Comedy is serious business for Ryza Cenon and Easy Ferrer | Inquirer Entertainment

Comedy is serious business for Ryza Cenon and Easy Ferrer

/ 12:20 AM March 27, 2023
Ryza Cenon

Ryza Cenon

Creating the modern-day version of the 1954 comedy “Kurdapya” proved to be extremely challenging both for its writer-director, Easy Ferrer, and its main villain, Ryza Cenon.

The 2023 edition of “Kurdapya” is a situational comedy series with Yassi Pressman playing the twin characters, Kuring and Daphne, who decide to switch lives, a move that eventually enables them to learn valuable life lessons.


Ryza admitted that playing Margie, Daphne’s would-be stepmother, took her out of her comfort zone. “Comedy is something new to me,” said the actress, who is more identified with dramatic projects both on TV and the big screen. “We all know that this particular genre is all about timing. I feel very self-conscious because I know I’d get only two reactions from the audience, they’d think either I’m funny or I’m corny. I would always ask myself, ‘How do I best deliver my lines?’”

For Easy, directing a show with multiple cast members can be demanding and difficult. “The actors have different personalities and their comedic processes vary. The challenge for me is how to bring them all together and still come up with something coherent,” he explained. “Also, each character has different templates, but when they’re together in one scene, they have to be whole. This is why I take a lot of notes, like where we left off or which device is used by a particular character. The ideas get tangled in my head, so I make sure to lay them down.”


Another challenge for Easy was to make the classic concept relatable to younger viewers. “I’ve seen the original version [with Gloria Romero playing the lead]. Its humor was appropriate at the time. Since our audience is from the woke generation, I had to revise things. We removed all the cat-calling and body shaming. The basic premise of the humor back then was the comparison between two girls, one ugly and one beautiful,” he began.

Updated concept

“We’re in 2023 now, so we can’t use this anymore, or else bashers will attack us. Today, our comedy is all about their personalities—how different they are from each other, as well as their social status—isang jologs, isang sosi. While we made some updates, we remained loyal to the story’s main premise: the switching of two women’s lives. Even their love interests are the same. Ms Gloria also had two men pining for her,” Easy explained.

The director added: “One of the major considerations when I do comedy is that it should still be for the mass audience. I want it relatable. I want the audience to laugh more and think less, and I would always include visual comedy. In this case, the characters can teleport or change their looks at a snap of a finger. When the audience sees these things, they will be aware that a new flavor is being offered to them, and they’ll feel at home right away.”

Easy Ferrer

Easy Ferrer

Hiring talented actors made the job easy for him. “While completing the cast, I said I preferred working with those who aren’t so identified with comedy. I feel that they have more to offer with all their pent-up emotions. True enough, all my actors here have ‘inner comedy,’ and all I had to do was to set the tone for them. Ang dami nilang baon, including Ryza,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Ryza said she doesn’t like her character, even a bit. “Margie is the girlfriend of Daphne’s father. She looks sweet, but she’s really bad. The audience should watch out for the showdown between her and Daphne,” Ryza said. “Masyado siyang epal. She wants to always be the center of attention. I’m not like her at all. I prefer to be quiet, to be simple. Besides, she gives me a hard time because I often have no clue how to portray her and come across as funny.”

Hard work

Ryza, who has been acting for almost 19 years, admitted that she still has a lot to learn as an actor. “That’s how I look at each role I portray. I always feel I need to level it up, be it in drama or action, and now, in comedy,” she pointed out. “This is why portraying Margie is hard work. Sometimes, I’d unconsciously deliver my lines in a dramatic way, so Direk would tell me, ‘i-light mo lang.’ Margie is such a stuck-up character, but in a funny way.”

She continued: “I actually enjoy being a kontrabida because it allows me to experiment. A villain is able to show different emotions. She can also look pitiful if she wants to. The kontrabida can very well steal the spotlight from the bida. But it’s difficult for me to shift from heavy-drama acting to comedy. Not only do my lines sometimes come out too serious, I also get too serious when I need to slap someone, right Direk?”


“Yes, the actor she slapped is still confined in the hospital,” quipped Easy.

Inspired by Pablo S. Gomez’s popular classic, “Kurdapya” also features Marco Gumabao, Nikko Natividad, Katya Santos, Candy Pangilinan and Lander Vera-Perez. It premiered on March 18 and airs every Saturday, from 6 to 7 p.m., with catchup airings on Sari Sari Channel every Sunday, 8 p.m. INQ


Ryza Cenon prefers a villain role: I get to play around with the character

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