MANILA, Philippines - Actor Richard Gutierrez says that among all the girls in his life, actress Heart Evangelista is "the closest" to him.
"I made a lot of friends throughout the years. Pati ang mga leading ladies ko. Kahit hindi ko leading ladies, naging kaibigan ko na rin. Marami na akong naging mga kaibigan sa industriya. But siguro as of now, si Heart (is the closest to me)," he said.
Richard and Heart became friends while taping for the now defunct show "Asero."
Richard said their relationship went "beyond showbiz", adding that they are "very open to each other."
The pair are currently the lead stars of the drama-comedy series "Full House", a remake of a Korean series starring pop singer Rain and Song He Gyo.
Asked if there is a possibility that they will become romantically involved, Richard said: "Well, as of now, kami ni Heart, we have a clear reality of what we have."
"And as of now it's a strong friendship and we don't want to take it to the next level if we are not ready for anything. Like what we've said, friendship will last longer rather than rushing it and then ruining everything," he added.
Richard, while he admires Heart, says they both understand that they need to remain friends.
"That's something special already-- for her being open to me and me being open to her," he said.
The actor also denied that he has gotten back together with former girlfriend Georgina Wilson, with whom he was seen relaxing with in Boracay.
"People kasi, kapag nakakita ng picture na ganoon, [they] tend to think na may relationship na sila. But you know we're just having a good time in Boracay. Matagal kaming hindi nagkausap at nagkita," he said.
(When people see a picture like that, they tend to think there's a relationship. But you know we're just having a good time in Boracay. It's been a while since we spoke and saw each other.)
He insisted people should not "give a deeper meaning' to the pictures, since he and Georgina (whom he calls "George") are good friends.
Richard, brother of actress Ruffa Gutierrez, is set to star in yet another television series. He and his twin brother Raymond turned 26 last Thursday (January 21).