MANILA — Yam Concepcion attested to the professionalism of her “Init sa Magdamag” co-star Gerald Anderson, in response to comments cautioning her, in jest, about being wooed by the actor.
Concepcion, 32, spoke of her experience with Anderson, 32, as her leading man in the upcoming ABS-CBN series, during its virtual media launch held Monday.
Concepcion was asked for her reaction to comments on the viral trailer and scene preview of “Init sa Magdamag,” both released in March — the same month Anderson confirmed his relationship with his last film co-star, Julia Barretto.
“Nababasa ko ‘yung mga comments. Nakakatawa at nakakatuwa na makita ‘yung reaction nila. Nakakatawa kasi sabi ng mga netizens, ‘O, Yam, magi-ingat ka kay Gerald, ah!’ Iyon ‘yung mga nababasa ko,” she said, laughing.
Billed as a sexy drama, “Init sa Magdamag” includes intimate scenes involving the characters of Concepcion and Anderson. They portray lovers Rita and Tupe, whose relationship abruptly ends when he is dragged into the corrupt practices of his government official-father (Joey Marquez).
“Honestly, hindi ko naman kailangan mag-ingat,” Concepcion said of her onscreen partner. “Siyempre nakikita nila sa TV, sinasabi nila, ‘Naku, matinik sa babae ‘yan! Hindi loyal.’ Hindi, e. 'Pag katrabaho mo si Gerald, he’s very professional at saka very gentleman. Hindi niya pinaramdam sa akin na may mali siya.”
“It’s just purely work. Despite being purely work, naparamdam niya sa akin ‘yung emosyon na totoo. I still felt his honesty bilang si Tupe, ‘yung character niya,” she said.
Prior to “Init sa Magdamag,” Concepcion and Anderson had only worked together once, in the 2011 movie “Won’t Last A Day Without You.” For that project, they only shared a day of filming together. Beyond it, they did not develop a personal relationship.
Both Concepcion and Anderson admitted there was “awkwardness” when they first filmed their intimate scenes in “Init sa Magdamag.”
“Hindi pa kami ganoon ka-close. Nandoon pa ‘yung ilangan. Kinailangan naming na magkaroon ng 30 minutes with each other to get to know each other. May ganoon kami, kasi nakita nila na naiilang kami sa isa’t isa,” she said, referring to instructions given to them by their director at the time.
That exercise, Concepcion recalled, significantly helped in making them feel more at ease.
“Eventually, naging natural na lang ‘yung chemistry naming dalawa and we got comfortable with each other. Nakuha namin ‘yung trust ng isa’t isa. Kasi hindi naman ‘yan biglaan, hindi naman ‘yan isang araw lang, you trust the person already. It takes a while to trust even your directors, even your co-actors,” she said.
Anderson recounted similarly. He mentioned that the scenes where Tupe stripped to his underwear in front of Rita, as well as their intimate moment at the foot of a waterfall — both seen in previews — were mounted within the first cycle (three weeks) of production.
“It was a challenge kasi wala kaming pinagsamahan. We’d never had a conversation,” he said.
He credited Concepcion for her dedication to her portrayal, saying it helped in their process of building rapport. “Gusto ni Yam ‘yung ginagawa niya, e. She’s very passionate sa trabaho niya. She’s very professional. 'Pag ganoon ‘yung kasama mo, hindi siya mahirap,” he said.
“She’s very humble, down-to-earth, madaling kausap. Madali lang. 'Pag ganoon ‘yung kasama mo, it makes everything lighter.”
Produced by Star Creatives, “Init sa Magdamag” is set to premiere on April 19 across nine platforms. It will be available to access via Kapamilya Channel, Jeepney TV, A2Z, TV5, TFC, Kapamilya Online Live, iWant TFC, WeTV, and iflix.