MANILA - Alex Gonzaga was not in on the announcement.
The 26-year-old actress has been cast in Star Cinema's "Praybeyt Benjamin 2," a sequel to the 2011 blockbuster which will compete in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.
Gonzaga was told of her role in the Vice Ganda-starrer during her contract-signing with the ABS-CBN film arm on Thursday, with reporters and TV crew catching her reaction.
No less than Star Cinema head Malou Santos informed Gonzaga of the project.
"Talaga po?" a surprised Gonzaga said, before she excused herself from the media huddle to be briefed by Santos on her part.
Returning to face reporters, Gonzaga quipped, "Sasabihin ko na po, hindi niyo na po mababawi!"
Turning serious, the actress expressed her excitement over getting to work with Vice Ganda. "Natutuwa po tayo, kasi ako talaga, personally, fan ako ni Vice. Natutuwa talaga ako sa kanya, so I'm sure mag-bu-'Boom Panes' kami sa set. Sobrang excited ako, kasi fan talaga ako ni Vice," she said.
Gonzaga added it will also be her first time to work with Bimby Yap, who she has yet to meet personally, and Richard Yap, star of "Be Careful With My Heart." Both were earlier announced to be part of "Praybeyt Benjamin 2."
The Wenn Deramas film, which started shooting last week, marks the first time Gonzaga will join the annual film festival. "First MMFF ko ever!" she said.
As if to make sure she has secured the part, Gonzaga emphasized that the news came from Santos herself, and that she has proof of the announcement with TV cameras rolling.
"Narinig naman po natin 'yan, na galing po mismo sa bibig ni Ms. Malou," she said, drawing laugh from reporters. "Sinabi ni Ms. Malou, kaya 'di puwede i-cancel, ha. Naka-record naman, so pag hindi mo naituloy ito, dapat mai-preview po natin ito sa kanila. Maipapa-playback po ito!"