Why Paulo Avelino, Kim Chiu don’t want to be treated as a love team

(From left) Paulo Avelino and Kim Chiu in a poster for "What's Wrong With Secretary Kim." Image: Courtesy of Viu Philippines

(From left) Paulo Avelino and Kim Chiu in a poster for “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim.”

The pressure to make the memorable closet kissing scene between Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino for the series “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?” was so high that the scene took two days to shoot. It even required the production team to build four different kinds of cabinets that could fit the two actors and enable cameramen to shoot them while the couple locked lips.

This was according to Kim and Paulo, collectively known as “KimPau,” who spoke with broadsheet writers recently to promote the show’s airing on free TV starting May 25.

“Everyone who watched the original series claimed they also found the kissing scene memorable, so they eagerly waited for our version. The production team was very much aware of this, especially our director (Chad Vidanes). It took a considerable amount of time to shoot those scenes because we didn’t want to disappoint the show’s supporters,” Paulo told reporters.

“The design of the cabinet had several revisions, like three or four. They were all different. The one we ended up using was the winner,” quipped Kim. To those who have not seen the series, which began streaming on the Viu app since March 18, Kim’s character hurriedly instructs Paulo’s to hide inside her closet when her two elder sisters arrive at her house unannounced. The two later share a tender kiss inside the cabinet.

“That kiss, we had to work on it for another day just to make sure we achieved what Direk Chad wanted for the scene,” recalled Paulo.

When asked whether or not they were aware that KimPau supporters are linking them romantically, Paulo said: “I get where they’re coming from. If there are people onscreen who I want to see work in more projects together, I would ‘ship’ (from the word relationship) them as well, pero hinay-hinay lang (but let’s take it slow). Kim just came from a [failed] relationship—not that I’m meddling …”“Just don’t …,” interjected Kim.

“Let’s just allow people to enjoy their lives and give them time to explore a little more,” declared Paulo.

“Pau is right. Let’s first enjoy this (the series). What’s important is that we’re able to entertain them,” added Kim. “I also appreciate them shipping us. With all the projects Pau and I are doing, we really wish they would support us.”

Always trending

Paulo said their supporters are the reason their tandem is always trending. “We appreciate the time they give us. It’s not easy to keep tweeting or talking about someone you admire on social media. We appreciate the time and effort they’ve given. I noticed that Viu would post BTS (behind-the-scenes) photos and videos and our supporters would make them trend.”

Through their efforts, more people are becoming curious about the show, Kim added. “They help raise awareness about what we’re doing. They add more hype and encourage more people to download Viu, and watch both ‘Secretary Kim’ and our other series, ‘Linlang.’ If not for them, I don’t think we will get this kind of reaction from people,” she pointed out.

However, Paulo admitted that he wasn’t comfortable with them being tagged a love team. “Our producer once told us that the idea of love teams is not known in other countries. The term is used only here in the Philippines. I’d rather we use ‘tandem’ or ‘onscreen partner.’ I don’t like the stigma associated with being part of a love team.”

Kim then pointed out that both she and Paulo are already of age and certain of which career path in show biz to take. “We don’t mind working with other actors in projects that will give us growth or enable us to offer our audience a different taste. We accepted this project because we like the story, not because we want to be identified as a love team,” said Kim.

“What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?” is loosely based on the 2018 South Korean series with the same title. It’s about a competent secretary and a narcissistic boss (Paulo as Brando Castillo) who fall in love while uncovering a traumatic past that causes them to question whether their feelings are real or the result of shared trauma.

Most memorable

According to Paulo, the series teaches the audience the importance of setting boundaries in a relationship. “One thing that they can take away from our adaptation is that, because it’s really hard to be in a relationship with someone you deal with very closely at work, you should know when to be romantic with each other and when not to.”

Kim added: “Based on the story of Secretary Kim, the lesson is that love takes time. It’s not something that you look for or ask from someone. It will come in due time, just like in the story of Secretary Kim and Boss BMC.”

For Paulo, one experience he found most memorable while shooting the series was the “jeepney scene.” He explained: “BMC is always dressed up. Even when it’s hot on the set, he is expected to look perfect. People are very strict about this. They mind every loose hair or bead of perspiration, especially when it comes to my character. I really have to double my effort when it comes to exterior scenes, like when BMC had to ride the jeepney.”

Kim, on the other hand, said she considers working on the ending most memorable. “Our ending is different from the original. I like how it was executed. I was amazed at how the creative team thought of it. It really makes me proud,” she added.

Starting May 25, “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim,” from Viu and ABS-CBN Studios and produced by Dreamscape Entertainment, will air every Saturday at 7:15 p.m. on Kapamilya Channel and A2Z, and at 8 p.m. on TV5; and every Sunday at 7 p.m. on Kapamilya Channel and A2Z, and at 8:15 p.m. on TV5.