The secret of ‘DonBelle’ love team’s rising popularity
“Communication is the thing that makes us work,” said Donny Pangilinan of the secret as to why “DonBelle,” his on-screen partnership with Belle Mariano, is currently among the most popular in local show biz.
“We’re always open and honest. We’re really straightforward with one another especially when it comes to what we need to do for work on- and off-screen. If there’s something that we want to talk about, we really tell each other. We just don’t hide things from each other. We learned early on that we have to be honest, know where each one is coming from,” explained Donny during a virtual media gathering to promote DonBelle’s first movie, the romantic drama “Love is Color Blind.”
‘Love is Color Blind’
The two first worked together in Chad Vidanes’ hit digital series “He’s Into Her.”
For this film by Jose Leo Datuin Garcia, they play best friends Ino (Donny) and Cara (Belle), who gets reunited when the latter returns from a study trip in Hong Kong. While Cara is away, Ino figured in a car accident that killed his mom and left him color blind. As a visual artist, his condition caused him to struggle in getting on with life.
As Ino gives painting another try, he meets the gallery curator, Iris (Angelina Cruz), in whom he starts seeing the color red again. Their gradual closeness leaves Cara heartbroken, pushing her to fight for Ino’s love. Meanwhile, Ino struggles to get past grief and the trauma of the accident, which also stands in the way of him opening up to love once more.
“Every time there’s a new project, who wouldn’t want it to be successful? Who wouldn’t want it to be shown around the world? It’s very much a blessing to us every time people help us spread the word that we have a new movie or series out,” Donny said.
The actor was referring to the time when supporters surprised DonBelle on their second anniversary by breaking the news of their first film together via several electronic billboards in New York, South Korea, Dubai and Switzerland.
“When friends and family send us messages to say they liked our movie, that’s happiness for us. Of course, we cant take all the credit. We have the scriptwriters and the director to thank for because we all went through this journey together. We thank them for creating such a wonderful story for people to relate with,” he pointed out.
As to what else they discovered about each other while working on the film, Donny said: “Every day that I get to spend time with Belle, I learn more stuff about her. Of course in ‘Love is Color Blind,’ we tackled characters that are completely different from our past roles in ‘He’s Into Her.’ Sobrang layo. By seeing her go through Cara’s journey everyday, I feel more inspired and motivated. I’m just glad we get to be here to support one another, and just go through this journey together.”
Meanwhile, Belle told Donny: “I know how complex a character Ino is. Here, I saw how good an actor you are because you were able to portray him well. Everyday that I get to observe you, I get more amazed.”
She added: “We’re just really proud of what we did on this project. We still remember vividly our journey with the whole production. That’s why when we saw the whole movie for the first time, we recalled the moments while shooting them and then laughed at the memory. For me, the most heartwarming reaction I got from the audience was that they said they never saw Belle while watching Cara.”
She then said she doesn’t think she would be as effective in portraying Cara without Donny playing Ino so well. “I know how hard it was for you but you were able to pull it off, and I think no one can pull if off like you did.”
As to what they learned about love while working on the movie, Belle said: “My biggest realization while playing Cara was that one has to prioritize self-worth. It’s important to find self-love first before looking for love in others, because no one will love you if you can’t love yourself.”
Donny agreed by saying: “Yes, you also can’t love others if you can’t love yourself.”
“Love is Color Blind” also features Jeremiah Lisbo, John Lapus, Hyubs Azarcon, Donna Cariaga, Ariel Rivera, Arabella Davao, Lloyd Samartino, Ryan Bang and Eula Valdes. INQ
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