MANILA -- Jerome Ponce and Teejay Marquez have one thing to laugh about in the unexpected transformation of their acting careers. They are being dubbed as one of this season’s hottest love teams with the success of their series “BenXJim” about same-sex love.
“Suwerte kami sa isa’t isa! Hindi namin na-expect na ganun ka effective chemistry namin sa audience, tapos ngayon tinatawag na kaming successful love team," Ponce said in a virtual conference Thursday as he and Marquez welcomed the Chinese Year of the Ox with the launch of the the second season of their hit BL series.
“Malaking blessing si Jerome sa akin," Marquez also told ABS-CBN News. “Marami akong natutunan sa kanya! Very happy na napili ako to be his partner."
“BenXJim” is one of the most successful shows spawned by the BL series trend in 2020, with more than a million views for each of the seven episodes of its first season. Directed by Easy Ferrer under Regal Entertainment, the series now entitled “BenXJim Forever” will stream its eight episodes second season worldwide on Upstream.ph beginning February 12.
Ponce and Marquez are also grateful that they got the project at a time when most artists are reeling from the economic and psychological downturn brought by the pandemic. Its almost a
miracle, they said, that they were able to finish the first season without any major hitch.
Producer Roselle Monteverde told ABS-CBN News that all protocols were followed since their lock-in shooting last September 2020, including swab tests done on all the actors and production staff.
The first season introduced Ponce and Marquez as childhood friends who fall in love with each other amid the confining space of quarantine in their neighborhood.
This time, the plot thickens in “BenXJim Forever” with Ben (Marquez) gone missing as he evades his love for Jim (Ponce) who searches for him. Edgier characterizations will also feature Gawad Urian best actor Royce Cabrera and Vance Larena who will complicate the love story of Ben and Jim. The expanded series will also look into the struggles of millennials in finding real love.
“Mas mature kami dito, maraming bago, real talk, real issues about love,” said Marquez.
Ponce also transforms himself in the second season. “360 degrees ang ikot ng character ni Jim in the real world, so much realization,” he said.
Come Valentine season, both actors also weigh in on their love status. To teasing about being in love or “labo” (loveless) at this time, Ponce, who’s reportedly still mending his break-up with athlete Mika Reyes , retorted: “I am in love ...with life!”
Marquez was more playful. He said, “ I’m taken ...for granted!”
In the meantime, the singles look forward to the next transformation of their love team. “Who knows, next time, kakanta na kami,” Ponce quipped.