Why Jillian Ward gets ‘nervous’ doing scenes with Dina Bonnevie | Inquirer Entertainment

Why Jillian Ward gets ‘nervous’ doing scenes with Dina Bonnevie

By: - Reporter
/ 12:25 AM April 12, 2023

Jillian Ward

Jillian Ward

Just because she recently turned 18 doesn’t necessarily mean that Jillian Ward is ready to entertain suitors.

“Now that I’m already 18, more boys are starting to get gutsier—nagpapa-cute! But they don’t really try to court me, because I don’t allow that yet. I want to focus on myself, my work and family first,” Jillian said in a recent virtual conference for her top-rating afternoon series on GMA 7, “Abot-Kamay na Pangarap.”


“I believe that [love] will come at the right time. But for now, this is what God gave me, so I just want to focus on what I have and give my best,” she added.


She has noticed, however, that her parents have seemingly become less strict with her recently. “I have never gone out without either my parents or a relative. And I’m not allowed to drive yet because they’re afraid that something [bad] might happen,” she said. “But they’re no longer as strict these days.”

No drastic changes

“Because I’m always with them, I have already learned a lot from them. I already know what I have to do, what’s wrong. So even if they urge me to go out and enjoy myself, I’m like, ‘No, I want to focus on work.’ I already have that discipline,” she said.

How does it feel to be 18? To be honest, Jillian said, things have remained pretty much the same. There are no drastic changes or added responsibilities that one might associate with becoming an adult.

“I have been working since I was a kid, so I already know the responsibilities I have,” she said. “There’s just pressure on myself to improve, do better and learn more since I’m now an adult. Other than that, nothing has changed.”

One of the most memorable gifts Jillian received was the grand galaxy-themed birthday party her parents helped organize for her last Feb. 25. A few weeks later, she bought herself a real estate property.

New additions

“My debut party became a big celebration. It was special because all my loved ones attended. And then I bought a lot, because I thought it would be good for my future. Fortunately, my mother and father were very understanding and supportive,” she said. “They always ask me what I want to invest in … what I want for my future.”


As “Abot-Kamay” continues its run, the feel-good medical drama introduced new plot lines and characters. One of the newest additions to the cast is seasoned actress Dina Bonnevie, who plays Giselle, the intimidating sister of Doc RJ (Richard Yap). The latter is a passionate doctor who was recently revealed as the real father of the young and gifted neurosurgeon Analyn (Jillian).

The first time Jillian saw Dina on set, she couldn’t help but feel starstruck. “I got nervous because I knew that I had to do well … And until now, I still get nervous when I have to do scenes with her—that’s Ms Dina,” she said.

“I was scared of her at first, but later on, I saw that she’s so kind and outgoing,” she said, adding that Dina was generous enough to give her acting tips during their free time.

“I asked her for some advice and she was very patient with me and very giving. Even if she’s a big star, she makes sure to talk to us newbies,” she added. “I didn’t want to mess up my lines in front of her, so I rehearsed them repeatedly. I’m proud that I can now say that I have had the opportunity to work with her.”

By now, almost every show biz observer knows that Dina is allergic to unprofessional costars, especially entitled newbies. Jillian had nothing to be afraid of in that regard. “We know that she puts importance on work ethic. Our director, LA Madridejos, is also like that. We’re reminded to be on time. Phones are not allowed at work. And as an actress, that’s a given—it’s part of my job,” she said.

‘One of a kind’

In her 13 years in show biz, Jillian said that “Abot-Kamay” is easily the happiest set she’s been on. “Magaan lang … After heavy scenes, we would just have fun or make TikTok videos after the director yells cut. Our bonding is one of a kind. We’re like family,” related Jillian, who has also grown close to Carmina Villaroel, who plays Analyn’s mother, Lyneth.

“During the first few weeks, I would think about my mom for inspiration in my scenes with Ms Mina. But now, we have a connection. I just think about Lyneth. Even without rehearsals, cues or preparations, I can cry on the spot when Ms Mina and I do our takes,” she related. “The veteran stars in the series are like our real mothers, uncles and aunts … I hope the show lasts longer because I really love it.”

While the program gets criticisms once in a while on social media—especially about medical procedures and protocols—Jillian said she and the rest of the production welcome the comments. “We get insights about things we can improve on like the medical cases we present. We’re not affected in a negative way. I’m happy and grateful that people watch the show and suggest things that we can incorporate into it,” she said.

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For the longest time, Jillian has been associated with Trudis Liit, a character she played when she entered show biz as a child star in 2010. Now, people are starting to call her “Doc Analyn.” “I was known for Trudis since I was a kid, so I’m happy with how my career has progressed. It means that my role now has had an impact on viewers,” she said. INQ

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