Why Dimples Romana was ‘forced’ to do fight scenes in heels
“I didn’t think I’d go beyond three weeks,” said actress Dimples Romana, whose character, the feisty Selene Larisa, in the action series “The Iron Heart” has been gaining a lot of traction and was even included in the program’s second season.
“Selene was offered to me soon after I gave birth to Elio,” Dimples told reporters. Her youngest son celebrated his first birthday the same day ABS-CBN organized a media gathering for the program, which stars Richard Gutierrez and Jake Cuenca.
“I’m a baby of Star Creatives (producer). They also created ‘Babaylan’ for ‘Bagani’ with me [in 2018], so I feel like the collaboration is on fire every time. The great thing about Star Creatives is that they grow and develop characters. When they see you work very hard and the traction is good, especially on social media where everybody gets to say what they feel, they will develop your character with you,” Dimples began.
“When we’re on the set, I really feel empowered and inspired. It’s not every day that we feel we have iron hearts. There are also days when we feel tired and scared to take on a task,” said the mom of three.
Selene, despite being one of the show’s villains, is a symbol of women empowerment, said Dimples. “This is a sensitive topic. There are times when this is presented, but not executed properly. I feel like with ‘The Iron Heart,’ we have done well in terms of presenting this. Don’t you feel empowered seeing a mom of three on television shooting guns, and in heels?”
Not taking the easy way out
She continued: “When I joined the program and saw that I would be working with Direk Lester [Pimentel Ong], I already knew what I would be getting myself into. He and his team mean business when it comes to action, and that’s what I like. When you’ve been in this business for two decades, you always look for roles that challenge you.”
Dimples then recalled being “forced” to wear heels while doing action scenes. “This was not planned. Napasubo lang ako. They told me, ‘Ate Dimps, you can always change your shoes.’ I said, ‘Why am I allowed to adjust? Is it because I’m a woman? No. I will not adjust, because the male cast members were never allowed to take the easy route. I-heels na ’yan!’ All the while, I kept praying that I don’t hurt my ankle or else we will be forced to pack up the set.”
Even if she wanted to, Dimples said she couldn’t go all out in her action scenes as she is still healing from a C-section operation in 2022. “I cannot do the twirls or tumbling. They know this and they understand,” she said.
Dimples also said she finds it “very satisfying” whenever she reads positive comments from viewers. “Mind you, this is not just about Selene. I also work alongside all these amazing, strong and independent women who we see fighting alongside men. I feel that it’s revolutionary. If I am a woman watching ‘The Iron Heart,’ I would feel empowered, I would feel like raising the flag for women—that this is not the time to say, ‘Babae lang ako.’”
She added: “I feel blessed that I’m part of Season 2. I didn’t think I’d last long in the show, but I’m glad people followed Selene’s journey. Her life is so colorful and unpredictable. To be honest, I don’t even know if Selene is an ally or an enemy. I just follow what I see in the script. I think that’s what people should watch out for. This actually adds magic and makes the story a lot more appealing.”
She then discussed the current onscreen romance between Selene and Christian Bautista’s character, Orcus. “I honestly think there’s a chance between Selene and Orcus. He calls her ‘Baby Cakes’ and she just lets him. If Selene dislikes you, she will either kill you or have you killed. The fact that Orcus is still alive means there’s a chance for the two of them,” Dimples explained.
The audience appreciates Selene and Orcus because they provide the necessary break from all the intense action, Dimples observed. “The audience must be thinking, ‘People are already killing each other, and yet, these two crazy gangsters would really find the time to deal with their love life,’” she quipped.
“I like working with people who are very respectful of other actors’ characters. If you encounter coactors who are like that, you don’t look at them as competition, but as teammates. We’ve become a family—this is why the show is very effective,” she added.
Dimples said she and the whole cast are aware of how difficult it is to “penetrate the market,” especially since Filipino viewers are constantly being given different options both locally and abroad.
“Despite this, we still feel the love and appreciation from people. We are grateful. In return, we try as much as we can to show our love in each episode of ‘The Iron Heart.’ On this particular set, we all feel empowered because all of us, our respective characters, are given the chance to shine.”
The second season of “The Iron Heart,” which also features Sue Ramirez, Sofia Andres and Albert Martinez, began airing on June 26. The show airs weekdays at 8:45 p.m. on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z and TV5.