Tears shed as Alden, Julia recall worries over movie comeback | Inquirer Entertainment

Tears shed as Alden, Julia recall worries over movie comeback

By: - Reporter
/ 10:59 AM October 21, 2023

Scene from “Five Breakups and a Romance” —SCREENGRABBED PHOTOS

Scene from “Five Breakups and a Romance” —SCREENGRABBED PHOTOS

Julia Montes is a naturally shy person and, by her own admission, can be prone to self-doubt. That’s why she couldn’t help but feel a little bit of pressure when she was offered to star in the upcoming romance drama film “Five Breakups and a Romance.”

And understandably so. After all, it was to be a comeback of sorts for Julia, who last starred in a mainstream movie in 2016. But with the help of her leading man, Alden Richards, and director Irene Villamor, she eventually found her footing.


“The pressure will always be there … But in doing this movie, these two people made me realize that I can do this. They were the ones who trusted me. If they believe in me, maybe I should start believing in myself, too. There were a lot of learnings,” she said at a recent press conference for the said movie, which opens in cinemas on Oct. 18.


“If they want to make the jump, then I will jump with them—definitely,” added the 28-year-old actress, who, in the process of filming, realized just how much she loves the craft.

“I know I’m in an industry where I’m not as famous or have as many fans,” Julia said, downplaying her stature in show biz. The press and fans in attendance disagreed. “But I love this job. It’s a passion. It feels good to be able to play roles, do stories that can be appreciated by people. That’s the big reward.”

It’s a feeling that Alden could very well relate to. While he has never taken an acting hiatus like Julia, he did become wary of accepting another movie offer after “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (2019), the highest-grossing Philippine movie.

Just felt right

“It broke records and is now part of history so it was hard for me to accept movies after that. And with that record in place, the past four years had me thinking, ‘OK na ako. Mag-soap na lang ako,” he said. But after reading the script of “Five Breakups,” Alden couldn’t put his feelings into words—it just felt right. “I went by gut feel. I realized that I shouldn’t just let my passion for acting die just because of numbers,” related Alden, who decided to coproduce the film—through his company Myriad—with GMA Pictures and Cornerstone Entertainment.

In an X (formerly Twitter) session with fans back in 2012, Alden Richards—just a newbie then—was asked which actresses he hoped to work with. Julia was one of them. And he would like to believe that he manifested it into reality.



“When you manifest something, one way or another, the Lord will find a way for it to happen. And I wasn’t wrong. Being able to work with this very talented lady is one for the books. As an actor, I would consider this as one of the projects I would tell people about when I grow older. It really made an impact in my life,” he said.


Getting emotional

Replying to questions by the Inquirer about working together and their initial worries about doing the movie, Julia and Alden turned emotional.

“I was flattered. I feel blessed to be part of this film. He proved to me that he’s generous and talented. I’m not … I’m getting emotional. Ba’t ganun? Sorry, kilala niyo ‘ko. Iyakin ako,” Julia said, starting to tear up. “I’m just super proud. This film is special to me. I think kita naman! There are no words to express how happy I am.

“I believe in God’s perfect time, you will be given the right project that will make your soul happy,” she added.

Without going into detail, Alden revealed that “he wasn’t in a good place” when they started working on this film. That makes the bonds he built with Julia and Direk Irene all the more special.

“We’re from different walks of life and did different projects in the past. But the film is a blessing for us all because something good came out of it,” he said, holding back tears. “We weren’t in a good place. But this story did something to our lives. It changed us and made us stronger.”

From the very first script-reading session, Alden, somehow, felt that they already knew each other well. “Sasalo ako ng bala para sa dalawang ito (Julia and Direk Irene),” he said.

Crossed paths

“Five Breakups” follows Lance (Alden) and Justine (Julia), two contrasting personalities with different family backgrounds. They cross paths at a bar in Singapore and eventually fall in love with each other. They return to the Philippines and get married. But they soon notice the magic starting to fade. They realize that all this time they were stuck and just trying to relive what happened in Singapore.

Scene from “Five Breakups and a Romance”

Scene from “Five Breakups and a Romance”

“Justine comes from a well-rounded family in the province. They’re goal-oriented and traditional. Lance, meanwhile, comes from a family that’s there, but not really there, if that makes sense. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy. It took him a while to mature. And you don’t really know where he’s headed,” Alden said of his character.

“My character, on the other hand, is the type who has her plans mapped out from one to 10—lahat ng gusto niya dapat mangyari. But you can’t really plan anything when it comes to love. So what will Lance’s impact be on my life? Will he help me achieve my dreams or will he make me realize that not all plans come true,” Julia said. Alden credited Direk Irene for creating a safe space on the set which made working a happy and easy experience.

“Jules and I never really got the chance to talk to each other. But the magic of Direk Irene is that she subconsciously empowers everyone … that’s why we didn’t have a difficult time,” Alden said.

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Julia wasn’t used to the love team setup. She thought that creating rapport with someone she had yet to work with would be a big challenge. “It wasn’t the path I was on. So that’s (creating chemistry) my greatest fear. But if the person is genuine, you don’t have to do much. Everything will fall into place because there’s a connection,” Julia pointed out. INQ

TAGS: Entertainment, Julia Montes

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