MANILA -- Last June, Diego Loyzaga and Franki Russell unfollowed each other on Instagram a few weeks after Loyzaga admitted they were dating. At that time, they were about to start filming their first film together, “Pabuya.”
However, Loyzaga disclosed Friday night it was merely “method acting” on their part that made them unfollow Russell.
“Sa script ng ‘Pabuya,’ our characters, six years kaming hindi nagkita,” Loyzaga told ABS-CBN News. “So ginawa kong method acting not to talk to Franki first until we saw each other on the set.
“I think that worked because her line when she saw me, ‘Na-miss kita.’ Then I also told her, ‘Na-miss din kita.’ Pasok naman sa roles namin ang ginawa ko.”
Loyzaga noted that his Hollywood idols always relied on method acting for their roles on the big screen. That was why he tried it for his latest action-drama caper.
“Franki and I have remained friends,” Loyzaga said. “We also see each other. We just avoided each other for a while. But there wasn’t any awkwardness when we saw each other again. She ran off to me with open arms. We were fine working together on the set.”
Russell confirmed they both did method acting. “When we saw each other, we missed each other,” Russell said. “We were method acting. That was the plan. It worked.”
When “Pabuya” was first offered to them, Loyzaga and Russell already knew each other. “There was never a time na hindi kami naging okay,” Loyzaga said.
The two stars are working together for the first time in the action-drama, “Pabuya,” directed by Phil Giordano and slated to be shown on Vivamax starting October 7.
“I’m definitely ready for this role,” said the 28-yeaar-old Russell. “Hindi na ako bata. I felt excited and hungry for the role after I read the script. Napakaganda ng story.
“I always felt confident with my body. If you’ve got to flaunt it. I’m ready and excited for you guys to see this.”
“Pabuya” megman Giordano, in his sophomore directorial project, attested the chemistry of Loyzaga and Russell is “incredible.”
“You have to see how good they are onscreen,” Giordano noted. “It’s unbelievable. I think you want to put them together a million times. They just click so well. They are super believable. You could feel their emotions.”
Loyzaga’s action-drama role in “Pabuya” is the “wild role that I’ve done,” he said. In fact, his director acknowledged Loyzaga can pass off as a big action star for this film.
“I didn’t expect him to be that impressive for this film,” Giordano commented. “He’s like a big guy with a huge presence onscreen. He was amazing. He was super versatile. I’m sure he’ll probably get more action roles after this film.”
Loyzaga was careful not to assess Russell’s acting in her first lead role, although she3 was previously seen in “Ang Probinsyano” (2019) and earlier in “Pinoy Big Brother Otso” (2018), where she was one of the adult housemates.
“It was fun, although Franki was still feeling her way in, ‘Pabuya’ being her first film,” Loyzaga remarked. “Love scenes, they were difficult to shoot. They were ‘horrible’ for her. But we had Direk Phil to guide us.
“I know Franki gave it her all. She asked a lot of questions, which was very good. It was not a sign of cockiness. Dadating ka sa set na parang alam mo na ang lahat. She was very open to Direk Phil, who told her, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask.’
“Tao lang din naman tayo. We make mistakes. So better if you ask questions before. So if you make a mistake, you know what went wrong. But Franki did great. She put her effort into this film.
“She always carried her script and she was always reading it. She did very well. It was obvious that she did well because she was given another project right away. Her second film.”
Russell felt very lucky to be working with Loyzaga. “He made me feel comfortable on the set all the time. He’s a very experienced actor. I learned a lot just working with him.
“I realized film is a lot different than teleseryes or TV. There’s a lot to learn doing film. In terms of relating to my character, I feel that I did in a lot more ways. Direk Phil was very collaborative. I really appreciated that a lot.”
Loyzaga, who plays Pepe opposite Russell’s Bella, felt it was great working with Russell for the first time.
“It’s always a good time being around Franki’s presence,” he said. “First time in a working kind of environment. It was definitely an experience. It was great. It was fun.
“I kind of saw myself back in the day when I didn’t know much Tagalog because I was new in the business. Way, way, way back in the day.”