MANILA -- Young actress Yen Durano made it a point to finish her studies first before she embarked on a showbiz career. She completed college at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), where she earned her Communication Arts degree.
It was not surprising that Durano tried acting after graduating from college. Her dad, actor DJ Durano, apparently influenced her to join showbiz.
The middle child and only girl in a brood of three, Durano took the opportunity to venture into acting and use it to her advantage. She is now on her fourth film and got another lead role in Jose Javier Reyes’ sexy flick, “Patikim-Tikim.”
“Many others really wait for the big break,” Durano told ABS-CBN News. “I know a lot of people who really wait a long time. I will use this to my advantage.”
Her mom has been supportive of Durano’s acting venture. “I just told her to trust me in accepting projects,” Durano admitted. “Long-term ako mag-isip. I told my mom, my being in showbiz will bring us something positive.”
Going the sexy route is a daring move for Durano. She signed up with Viva Artists Agency (VAA) only last year.
“Since my dad is an actor, I was exposed to the industry at a very young age,” she said. “I went to his tapings, shootings. I had an idea how I am supposed to work when my turn came.”
She initially wanted to become a flight attendant. “Actually, I didn’t really have a plan to enter showbiz,” Durano maintained. “I wanted to travel. That was my dream. I still can do that.”
During the pandemic, with hardly anything productive to do, Durano slightly worried about getting the things she needs.
“I know a lot of people lost their jobs when the pandemic started,” she admitted. “I didn’t want to ask money from my dad or mom. I want to be self-sufficient. Even if I wanted some things, my wants and needs, no one’s going to provide for what I need. I also had my vision.
“It was hard for me. But after an opportunity opened. I asked myself if I was ready for that.”
Stylist Ton Lao presented that opportunity to Durano. Lao eventually became her talent manager.
“Ton was my first believer,” Durano said. “For me, ever since I was a kid, I was always the rebellious type. I’m not the type who asked for my parents’ approval in anything I did.
“I have always been independent with my decisions. I don’t go to my parents to ask for their approval. I just let them know what I want to do. That was not so hard. But my decisions brought me very positive outcome.
“Trust is really important. I feel that I really know what I’m doing. My dad and mom were really supportive of my decisions. This is my work now. As an actor, my dad understands.”
Since she opted to take the sexy route, Durano defended her career decision.
“Viva Films is different and Vivamax is different, too,” she asserted. “What I’m doing is sexy, but the story has depth which I really like.”
Durano gave her nod to bare onscreen and she didn’t have qualms to do it. “Sexy is just a façade for me,” she said. “I want to show my depth even on the surface. Seriously, because I’m creating an art.
“Doing Vivamax because that’s where the attention is. I need the attention. When you need to build something, Vivamax is a stepping stone but it’s not easy.”
Joey Reyes’ “Patikim-Tikim” is Durano’s latest assignment where she figures in love scenes with her female co-stars Apple Dy and Jenna Chloe. The sexy flick is now streaming on Vivamax.
Since Durano came from an exclusive girl’s institution in high school, doing love scenes with her female co-star is not a tall order for her. Admittedly, she did engage in girl-to-girl kissing when she was younger.
“I prefer to do love scenes with a girl because comfort-wise, I feel okay with her,” Durano insisted. “Still, it depends on the story line. I depend on that how I will project the sexual scenes. I can project my sexual desire even if I’m with a girl.
“But I will never be in a relationship with my fellow lady. I asked Direk Joey how he wanted me to portray my character. He said, ‘Just be yourself.’ It was a chill performance.
“As an actress, mabilis akong mag-let go in general. Even my roles. I allowed myself to feel my role during the shoot and then on the last day, back to normal na. Okay na ako.
“The environment where we shot in, very comfortable and chill to all of us. Parang nagbakasyon lang kami when we filmed ‘Patikim-Tikim’.”
Durano also wants to do other genres, like horror or sci-fi. “I want to explore other genres and see how I’ll grow,” she said.
Durano made her big screen debut early this year in director Joey Reyes’ “Summer,” followed by a minor role in Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Baby Boy, Baby Girl” and the TV mini-series, “Ssshhh.”
In “Litsoneras,” shown recently, Durano got to play the lead and got her first starring role. She got to work with director Roman Perez anew. She first worked with him in a series, “Shhh,”
“After that, I got to admire Direk Roman’s vision of directing stars in his films. He puts everyone in a safe space. Inalagaan ako. When the film was pitched to me and I learned it was a project of Direk Roman, I said yes right away.
“He believed in me and that was important to me. If you don’t believe in your artist, malaki ang difference ng nagagawa noon.”
After doing “Litsoneras,” Durano wrapped up another sexy flick, “Choosy Me,” also under Reyes. She plays a lesbian lover and gets paired with Ahrron Villaflor. Her next project is “Ganti-Ganti” under director Mac Alejandre.
“Litsoneras’ and ‘Patikim-Tikim’ were yin and yang for me,” Durano said. “I guess I can do a lot of genres. I’m very comfortable doing this because I resonate with my character. So it was easy to portray. That was really who I am."