MANILA — Elisse Joson portrays a café waitress whose boss falls in love with her in the new iflix series “Beauty and the Boss” — a role she was handpicked for, its producer has revealed.
In the romcom offering from director James Mayo, Joson is cast opposite fellow “Pinoy Big Brother” graduate Gino Roque IV, who is also one of the series’ producers.
Joson, according to Roque, was such a perfect fit for the character of Stella that they skipped any audition process and offered her the role.
“I gave them (creative team) a description of Stella the character and then when the roster came out, it became kind of personal preference,” Roque said during a recent virtual conference for the series.
“I just saw Elisse and she basically resembles the character of Stella. Even if you go on her Instagram, she dresses up just like how Stella would. And so all of us, we gravitated towards Stella.”
Describing Joson as “one of the best actresses here in the Philippines,” Roque expressed gratitude to the actress for joining the project, who was also present at the media launch.
Beyond her traits that align with Stella’s, Joson said she was drawn to the character for her story.
“She has a dilemma of choosing love over her dreams, so depending on the type of person you are, I feel like, based on how Stella managed to overcome that dilemma sa series na ito, doon merong lesson na puwedeng pulutin ‘yung manonood,” she said.
In a twist to the romcom formula, the six-episode series’ story is told through the male lead’s perspective, in this case Roque’s character Rafa.
By his own admission, Roque is an acting neophyte compared to Joson. His preparation included watching over a dozen romcom films, and rehearsing his scenes multiple times ahead of their lock-in shooting in Quezon City.
“I had to go out and memorize. Every day I would practice for four hours,” he said, recalling he would enlist the help of his household helper. “So that when she (Joson) comes in, at least kahit papaano I could memorize my lines also. But she didn’t know that every day I was studying, parang exam!”
Roque credited Joson’s professionalism for helping him navigate his first lead role in a series, recalling that despite his “1,000 questions,” she would be generous with her answers.
Joson, who is relatively more experienced with various starring roles in movies and TV, was similarly all praises for Roque, whom she said fostered a “happy” atmosphere on set throughout their lock-in period.
“So 'pag pinanood niyo rin ito, I expect that you guys would feel the same thing,” Joson said. “You guys are going to forget your problems, and what’s happening right now. Kasi kung mahilig kayo sa K-drama, siyempre we have our Pinoy version and siyempre gawang Pinoy. So this is really exciting!”
Episodes of iflix’s “Beauty and the Boss” will be available to stream starting Friday, November 6, 8 p.m.