Jane De Leon on her chemistry with Janella Salvador: Totally unexpected
If she had her way, actress Jane de Leon said she would personally do all her action scenes and not rely on a stunt double, especially for her latest project, the horror flick “Shake Rattle and Roll Extreme” (SRRE).
Jane, who first dabbled in action on the defunct series “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” then on the recent TV adaptation of “Mars Ravelo’s Darna,” said she made sure to communicate this to Joey de Guzman, her director in “Rage,” one of three episodes in the Regal Entertainment-produced horror franchise.
“I told Direk Joey that, as much as possible, I wanted to be the one to do all my action scenes. If I see that I couldn’t, then I’d personally let my stunt double know. This all started in ‘Ang Probinsyano.’ Coco (Martin, who produced and starred in the long-running series) had been very supportive of me doing action. On the set, he would tell the production team, ‘Let Jane do it.’ It was in that show where I developed my confidence. I was able to do it in ‘Darna,’ too, then here in ‘Shake,’” she said.
“In my head, I kept hearing Coco say it’s much better that the audience is seeing me do my own stunts, that the more natural my acting is, the better. But I’m very proud of my stunt doubles—mas madugo ang trabaho nila,” Jane told Inquirer Entertainment during a recent media gathering to promote SRRE, which will be screened in cinemas nationwide starting Nov. 29.
Meanwhile, Joey said working on “Rage” was made easy for him by the fact that he and Jane have already been friends for years. “She was part of the music video that I directed. I knew her then. She was also one of the few people I knew first when I came to the Philippines from New Zealand, so directing her wasn’t too hard,” he said.
“She was really game. Jane was keen on working with the stunt team, trying to do rehearsals even though we didn’t ask this from her. In time, she even came in to brainstorm with us. I like to be collaborative as a director. It had been fun working with her,” the director said.
“Rage” is about a group of friends struggling to survive an alien infection that makes Earth people really violent and have the strong desire to kill each other, explained Joey.
Jane said she actually suggested to Regal executive Roselle Monteverde to get Joey to do “Rage.” She explained: “Joey is very passionate about what he does. We first worked together in 2015, but we’ve been friends even before I became an actor. I know he’s really good when it comes to action, because he has already done it in ‘Day Zero’ for Reality Entertainment. I’m so proud of him because he did a great job in ‘Rage.’ Even Tita Roselle was impressed. He came up with something that’s more than what we expected. Compared to the other two episodes, ‘Rage’ was the most difficult to film. Eight shooting days weren’t enough, but because of Direk Joey and his team, we were able to pull through.”
Jane then reacted to comments on why she has yet to come up with a new TV project some 10 months after “Darna” aired its finale. “They think I’m not doing anything new because I’m quiet, but, really, we’re cooking something up for them. They just have to be more patient. To be honest, ABS-CBN has already talked to me and my manager about my next teleserye. We had hoped to start working on it this year, but its production schedule conflicted with that of the movie I was supposed to do,” she said.
Five movie projects
Jane is committed to doing five movie projects, including Jun Robles Lana’s “How to be a Good Wife,” which also stars Janella Salvador. They start shooting for the film, a coproduction between Regal and IdeaFirst Company, in December.
“This project with Jea (Janella’s nickname) wasn’t part of the original film lineup. The idea to do a film with her came up when Tita Roselle saw the two of us hanging out at the ABS-CBN Ball. She said, ‘Gawan ko kayo ng movie!’ Jea and I looked at each other and said, ‘Sure! We’re game!’ It turned out that Direk Jun already has an existing story,” Jane recalled. “Jea and I are so happy because this is our first movie together. We actually didn’t expect that we would end up becoming a trending topic on the day we had our story conference. We realized that our fans really missed seeing us together. Imagine if the film was already released,” said Jane.
Jane said that, in the beginning, she couldn’t believe people were pairing her up with Janella. “This was totally unexpected. I asked people about this and they said the audience is actually feeling the kilig, that Jea and I have chemistry. If this is what the audience wants, then we will gladly give it to them. We want to make them happy, to keep them entertained. It’s not usual that people have this clamor, especially from younger fans,” she pointed out.
In return, Jane said she and Janella would make sure, “To spread only love and positivity. We try to be good examples to them. As for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, who showed us nothing but love, we try to teach others to respect them,” she stressed. “What Jea and I have is sisterhood. For me, it’s hard to find a true friend in show biz, someone who will not judge you. Jea and I have this huge love for each other. When one has a problem, you can count on the other to be there.”
In fact, Jane said she made sure Janella “supports” her decision to go on dates. “With everything that’s happening around us, we all deserve to be happy. I’m dating a guy outside show biz, and Jea supports this. I chose a nonshow biz guy because show biz is full of drama. I don’t want drama. While I’m open to anything, I just feel that dating someone outside this industry is more peaceful. They respect the time I dedicate to my work. They understand that my job as an actor is my priority.” INQ