HIT KOREAN TELENOVELA WITH ALL-PILIPINO CAST AIRS ON TV5
by Pablo A. Tariman
The story of a rich heiress who cannot connect with people below her social status is the stuff of “My Fair Lady,” a 2009 hit Korean telenovela which was also a hit in Japan, Thailand, the Middle East and lately Indonesia.
The Philippine reincarnation of this Korean hit is courtesy of TV5 which adapted the story for local audiences complete with all Filipino cast.
The Korean lead character of Kang Hye-na played by Korean actress Yoon Eun-hye went to Jasmine Curtis-Smith with two leading men namely Vin Abrenica and Luis Alanday.
The character of Kang Hye-na turns into a Filipino heiress by the name of Audrey Tiuseco who makes life miserable for people around her.
Jasmine said she didn’t have a hard time portraying the role of Audrey Tiuseco in the Philippine version of the Korean telenovela.
She told Philippine Star: “My character is a spoiled brat and I just have to be like that to do justice to the part. But I can fully distinguish fantasy from reality. In real life, I am not as bratty as her. I can appreciate all the sacrifices my parents did for me but this character can’t. So in this role, I went all the way being bratty at the expense of so many people. The telenovela made her that way. I am not like her when I am angry. The more angry I am, the more quiet I become. The role became a breeze as I had my share of support from my leading men and other member of the cast. It is a happy cast I must say. The energy on the set is always high and it rubs off on you as a performer.”
When the media ask her about the perennial “kilig” factor of the teleserye, Jasmine said being thrilled need not mean being in the middle of romance all the time. “‘Kilig’ I think happens on the set when everyone gives you the support you need. It happens too when people give you special attention. Yes, there are many scenes in this telenovela that are bound to be full of ‘kilig’ for everyone.”
(Meanwhile, the media got its share of “kilig” when Sen. Grace Poe’s son,Brian Poe Llamanzares, showed up without notice and didn’t hide his admiration for Jasmine. Brian said he first saw the billboard of the young actress near the Ateneo campus and was instantly smitten. “I will be very supportive of all her endeavors,” says Brian who was visibly shaken by the commotion he caused.)
Jasmine on the other hand pointed out there is no rivalry between her and her sister, Anne Curtis. “In fairness to her, she didn’t make me feel like I was her shadow. I have my own share of hard work to do and she was very encouraging as a sister.”
As to why this country is hooked on Korean telenovelas and why it is good investment to just adapt a Korean hit is explained by TV5 entertainment boss, Wilma Galvante. “For one, the project has many things going for it. For another, you already have a story and you just have to follow it to the letter. Then you have to brainstorm on the appropriate local setting with an all- Pilipino cast. The characterizations especially of the lead roles have to be very Filipino. The birth pain always begins on how to find the right cast. But once you have assembled one, you do a story conference, you schedule a workshop where they can bond together as the project progresses. Of course there is no substitute for good collaboration to make this project work.”
Added Noel Lorenza, TV5 president and CEO: “The local version stayed faithful to the original materials save for a few tweaks which the producers felt were important to make it more ‘relatable’ to Pinoy viewers.”
On the other hand, Luis Alanday says he had a lot of adjustment to do as his role is pretty much like young people in their 20s. “I have to do a lot of flashback to imagine myself in my early 20s. Since the lead characters are also in this age bracket, it is not hard to feel like one with them.”
Marjorie Barreto intimated she had to work hard to look and sounds like a villain. “You have to work at a certain level of anger that will fit the story. The support I got was such I became so good at it I even brought my character at home.”
Eddie Gutierrez who plays Jasmine’s ever solicitous grandfather admitted watching the young love team was a case of deja vu. “As I watch the scenes on the set, I suddenly recall my love team years with Susan Roces. It is their time now but the stuff of romance I think remains the same in both the young and old generation.”
Directed by Ricky Rivero, “My Fair Lady” airs weekdays starting September 14, 9:30 p.m. It also stars Yayo Aguila, Joross Gamboa, DJ Durano, Chanel Morales, Jenny Miller and Katrina Legaspi.