|Dingdong Dantes. File photo
Actor paired with Bea Alonzo for anniversary film
MANILA -- Dingdong Dantes feels "fortunate" to be part of the year-long 20th anniversary celebration of ABS-CBN's film production outfit.
The 32-year-old actor, who is considered one of the prized leading men of ABS-CBN's rival network GMA-7, is starring in yet another Star Cinema film to mark the third year in a row he has been involved in a high-profile Kapamilya project.
"I'm very fortunate that I'm given the opportunity," Dantes told ABS-CBN News shortly after the film's story conference held Friday.
Referring to the movie as among Star Cinema's 20th anniversary offerings, the actor added, "Pag gano'n, medyo special talaga 'di ba? And I'm very fortunate na makakasama ako sa ganoong klaseng celebration, even though I wasn't there since day 1. But over the last 2 years, kahit paano [naging parte ako]."
Although largely identified with GMA-7, Dantes has appeared in a number of ABS-CBN projects, including the Metro Manila Film Festival entries "Segunda Mano" and "One More Try."
Both produced by Star Cinema, the films scored back-to-back Best Actor trophies for Dantes in 2011 and 2012.
New leading lady
For his third film with ABS-CBN, Dantes will work for the first time with Bea Alonzo in a story that centers on the pair as best friends.
Although the two have previously worked together in fashion shows and, most recently, a magazine shoot, they have never co-starred in an acting project.
"I'm extremely happy na finally makakatrabaho ko siya," Dantes said, referring to his fourth Kapamilya leading lady after Kris Aquino in "Seguna Mano," and Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban in "One More Try."
Alonzo is likewise excited over her team-up with Dantes.
"Ako, I'm excited na finally makakatrabaho ko na siya, kasi alam naman natin na hindi siya everyday nangyayari," she said, before turning to Dantes to add, "I'm very honored na makatrabaho ka."
Like her new leading man, Alonzo said she feels grateful to headline a project that is part of Star Cinema's anniversary line-up.
"Syempre masaya [ako], kasi alam naman natin na every project, every movie na ginagawa nila for the 20th anniversary, ay maganda. Sinimulan 'yon ng 'Four Sisters,' tapos ngayon may 'Tuhog,' and these movies are doing very well," she said.
The actress was referring to the family "dramedy," "Four Sisters and a Wedding," and the black comedy film, "Tuhog," which are still showing in cinemas nationwide.
Alonzo is also among the lead cast members of the Cathy Garcia-Molina-directed "Four Sisters and a Wedding," along with Locsin, Toni Gonzaga, Shaina Magdayao and Enchong Dee.
Asked if she feels pressured with the prospect of her latest film -- it being her first team-up with Dantes, and her second Star Cinema anniversary movie -- Alonzo said she prefers to simply "enjoy" the experience of being with a new group of people.
"Ako, I don't want to get pressured, lalo na this early. Ang gusto ko lang mag-enjoy habang ginagawa 'tong pelikulang 'to, to get to know this person (Dantes). I just want to have fun doing this movie.
"Tapos na ako doon sa nakaka-pressure na movies, hindi ba? Nando'n na 'ko sa 'I want each moment to count,' and to make memories with them, with this group," she said.
Agreeing with his new on-screen partner, Dantes added, "I think mag-e-enjoy talaga kami rito. Enjoy, meaning enjoy sa paggawa, and definitely 'yung mga manonood, ay mag-ee-njoy sila sa mapapanood nila. At the same time, maraming mapupulot na mga aral, about relationships, about themselves."
By this time a frequent collaborator of Star Cinema, Dantes was asked whether he now considers the film outfit his "family."
"I love doing movies, gustung-gusto 'yung mga taong katrabaho ko, and everytime I'm on the set, and everytime na gumagawa ako, I always treasure them. I always treat everyone just like family," he said.
The title of the film, as well as its director, have yet to be announced.
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