Why is Ian seemingly ‘the victim’ in viral TikTok video with Heaven
Last month, Heaven Peralejo posted on TikTok a video of her getting a kiss on the forehead from Ian Veneracion. The clip quickly went viral, amassing more than 1 million likes and eliciting all sorts of reactions from social media users.
But while it was quite obvious that the video was just meant to create some buzz for the two actors’ Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, the suspense-thriller movie “Nanahimik ang Gabi,” some observers seemed to have jumped to conclusions that Heaven was actually flirting with Ian—a married man—offscreen.
“When we did it, it was just innocent fun. I was just like let’s try this (TikTok trend). And Papa Ian was game. We didn’t expect that a lot of people would watch it,” Heaven said when asked by the Inquirer about bashing and negative feedback she got over the TikTok video.
Ian, on the other hand, was still at a loss why the clip got people so riled up. “Ang daming natuwa, ang daming kinilig, pero ang dami ring nagalit. So I told Heaven, ‘You’re the woman, you’re the one who’s 22 years old. But it seems like people are painting me as the victim in the situation,’” he said.
“I didn’t understand what the fuss was about. I kissed her forehead. May bastos ba dun? May malaswa ba? But then people told me that it’s the way Heaven looked at me. ‘As a woman, I know that kind of look all too well,’ someone told me. And so I was like, ‘What, really?’” he said.
If anything, that clip simply shows how comfortable the two actors have to be with each other to effectively depict the dynamic between a sugar daddy and a sugar baby in “Nanahimik.”
Produced by Rein Entertainment and directed by Shugo Praico, the film follows the love affair of a sugar baby Me-Ann (Heaven) and a corrupt police officer simply referred to as Chief (Ian). The couple frequents a secluded mansion where they’re free to do whatever they wish. But one night, what was supposed to be a passionate tryst turned into a nightmare after a deranged intruder (Mon Confiado) spoils the fun.
“We have to be physically comfortable with each other. That’s one of the first requirements. If your very first scene requires you to be close to each other, there will still be a bit of awkwardness, no matter how good of an actor you are,” Ian said, adding that working in a taping bubble meant they could forgo the formal intimacy workshops.
“Since we’re already in the bubble we can do some exercises that can help us be more comfortable. For instance we can converse
with each other as our respective characters… The good thing about being in a bubble is that you can stay in your character for weeks. You don’t have to go in and out of the character,” he said.
“Papa Ian made me feel comfortable. We get to laugh at each other’s jokes. It’s just part of work. The good thing is that we were also able to set boundaries early on,” said Heaven, who had no qualms sitting on Ian’s lap and canoodling with him in some of the scenes. “Nakakahiya rin naman if I don’t do my job well.”
“Ian Veneracion ‘yan. When I learned that he was going to be my leading man, grabe—grabe talaga. I’m very grateful he was my screen partner,” she added.
Heaven also had to wear a two-piece swimsuit for a pool scene. “It was my first time doing something like that. Kaya ko ba? But I was assured that I will be made comfortable on the set .I tested my limits… I realized that I can do these types of roles. You will see a different Heaven in this movie,” said the actress, whose mother served as her “consultant” for the movie.
“We and Direk Shugo discussed how we wanted things and how they wanted things and we arrived at a compromise. You can’t completely take away the intimate scenes because the story wouldn’t reach a crucial point,” she said, adding that the pool scene was anything but sexy behind the scenes. “We were in Tagaytay and we had to shoot the scene at night. It was drizzling, it was so cold out there.”
The chase scenes were just as demanding, Heaven said. “The whole film was physically challenging to shoot. I did things I didn’t know I could do. But I’m grateful that Direk Shugo believed in me before I could believe in myself.”
Heaven’s career has been gaining momentum as of late. Aside from “Nanahimik,” which is her first starring role in a film, the young actress will also topbill a series adaptation of the hit web novel “The Rain in España.” “It’s my first starring movie and it got in the MMFF… I think the momentum I have is also because of the people who give me good energy and teach new things. A lot of doors have opened up,” she said.
“In fact, I’m more busy with work than with my personal life right now. I joke that my love life right now is work,” Heaven said.