Lovers/Liars is Claudine Barretto’s fitting comeback as primetime TV drama queen
‘Lovers/Liars’ from Regal Entertainment, Inc. and GMA Network promises to be another gathering of the stars from both camps, thus ensuring that when it comes to the outstanding qualities of the young actors and established ones because the casting choices were carefully considered here. No doubt the expectations of the viewers will be very high for this newest primetime television series. It will be worth looking forward to and following closely each succeeding episode to see how the events will unfold and progress.
Most notably, ‘Lovers/Liars’ marks also the comeback of the iconic Claudine Barretto on GMA Network in what I imagine would be a fitting role for her. And given her signature flair for dramatic roles, we may find ourselves totally engrossed and immersed just watching her tackle her role.
Last November 15, 2023, I was able to interview the main star Claudine and several of her supporting stars (Rob Gomez, Shaira Diaz, Yasser Marta, and Polo Ravales) during the recently concluded Grand Media Con for ‘Lovers/Liars’.
Below is my Q&A with Claudine. Following that are my individual Q&A with some of her supporting stars.
1. We all know that you are a wonderful dramatic actress with a lot of depth. Your name is synonymous with drama in Philippine cinema. In ‘Lovers/Liars’ from Regal and GMA Network, will we be seeing once again your dramatic acting chops for which you have become famous?
Claudine Barretto: Thank you so much for the things you said. Thank you so much. Yes, yes, of course. I think, when you grow up making teleseryes, while it gets longer, you will learn more, you will get better, and you will give your best. Better than the last one. It is because you mature and learn more also as an actor. Yes, 100 percent. As I told Ms. Roselle Monteverde, Sir Joey Abacan and Director Crisanto B. Aquino I will be giving my best, as I would always do, but maybe, in the last seven years I have been through so much. Surely, the viewers will see that based on my performance here.
2. Right now, in this stage of your showbiz career, what do you feel is that something more you have to prove to yourself once again?
Claudine Barretto: Yes, in every show I do. You try to prove to yourself and not to others. Also, as an artist, that is very important: You do not want to stop learning, so at least now we have Netflix, YouTube and K-Dramas, and you get to watch and you get to see that… the things that people want to change, and you get to learn certain techniques and you can apply them in your new role.
3. How does it feel to be back on primetime television once more?
Claudine Barretto: Up to now I feel like I am in Heaven. I am really, really happy and excited, very nervous. I feel really great, because to be honest, working with other good young actors and actresses… It is because there are so many now and I do not know them yet. Or when you get to watch them on the TV and ask yourself: “Do they know how to act?” Because they are so many, and you can’t even remember their names? When I started with them, I saw that there is depth, they have hunger, and I told myself, “They will go far.”
And also, one of the highs here in ‘Lovers/Liars’ is that it is my first time to work with Ms. Roselle Monteverde of Regal Films. And I am really thankful. And also, to GMA and to Sir Joey Abacan for thinking and getting me for doing the role. But the highest for me now is to see my assistant director to be the director he is now. That is my happiest. That is my happiest. And I told Director Crisanto B. Aquino. “I won’t let you down.”
My Q&A with the supporting actors Rob Gomez, Polo Ravales, Shaira Diaz and Yasser Marta.
Answers of Rob Gomez:
1. On a personal basis and on a professional basis, how are you preparing for this primetime television series, ‘Lovers/Liars’?
Rob Gomez: Personally, the preparation I always do is to build a relationship with the cast, directors, the crew. I am that type of guy, you know. A little bit of chatting, so that we can be more comfortable. That is what gives me the confidence, comfort and mindset so that I can do always what has to be done.
Polo Ravales: I read the script thoroughly. I always consult my director in every scene for what is needed and to get his insight. I studied well my character being a “closet gay”.
Shaira Diaz: To be honest, it has been almost two years since I have done a teleserye, so this is again my comeback on the small screen, since I became busy in school and my hosting duties in “Unang Hirit”. With regard to the preparation, I rely on sleep most of all. As much as possible, I try to get as much sleep as possible because I experience lack of sleep due to my hosting duties which means I have to wake up early. But the level of lack of sleep I also experience in ‘Lover/Liars’ is different because we end up working until the early hours of the next morning.
So, my preparations are on the script, most of all. I do not want to go to the set where I am not ready and not aware about what will happen. As long as it is possible, I talk to Director Crisanto. I ask him questions like, “Director Crisanto, is it okay, what I did?”. I also make sure that I meet his expectations on what he wants to happen, as he visualizes my scene in his mind, what he wants to happen in the scene. So, those are my preparations.
Yasser Marta: I immerse myself in script reading, so that I get to know my character that I will portray. It is really in reading the script, memorizing my lines, and getting a feel of what my character is. And during the tapings, that is when I get to truly immerse myself in the role given to me. I am doing everything I have to do and more to be fully prepared for my biggest television role to date.
2. What is exciting for you about this?
Rob Gomez: There is a lot of new things that I haven’t done here. Including being a “gay lover!”. Having an ex in the story. I am not the type to back down, so we’re here. Rock N’ Roll.
Polo Ravales: All the roles that have been given to me are exciting. Especially, if it is challenging. If that is the kind of roles I get, I enjoy being playful with it.
Shaira Diaz: When I knew that I was about to have a confrontational scene with Ms. Claudine Barretto eventually. I am so grateful and honored for that and to get the chance to work with Ms. Claudine Barretto because our story involves us having sort of a mini-love-triangle and I am sure about that. I also asked Ms. Noreen Capili, our writer, on what will happen with my character. And she did tell me that there will be a major scene between me and Ms. Claudine Barretto eventually throughout the run of ‘Lovers/Liars’.
Yasser Marta: In ‘Lovers/Liars’, this has to be the most daring role that I am going to do, aside from that of being a part of this stellar cast with Ms. Claudine Barretto. That alone has made me feel very excited and grateful. I am very much looking forward to this.
3. What are the challenges for you?
Rob Gomez: That is really the challenge. It gets steamy! In the first week alone, there are some explosive revelations. Apparently, my role is the most controversial because of that. All of us have controversies here. However, everything is different. I am excited. We are all excited. It is going to be a whole different show on Primetime.
Polo Ravales: Well, I always want my challenges to be great! The challenge there for me is, how I can give my best performance for the role given to me? Because that is always my target on how I can portray beautifully my role. Especially because I am a straight guy in real life. Of course, naturally, how will I portray convincingly a gay role on the screen?
Shaira Diaz: For me, maybe, it is the time management. When it comes to the script, storyline? I do not find any problem in them. It is only on how I will be able to do the tapings because I have classes to attend to every day and I also do “Unang Hirit”. So, I want to do the tapings always. But Regal and GMA are very generous and understanding when it comes to my studies. And they allow me to go to school, if I have to. So, the challenge is trying to balance the schedule because I want to give my best in every one of them. I also do not want them to adjust too much for me. I do not want to be a cause of delay.
Yasser Marta: This is a new challenge for me because it will be the first time that I will be daring on television because mostly I would be like that in the Bench shows. It is also my first time to have a love team with two women, one with Shaira Diaz and the other, with Ms. Claudine Barretto. For me, that is another reason why I have to do my best and give my best in my performances. And that for me is my biggest challenge.