Sarah Geronimo and Coco Martin (third, fourth from left) with actress Ruffa Gutierrez and director Jerry Sineneng. Photo: ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Prized ABS-CBN talents Coco Martin and Sarah Geronimo will co-star in a drama film produced by Star Cinema, the actors confirmed Thursday, marking the second time they will be paired onscreen after the TV musical "1DOL."
The project, directed by Jerry Sineneng ("Walang Hanggan," "Imortal"), will start filming this month, according to Geronimo.
While the actress refused to divulge the film's story, co-star Ruffa Gutierrez offered that she will portray a public relations executive who will mentor Geronimo's character.
"Challenge 'to kasi hindi siya 'yung genre na ginagawa ko before na rom-com," Geronimo told reporters shortly after a story conference for the project. "Light drama na po ito, pero siyempre, love story pa rin. Mas drama po ito."
Geronimo's most recent movies were the "A Very Special Love" trilogy co-starring John Lloyd Cruz, whose entries all rank among the 10 highest grossing films in the Philippines.
Martin, who has earned international recognition for his roles in several independent films, admitted he feels apprehensive about being paired with Geronimo anew, noting she comes from "the mainstream world" and that her last three movies were massive box-office successes.
"Natatakot!" Martin said, laughing, when asked what his initial reaction was when the project was offered to him. "Siyempre pag sinabi mong Sarah Geronimo, mataas ang expectation ng mga tao."
"Ako naman kasi, sanay ako sa mga indie. Kumbaga, ito 'yung nakasanayan kong mundo. At ngayon, papasok ako sa mundo ng mainstream at si Sarah Geronimo pa 'yung makakasama ko. Honestly, napakalaking pressure po para sa akin!"
The actress is similarly "pressured" by the prospect of sharing the big screen with Martin, saying she is far less experienced in acting compared to her leading man.
"Kilala si Coco bilang magaling talaga na aktor ng generation na 'to. So kung anuman 'yung pinagtrabahuhan namin sa '1DOL,' may pressure na rin sa akin nung time na 'yun, e, kasi anggaling-galing niya talaga. So dapat talaga sa pagakakataon na ito, makahabol talaga ako sa kanya.
"Siyempre alam naman ng mga tao 'yung experience ko as an actor at 'yung experience niya as an actor, talagang ang layo, 'diba po? So sana mapagtrabahuhan ko talaga nang husto," she said.
The title and other cast members of the film have yet to be announced. It is expected to be released in 2014, as part of the continuing celebration of Star Cinema's 20th anniversary.