In an interview with Push.com.ph, Ariel Rivera expressed how thrilled he is to be back in ABS-CBN where he first started his career in show business. “It feels really good. I have to be honest that when I found out that I was going to come back here, I made calls to my friends who were really dear to me. In fact, I’ve kept a low profile with my friends in ABS-CBN, the staff of ASAP, wala na sila ngayon, but we would get together. So as soon as I found out, I called them and said, ‘Guess what? I’m returning to ABS-CBN.’ ‘Yeah, that’s cool, let’s celebrate!’ So for me, I’m really touched. It’s actually an emotional comeback from me,” he began.
The fact that he was given the chance to star in the remake of Mula Sa Puso made it even more special because he was also a part of the original soap, top-billed by Claudine Barretto back in 1997. “I play Don Fernando which was originally played by Juan Rodrigo. I love it! If I’m not mistaken, this was a record-breaking soap for many years and now I play an even bigger role. Big shoes to fill, but at the same time there’s a lot of excitement involved for me. Mula Sa Puso was the first teleserye that I ever did. And ngayon, coming back again with ABS-CBN, eto na naman ako, fatherly role naman ako.”
When asked about his impression of the younger cast of the show, Ariel explained that he’s yet to learn their working habits since they haven’t taped yet at the time of the interview. “Kawawa sila kasi wow, big shoes to fill with Claudine (as the former lead star), so matindi ang pressure on their part. To be honest, I don’t know their capabilities yet. But to be given this break, siguro malaki talaga tiwala sa kanila ng management [and the bosses] see something in them. So it would be a challenge to surpass what the original cast did for the show, [because the fact is] whether on TV or movie, it’s hard to beat the original.”
Ariel was also excited about working with Dawn Zulueta and Eula Valdez in this ambitious project. “I love Dawn, she’s a dear friend. There won’t be any awkwardness between us because our families get together at time. We have dinners together so wala talagang ilangan. And with Eula also, I worked with her on a soap. Both of them are true professionals. We like to think, when we discuss with each other, that our generation are true professionals. So I guess this is our way to show younger people how to conduct themselves in this business.”
And with director Wenn Deramas at the helm of the show, Ariel was confident that their team could make it work. “You really can’t compare the original and the remake. We were so proud of Mula Sa Puso, that actually made Claudine. Tapos yung former stars, sila Princess Punzalan, ang gagaling. But we will do our best. And if somebody can make this work, it’s Wenn kasi siya ang gumawa ng una e. It’s really up to him, the captain of the ship, to make characters gel. I know we will because it’s just a matter of being comfortable with each other.”