MANILA — Albie Casiño and KD Estrada were both surprised by their casting in major roles in the same acting project, following their widely watched stint in “Pinoy Big Brother” (PBB).
The former housemates will co-star for the first time in the limited series “Bola Bola,” an iWantTFC original title based on the book by Anna Geronga, to be directed by JP Habac.
Francine Diaz leads the cast as Thea, a 220-pound late bloomer who falls in love with her older brother’s best friend.
Casiño will portray Thea’s older brother, while Estrada will play a “long-time friend” of Diaz’s character who has “unspoken feelings” for her, they confirmed in separate interviews with ABS-CBN News.
Estrada will be one of Diaz’s three leading men, along with Akira Morishita of the BGYO fame, and Ashton Salvador of The Squad Plus. Completing the main cast are showbiz newcomers Analain Salvador and Danica Ontengco.
Casiño was cast in the project after his “PBB” eviction in mid-November. He recalled he was shooting on location for a film with director Joel Lamangan, when he got the pleasant surprise of clinching the role in “Bola Bola.”
“I didn’t even know!” he said, laughing. “I go back to the tent, I check my phone. ‘I’m blowing up. What did I do?’ ‘Pag tingin ko, ‘Confirmed na ba ‘to?’ Tumawag ako sa manager ko, ‘Yo, they’re promoting Bola Bola.’ ‘Confirmed na.’ ‘Okay, I didn’t even know.’” (See the 28:25 mark of the video below.)
Estrada, meanwhile, was included in “Bola Bola” while he was still inside the “PBB” house. One of the first news he got from his family, when he was evicted on December 16, was the acting project waiting for him in the “outside world.”
“It turns out [I was cast] while I was in ‘PBB.’ I got the news when I was out, but I got the role when I was in. I wasn’t aware of the project before. It’s crazy,” he said. (See the 19:25 mark of the video below.)
The series will mark Estrada’s first time to act with Diaz. The two previously worked together as members of The Gold Squad and its expansion, The Squad Plus.
Estrada’s only prior acting credit is “Unloving U,” the 2021 mini-series starring Loisa Andalio and Ronnie Alonte. In the romcom offering, Estrada was a supporting actor.
Casiño, meanwhile, was last seen in the 2021 teleserye “Init sa Magdamag,” which concluded its run in September but had already wrapped filming as early as February.
“I’m excited,” Casiño said of “Bola Bola.” “Actually, sa cast, wala pa akong nakakatrabaho, except KD na kasama ko sa Bahay ni Kuya.”
“I love working with people for the first time talaga. ‘Pag bago talaga, mas nakaka-excite, e. Ito ang daming bago — bagong show, lahat ng artista first time ko makakatrabaho.”
Work on the series was originally scheduled to start this month, but “everything has been pushed back” due to the latest COVID-19 surge in the country, according to Casiño.
They are tentatively scheduled to resume in mid-February, he said.