kay Gerald, ha?’
“I honestly didn’t feel the need to be cautious around Gerald. They just judge him based on what they see on TV—that he’s a womanizer,” she pointed out. “But if you work with him, you’ll realize that he’s a gentleman and is very professional. I never felt that he had malice when we were doing our love scenes.”
Get the job done
Yam swore it was purely about getting the job done. “Gerald was able to make me feel true emotions. I felt his honesty, as Tupe, his character,” the actress said.
Yam said she had difficulty shooting their love scenes primarily because it was on the list of the first things they had to do right after they entered their taping bubble. “At the time, Gerald and I still weren’t that comfortable being around each other. In the beginning, we actually needed to have a 30-minute conversation to get to know each other,” she recalled.
She claimed that the 30-minute chat had been a great help. “Eventually, we developed our chemistry. But this didn’t happen in an instant.”
‘Guide and protect’
When asked why she still agreed to do the love scenes with Gerald—and also with JM de Guzman—despite the current health risk, Yam said: “Of course it’s because we all passed the swab tests that were conducted prior to taping. Health and safety protocols were also maintained. We all agreed to do this because we want to be able to come up with a good project. This show is not all about the love scenes.”
She added that their directors (Raymond Ocampo and Ian Lorenos) were always present to “guide and protect” them. “We felt very safe. Everything was rehearsed. Everyone was very professional.”
Yam plays Rita Tuazon, wife of JM’s character Peterson Alvarez, who is from a prominent political family. Their marriage is on the brink of collapse as they struggle to have a child. Peterson met an accident years earlier that made him incapable of fathering one. Rita, however, believes that they can save their relationship if she bears one through in vitro fertilization. But Peterson proposes what he thinks is a simpler solution—get the barrio doctor, Christopher “Tupe” Salcedo, to be their sperm donor. Unknown to Peterson, Rita and Tupe were once lovers. Conflict arises when it becomes difficult for Rita to hide her past with Tupe from her husband, especially because there’s now a possibility to rekindle old flames.
Playing Rita had been tough, Yam said, because she got used to portraying kontrabida characters for two straight years—Jade in “Halik” and Dana in “Love Thy Woman.”
“I unconsciously copied some of their nuances, like the rolling of the eyes. They would correct me, and I appreciated that,” she recalled.
Yam pointed out that she has played mostly sexy roles since she started acting. She topbilled Erik Matti’s “Rigodon” in 2012. “This has always been my image; but this teleserye helped me push myself to the limits in terms of emotions. My heart is really grateful,” she declared.
For Tita Claire
At this point, Yam turned more serious and said: “I just want to say that I’m dedicating this to Tita Claire (de la Fuente).” The 63-year-old singer died on March 30, a week after testing positive for the coronavirus. Yam spoke on the phone with Claire, whom she said paved the way for her entry to show biz, days before the latter’s death.
“What happened to her was so sudden. She called to congratulate me when she saw the trailer. It was just a four-minute conversation. I never expected that it would be our last. I just want to recognize her. If not for her, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” said Yam.
Prior to becoming an actress, Yam was a drummer of the band Mayonnaise, along with frontman Monty Macalino. “I got invited to act in the music video of the single ‘Sinungaling.’ Tita Claire saw the video and contacted Monty. She referred me to the management team of Viva Entertainment, which I’ve been part of ever since,” the actress said.
Under the creative management of Henry Quitain for Star Creatives, “Init sa Magdamag” will premiere on the Kapamilya Channel, as well as on TV5 and A2Z on free TV on April 19.
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