MANILA — Medics had to attend to Maricel Soriano when the screen veteran couldn’t immediately compose herself after an emotional scene with Jodi Sta. Maria, according to FM Reyes, director of their hit drama “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin.”
That scene, from the November 27 episode of the primetime series, saw Lucing (Soriano) confronting Marissa (Jodi Sta. Maria) upon learning that her daughter has resurfaced after 17 years in hiding, without once communicating with her.
Anger, instead of relief or joy, marked the reunion at an elaborate event Marissa had organized to announce her comeback, with the sole purpose of intimidating her rival in love and business, Ellice (Iza Calzado).
Lucing, who had long been left in the dark, questioned Marissa’s vengeful intentions, pointing out that she sought first to orchestrate her grand return instead of coming to see her after nearly two decades apart.
When a tearful Marissa asked her mother to live with her again, Lucing refused, saying she would rather stay with Ellice, who never once left her.
The rivalry, in Marissa’s eyes, now extended to her and Ellice’s relationship with Lucing — a realization that came with forceful slaps from her mother.
Reyes, who directed the scene, recalled that after the intense confrontation, both Soriano and Sta. Maria took a while to shake off the emotions of their characters.
“Ang daming pagkakataon na right after I cut, umaabot ng five minutes, si Jodi is still shaking,” Reyes said. “She was so into the character — ako, bilang direktor, pupunta na ako sa susunod kong isi-set up — pagdaan ko sa kaniya, she’s still shaking and she’s still crying.”
“Parang sampal sa akin ‘yun na, Diyos ko, ‘yung artista ko, pumasok sa isang emosyon na napakalalim para dalhin niya ‘yung sarili niya doon.”
Reyes shared goings-on behind the scenes during a recent virtual conference for the second book of “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin.” The veteran director offered the anecdote after Sta. Maria and Calzado’s — in his words — “modest” description of their acting process.
“If you want to know the magnitude of emotion that they render, that they give to the characters… Alam ko hindi nila ipagyayabang ang sarili nila, so ako ang magsasabi sa mga na-wi-witness ko,” he said.
The bitter reunion of Lucing and Marissa, Reyes said, is the most recent example of the stars’ commitment to their roles.
“Nataranta ako!” he said, recounting the filming of that scene. “Hindi ko alam kung kanino ako tatakbo sa kanila.”
“Jodi was left in the banquet, in all her regalia, wearing the gown, na she was shaking and she was crying profusely, even after we’ve shouted ‘cut.’ Kaso, paglabas ko, nakita ko, the medics were attending to Maricel Soriano because siya rin, she was shaking also,” he narrated.
“Imagine the investment that they give to the character.”
Reyes also illustrated Calzado’s process when they filmed the memorable necklace-grabbing scene between Ellice and Marissa, shown in the first season of “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin.”
“When I did the pigtasan ng kwintas, even before the take, you get to see Iza frantically shaking her hands, walking back and forth, sumisigaw, because that was the signature action sa aming OBB,” he said, referring to the series’ original opening billboard.
Describing the lead actors as “humble” despite their talent, Reyes added, “I’m sharing this as a trivia just so you know that it is coming from the center of their heart when they perform.”
“I can only be thankful to these ladies, kasi nagbigay sila ng napakagandang portrayal, na nahahati ‘yung mga mga manonood natin.”
“Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” airs new episodes weeknights and is accessible via free TV (A2Z Channel 11), cable (Kapamilya Channel), on-demand streaming (iWant TFC), and free live streaming (Kapamilya Online Live).