MANILA -- Actress Kathryn Bernardo is ready for new challenges as she revealed on Monday two upcoming movie projects.
Almost four years after the box-office success of "Hello, Love, Goodbye," Bernardo is set star in "A Very Good Girl" with award-winning Filipina actress Dolly de Leon, and the historical film "Elena 1944."
On Monday, Bernardo herself announced her upcoming films at "New Movie Alert," ABS-CBN Films's way of announcing upcoming projects. The event was also attended by ABS-CBN executives.
'A Very Good Girl'
Directed by Petersen Vargas and written by Marionne Dominique Mancol, "A Very Good Girl" will have Carmi Raymundo as the creative manager and Daniel Saniana as the creative supervisor.
Shooting for the movie, according to Bernardo, will happen soon and it will be released in cinemas this year.
"It such an honor because I will be working, she agreed to work with me, with the one and only Ms. Dolly de Leon. ...For sure marami akong matututunan sa kaniya. I can't wait to meet her again. Kasi sinabi niya pala na nagkasama na kami years ago when I was younger before pa but that was very short lang. Now, I am looking forward na mas makatrabaho siya nang matagal at mas makilala siya. What a great honor na gumawa at nabigyan niya ako ng oras," Bernardo said.
According to Raymundo, de Leon is also thrilled to work with Bernardo.
"Nung pini-pitch namin sa kanya, sabi niya, 'Sino 'yung makakasama doon sa pelikula?' When we said Kathryn Bernardo, immediately nag-light up si Ms. Dolly. I swear, promise, Kath. Kasi sabi niya 'I don't know if she remembers but we worked together when she was very little'. Tapos sabi niya, noon pa lang nakitaan ko she's very professional, she's very humble. ...That's why she's very excited to work with her again. And I have to thank Ms. Dolly because she's been very collaborative, she's been sending her notes, she's guiding us, napaka-collaborative niya sa whole process," Raymundo said.
The film also marks Bernardo's first time to work with Vargas, who helmed the 2022 hit film "An Inconvenient Love."
"I feel like he is the perfect director to guide me in this movie. So I am really excited na makatrabaho siya for the first time," Bernardo said.
According to Bernardo, she personally picked Vargas to direct her in "A Very Good Girl."
"It's going to be a dark comedy but with a lot of class and sass," Vargas shared.
"We want to serve lang this fantasy of alam mo 'yun representing this frustrated and powerless generation pero through Kathryn's character. So maraming aabangan," the director added.
According to Mancol, the story really fits Bernardo, whom she praised as young and talented actress.
Bernardo said said she is "so ready" to do the project, which according to her is a "big leap" for her as an actress.
"I personally asked for this na after '2 Good 2 Be True' I want something na genre na hindi ko pa nagagawa before. Dark-comedy, I love watching dark comedy series or movie but then 'yung gagawin ko 'yon for sure it will be challenging but I am accepting the challenge and let's do this Petersen," Bernardo said.
Aside from "A Very Good Girl," Bernardo will also star in the historical piece "Elena 1944," which will be directed by award-winning filmmaker Olivia Lamasan under Black Sheep.
"It's with my great pride and honor that this movie will be directed by 'Inang' Olivia M. Lamasan," said Bernardo, who shared the the story was first pitched to her in 2019.
Bernardo said she was not ready then. But now that she turned 27 and with the approval of her mother and boyfriend Daniel Padilla, Bernardo said she is ready for the role.
"Nung pinitch 'yon, nandoon 'yung takot, nandoon 'yung medyo marami ka pang kailangang kausapin i-consult kasi medyo, paano ko ba sasabihin? Hinidi pa ako sensitive, hindi pa ako ready for these kinds of roles. But then parang universe made a way. So na stop muna 'yung project na 'yon, it was there I was happy na hindi pa siya ginawa nandiyan lang siya. Then pinitch nila ulit sa akin. Then, 'yan fast-forward nandito tayo ngayon. I turned 27 and mas ready na si Deej (Daniel Padilla), mas ready na si mama, I think 'yung fans. Sila talaga ('yung consideration). 'Yung fans most especially, ready sila and ako personally alam ko nung tinanong ako ni Inang na parang gusto ko na siyang gawin kasi buo na ang puso ko na gawin siya, perfect kung kailan naman siya ipapalabas. It's a very nice project, Bernardo said.
The film also marks Lamasan's comeback to movie directing seven years after her last directorial project "Barcelona" which also starred Bernardo and Padilla.
"Napapayag ako kasi Kathryn Bernardo siya. ...Now I am making a comeback as a director after retiring from the corporate world at si Kathryn ulit ang aking magiging artista. That's such a blessing and something that I'm really, really very excited about, Lamasan said.
"Ako na-e-excite ako kasi it's another transition for you. It's another transition phase for you. When we did 'Barcelona' the challenge there was to transition Kathryn from a young teenage roles to more young adult roles, hindi ba? Then seven years later, eto na naman tayo not to really transition you but to really push you, push you limit as an actress to doing more edgy, more mature and -- more daring," she said.
In the film, which will be written by Palanca winner Patrick Valencia and Vanessa Valdez as the creative manager, Bernardo will play a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation.
"It's a historical drama, Japanese period. It's also an action-drama for Kathryn. ...It's a very challenging role for you (Kathryn) and very daring. Gusto ko lang sabihin sa iyo Kath, I am very grateful na tinanggap mo," Lamasan said.
"It goes beyond a comfort woman but something that we would want you na abangan. Ako I am very excited for Kathryn kasi she's starting off with something new with 'A Very Good Girl' hindi ba? And that's going to be followed by a project with direct Cathy Garcia-Molina, iba rin 'yung genre, iba rin 'yung character mo. And then this one, this one which I think to would be your most daring role yet, yet," added Lamasan, who assured Bernardo's mother that she will take care of the actress.
For her part, Bernardo said: "Inang, I'm grateful. I wouldn't say yes if hindi ikaw 'yung magdi-direct. Hindi rin ako papayagan. I trust you with all my heart. So hawak-kamay tayo sa panibagong (project).
"Siguro like what Inang mentioned kanina more daring, 'yun ang medyo bago sa kanila and it's something about nire-represent ko 'yung pagkababae ko and I love to do something like that, project like that, representing women, women empowerment."
In December 2022, it was also announced that Bernardo and Padilla will be doing a new movie with director Cathy Garcia-Molina.