MANILA — “Suntukin mo lang ako,” was the challenge of Alden Richards to his first-time co-star Kathryn Bernardo — on their first day of filming the Hong Kong-set blockbuster “Hello, Love, Goodbye.”
The repeated takes resulted in Richards sustaining a bruise on his arm, the onscreen partners revealed as they dissected the scene in a featurette released by producer Star Cinema.
“Iyong suntok na ‘yun, ilang takes ‘yun,” Bernardo said. “After ilang days, sabi ko kay Alden, ‘Ano ‘yan?’ Tinaas niya ‘yung t-shirt niya. Meron siyang super laking pasa!”
Recalling what he told Bernardo while filming the scene, Richards said: “Kath, suntukin mo lang ako! Sige lang!”
“Siyempre, pabibo ka ‘pag first day!” he added, in jest.
The scene they were referring to was the first meeting of Joy (Bernardo) and Ethan (Richards) at an alleyway. Joy, a domestic helper who takes illegal night jobs, just narrowly escaped law enforcers by hiding in garbage.
To lend truth to her acting, Bernardo was made to actually run and do aerobic exercises prior to the take, so her sweat and gasping for air were real.
Director Cathy Garcia-Molina also motivated Bernardo by depriving her of communication with crew and cast members, as well as access to her phone. Bernardo would admit in various interviews that she was actually “angry” with her director and was close to giving up when that scene was filmed — emotions that perfectly fit Joy’s situation in that part of the story.
“Every take, lahat ng galit ko, sinusuntok ko siya! Siguro, seven takes. Suntok lang ako nang suntok,” Bernardo said. “Tapos after ilang days, nag-violet ‘yung [braso] niya… Nandoon pa rin siya noong last shooting day namin.”
According to Richards, the mark of the bruise lasted a while. It remained visible despite it no longer being painful.
Explaining why he encouraged Bernardo to not hold back, he said: “In that way, sabi ko, ‘Kailangan ko tulungan si Kath.’ Kasi siyempre, ‘pag sumuntok ka ta’s pineke mo, [hindi effective].”
“Hello, Love, Goodbye,” which continues to draw audiences on its third week in cinemas, recently crossed the P600-million mark in domestic earnings.
With international screenings in full swing, “Hello, Love, Goodbye” is poised for a leap in box-office tally that’s expected to rival Bernardo’s previous record-breaker, “The Hows of Us.”