For first-time screen partners Yassi Pressman and Ruru Madrid, honesty breeds chemistry
For young hopefuls just starting out in show biz, having a regular screen partner or being in a love team is perhaps the most reliable route toward success.
But sooner or later, they may begin looking for new experiences and growth. And for Yassi Pressman, that’s something you can find only by stepping out of your comfort zone and working with new people.
“Back then, it was easier to stay in a safe place because you’re comfortable there. But working with other actors and directors, or trying new kinds of shows gives you more experiences and allows you to explore what else you’re capable of,” she told the Inquirer at the recent story conference for “Video City,” her upcoming film with Ruru Madrid.
“It’s exciting working with different people,” she said. “It’s always a challenge, but it’s also very fulfilling.”
Ruru echoed Yassi’s sentiments, but added that there’s nothing wrong with having favorite coactors. “Of course, there will be that person who you may consider as a favorite leading lady. But it’s good to have a break once in a while and work with someone new because you always end up picking up new knowledge that you can apply to your next projects,” he said.
“That’s why I’m so happy that the big networks and companies are now more open to collaborations. That’s something big for us actors,” he added.
Directed by Raynier Brizuela, “Video City” is a romantic-fantasy flick coproduced by Viva Films and GMA Pictures. The nostalgic plot follows two people who find the spark or the inspiration they have been yearning for in each other. But there’s a catch—they live in different timelines.
Han (Ruru) is a filmmaking student hoping to step out of the shadow of his prominent director father. While working on his thesis, he visits an old internet cafe where he chances upon a mysterious videotape rewinder. Before he knows it, Han finds himself in the year 1995 and crosses paths with Ningning (Yassi), a talented actress waiting for her big break.
The last time the actors worked together was about 10 years ago via the variety show “Sunday All Stars” and the thriller miniseries “Dormitoryo.” That’s why they’re excited to be given an opportunity to reunite—and for a movie at that.
“Sometimes, I see her jogging in the village where I train and play basketball. But I was too shy to approach her, baka ’di niya na kasi ako kilala. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to talk. I see her mostly on social media. But I have seen some of her projects. I see how much she has grown as an artist. She still has this happy energy that makes everyone on the set happy, too,” Ruru said.
Yassi, on the other hand, was happy to see that Ruru is still the same person she worked with almost a decade ago, only taller and more buff. “Ang tangkad na ni Ruru, malaki na ang katawan,” she said laughing. “It’s nice to work with friends and batchmates now that we have grown up.”
“But he’s still the same Ruru I knew, humble and still hungry to improve. Those are qualities I admire because, in our industry, there are always new and good people coming in. It’s nice to see someone who remains inspired and passionate.”
Open and willing
As for creating chemistry together, the two actors believe that more than workshops or training, it’s honesty that will help them make that connection. “Yassi is a good actress. So, I know that once we pour our hearts into the scenes, the chemistry will naturally come out. And not just chemistry between us, but chemistry among the whole team,” Ruru said.
“When you have a costar who’s open and willing, then everything will be fine. When I act, I try my best to tell my character’s truth. And when the actors are honest, you don’t have to force chemistry, the kilig. Magic comes out when you’re both being genuine,” Yassi said.
Having starred in the successful primetime series “Ang Probinsyano” and “Lolong,” respectively, Yassi and Ruru were introduced at the said event as “primetime royalties”—a title that makes them feel shy and grateful all at once.
“There was a point when I lost my drive and thought that there was no space for me in this industry. But now that the projects are coming in one after another, I can’t help but feel lucky and blessed… I don’t want to take these things for granted. And I’m here to show that I deserve them. I want to continue proving myself,” Ruru said.
“[Titles are just] a bonus. What’s important is that we’re given this platform to make people happy,” he added. “It’s heartening to see people come up to us and tell us we have inspired them.”
“Nahihiya ako,” Yassi admitted. “But I think the best thing is to accept it and reciprocate the people’s love. I hope to give it back by doing more projects that can touch people’s emotions and provide them with an escape. I hope I can be that vessel.” INQ