Paul Soriano says that his relationship with Toni Gonzaga is not affected by rumors involving Maja Salvador.
In his second film project Thelma
, Paul Soriano brings to life the story of a simple girl from Ilocos Norte who dreams of becoming a runner someday despite living in poverty. He personally chose lead actress Maja Salvador for the role of Thelma
because of her openness to undergo the training and the fact that she also hails from the Aparri region which made it easy for her to speak fluent Ilocano in some of the movie’s scenes.
During the course of the production, rumors came out linking the two of them romantically which Paul shrugged off as baseless. “Honestly, Maja really has no fault [on] her [about these rumors]. Maja is a great girl and she’s got a positive attitude. She wants to focus on the work and maybe the reason why she’s so emotional is because people are looking at other things rather than the film. It’s because I work so hard with Maja. In workshops we were together, in training we were together. Like I said before, the film will only be great if Maja Salvador is great. And I can only direct, I can only guide, I can only give direction and motivation but I really needed Maja to give a 110%. So during the process of the filmmaking, I really worked hard with her. One-on-one acting workshops, training with Elma Muros and when we were in Ilocos, I was just really motivating her. So yeah, the working relationship got close, I got to know a lot about her and her family. I got to meet her mom Thelma and her family, so in that regard yes we got close pero
I look at her really like a little sister. Ganun lang talaga.
It’s unfortunate,” he said.
During the August 24 press conference for Thelma at the ABS-CBN compound, Direk Paul clarified that the malicious rumor has not at all affected his relationship with longtime girlfriend Toni Gonzaga. “Actually when Toni found out about it, she just told me you know welcome to showbiz. It’s inevitable. She told me that they will link you, even with her leading men they link her even if everyone knows that we’re together pero
they still link her to her leading men. For me it’s guaranteed, when she has a movie, I’m always jealous of the leading man, or our relationship is on the rocks, may ganun
. So I don’t know who comes up with this. It’s unfortunate pero
I guess it’s part of the business. And that’s why I’m here now to clarify that Maja did nothing wrong. She gave everything to this film and anything outside that is just really wrongdoing,” he explained.
Despite all the intrigues he has had to deal with over the years, Direk Paul said he has not let it affect him. “Hindi naman nakakapikon
. Honestly, what I feel bad about is that Maja feels bad. I feel bad because Maja feels bad. She’s growing up, she’s still young and she doesn’t need that right now. So maybe I feel bad for her but I always tell her that let’s not mind it, don’t worry about it, I don’t believe anything they’re saying. It’s really part of the business, its not just here but even in Hollywood also,” he shared.
The budding director, who made his directorial debut in the film A Journey Home
said he hopes people will focus more on his film than the gossip associated with it. “It’s a positive film. It’s a film that inspires people. It gives hope. It gives a future so any malicious or wrong rumors really kind of dampens the movie eh,” he admitted.
as it opens in theaters in September 7. Starring Maja Salvador, Tetchie Agbayani, John Arcilla, Eliza Pineda, Jason Abalos, and Sue Prado and with the special participation of Philippine Track and Field champion Elma Muros. Presented by Time Horizon Pictures in cooperation with Abracadabra Productions and Underground Logic, Thelma
is distributed by Star Cinema.