MANILA — A love team with a loyal fanbase even before their actual acting career started: this was the unique case of “Kimerald” in 2006, when the reality show “Pinoy Big Brother” (PBB) first held its teen edition.
The tandem of Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu, who were also a real-life couple for a time, would become one of the most successful screen pairings in local showbiz.
“‘PBB,’ ibang platform din iyon, e. Ibang klase ‘yun. That will give you the jumpstart talaga,” Anderson told ABS-CBN News.
“Kumbaga, kung sa hagdan, iyon ‘yung unang five or 10 steps. May shortcut na siya kung iyon ang hinahanap mo — fame, kasikatan. But then the real work starts after, paglabas mo na.”
Anderson and Chiu co-starred in four TV series within the first four years after their “PBB” exit, and then reunited for another teleserye in 2017. They also appeared together in six movies.
Anderson surmised that the wild popularity of “Kimerald” at the time was due to the way they were introduced to viewers.
“Nag-start kasi kami sa reality show, and kilala nila kami, kasi gabi-gabi nila kami napapanood. Walang characters doon, e, kung 'di ‘yung personalities namin,” he said.
“Kaya siguro parang ‘yung feeling nila, connected sila sa amin, dahil they saw the real us doon sa loob na bahay.”
While no longer a love team, Anderson and Chiu remain among the most visible stars in the country. Anderson just launched this week his 11th teleserye, “Init sa Magdamag”; while Chiu is seen daily via “It’s Showtime” and “ASAP Natin ‘To.”
For Anderson, his enduring success owes to his “PBB” launch and tandem with Chiu, but most importantly, his dedication and discipline that matched his luck as a showbiz newcomer.
“Mabilis manawa ang tao,” he said. “You can have 15 minutes of fame, pero ‘yung trabaho talaga, focusing on your craft, and being a professional come after.”
“Marami rin nawawala after six months, one year na lumalabas ng ‘PBB’ because siguro pumasok sila with different intentions. Wala namang masama doon — kung gusto mo sumikat, iyon ‘yung platform. But the real work starts after paglabas mo.”
In total, “PBB” has held 15 editions since 2005. Anderson and Chiu count among the many household names that reality show has produced, like Sam Milby, Melai Cantiveros, James Reid, and Maymay Entrata.
Admittedly, Anderson’s initial motivation for joining “PBB” was also to become popular. That goal shifted in 2009, when he co-starred with Chiu in the acclaimed “Tayong Dalawa,” to constantly bettering himself as an actor.
“Nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na mas seryosohin at pag-aralan talaga ‘yung craft, learning from the cast members, the directors. [That year] really was a change in my career kasi talagang nag-hit din ‘yung ‘Tayong Dalawa’ and it was an ensemble cast, powerful cast. Doon nag-start,” he recalled.
“Mula noon, lagi siyang challenge para mas pagbutihan lalo ‘yung the next one. Kung ano ‘yung na sa harapan ko, kung ano ‘yung project na gagawin ko in the moment, 110%, and then when the next one comes, 115%. You always try to push yourself more and more.”