MANILA, Philippines -- Actor Paulo Avelino denied that he refused to work with ace comedienne Eugene Domingo for the stage version of "Bona," which will be mounted by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) next month.
Avelino was initially tapped to play the role essayed by Philip Salvador in the film version, which starred Nora Aunor.
That role will now be played by actor Edgar Allan Guzman, who drew raves for his performance in the independent film "Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me."
In an interview during the victory party of "Walang Hanggan" on Monday, Avelino said a scheduling conflict was the reason he did not accept the project.
“Hindi po kasi talaga kaya ng schedule ko... Kumbaga sino po ba naman ang tatanggi kay Eugene Domingo na makakasama mo sa play? Ako, never ko tatanggihan," Avelino said.
“’Yung main reason lang po ‘yung pagpasok ng schedule. If ever man magawa ko siya, ‘yun siguro ‘yung literal na walang tulog. Hindi po ako kasi nagpa-function nang mabuti 'pag ganon,” said Avelino, who's one of the main stars in ABS-CBN's hit television series "Walang Hanggan."
Avelino added that aside from the four-times-a-week taping schedule for "Walang Hanggan," he is also set to shoot a movie.
The actor stressed that if given a chance, he will definitely want to do a project with Domingo.
In the movie version of "Bona," directed by Lino Brocka, Aunor played an obsessive fan to a bit actor. But for the PETA play, which is billed as a comedy drama, Domingo's character was updated to a call center worker, who happens to be a die-hard fan of an upcoming actor.
PETA's "Bona," which is directed by Soxy Topacio and adapted for the stage by Layeta Bucoy, opens on August 24 and will run until September 23.