IT WAS one of those idle moments while in transit to the gym or somewhere else when Piolo Pascual chanced upon young actress Yen Santos on ABS-CBN’s afternoon series “All of Me.”
From then on, he had always been vocal about appreciating Yen, calling her one of the most beautiful faces in the industry, aside from being a good
“It wasn’t something conscious for me to scout for a leading lady,” said Piolo while praising Yen, who eventually became his partner in the upcoming film, “Northern Lights: A Journey To Love.”
Yen plays the role of Angel who will embark on a journey to love with Piolo’s character, Charlie Sr.
The 24-year-old alumna of “Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash (2010),” Yen shared that working with Piolo, in what is her first movie ever, was a dream come true.
“Siya po talaga ang ultimate dream leading man ko. Sa lahat po ng artista sa kanya lang po ako nagpapa-picture,” she shared during the movie’s press conference held at Cebu Parklane International Hotel last Friday.
It was a blessing for her to be cast in the film, after a setback. She was supposed to be Gerald Anderson’s partner in an upcoming teleserye but the role was eventually given to Kim Chiu.
“Managament decision po ‘yun eh. At naniniwala po ako, na kapag para sa ‘yo, para sa ‘yo. And itong movie sobrang laking blessing ito para sa akin. Ito ang biggest break na nakuha ko. Para sa akin, parang highlight na ito ng career ko,” she said.
But being the film’s leading lady also proved to be a big challenge for the young actress, as it took a while for her to build a resistance against the overwhelming charms of Piolo, something that was evident during the shoot.
“Hindi po ako makatingin sa kanya nung unang shooting days. Hirap na hirap po ako dahil syempre, sobrang overwhelming na katrabaho siya. Sobrang hirap niyang titigan, daming takes. Sobrang nauuna ‘yung kilig kaysa dun sa eksena,” she shared as she broke into a smile.
“Daming takes to the point na pinagalitan na siya ng direktor namin kasi we did not have the luxury of time to do a lot of takes. We were in Queenstown and I just realized back then, na first movie pala ni Yen. It was equally hard for her kasi sobrang pressure but she lived up to the expectations,” quipped Piolo.
Asked what particular scene she had to reshoot, Yen recounted that it was the first meeting of her character and Piolo’s at Air BnB.
“Kasi dun po, parang una kunwari suplada ako. Paano mo naman kasi susupladan ang ganyan?,” asked Yen, pointing at Piolo, seated next to her.
According to Yen, it took her seven takes to finish the scene, and only after director Dondon Santos’ scolding, telling her to concentrate as they were already pressed for time.
She gradually learned to stop being giggly around the 40-year-old hunk during tapings. But she admitted that it took more than that to overcome
“Hindi pa din nawawala (feeling of being starstruck). Two weeks kami sa New Zealand, two weeks akong kinikilig lalo na pag morning pag papunta kaming destination. Nauuna kasi ako sa service (vehicle) kaya paglabas niya sa hotel … alam mo ‘yung may slow moment parati, sobrang gwapo niya.
‘Yung feeling na buo na ‘yung araw mo agad, pag nakita mo siya,” shared Yen.
Directed by Dondon Santos, the movie was mostly shot in New Zealand and partly in Alaska so they could film the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, one of the film’s many attractions. The movie also features child actor Raikko Mateo, who played the lead in the top rating Kapamilya primetime series, “Honesto.”
“Northern Lights: A Journey To Love” will hit cinemas nationwide starting Wednesday, March 29.