After working on the recent Skylight Film maindie Tuhog, Jake Cuenca is all set to be Jessy Mendiola's leading man in the telenovela remake of the 1993 hit Maria Mercedes. “Masaya ako. I'm happy to be working with Jessy Mendiola, Jason Abalos and direk Chito Rono. Lahat kami excited for this project kasi unang-una lahat kami masaya para kay Jessy. It's her launching project,” he shared.
For his role in the series, Jake said he does not just want to imitate the acting from the original series. The original character of Jorge Luis del Olmo was played by Mexican actor Arturo Peniche. “Gusto ko maging authentic at original sa pag-portray nung roles at saka yun di gusto ni direk Chito eh,'Huwag mo gayahin, make it original kasi matagal na yung Maria Mercedes.' Iba na ngayon eh sokailangan iba pa rin yung pag-attack mo, mas contemporary yung pag-attack. So naiba na rin. Marami akong natututunan sa kanya at isa na naman itong director na alam kong pagkatapos ngproject na ito, I can say na may natutunan na naman ako,” he said.
Jake said he isn't afraid to bare some skin in his new project. “Isa siya sa malaking factors ng show. It's a sexy drama. Maraming intimate sequences, maraming intimacy yung show,” he added.
The 25-year old actor said he is already comfortable working with Jessy. “Matagal na kaming magkaibigan so masaya ako kasi matagal ko na siyang gustong makatrabaho at maganda siyang babae so magaan siya kasama sa set at mabait. Napakagandang babae niya. Nandito lang naman ako para sumuporta sa kanya at maging kaibigan para sa kanya,” he said.
When asked if there was a chance that sparks might fly between him and Jessy, Jake said he is not ruling out the possibility. “Tingnan natin, hindi natin alam. Hindi pa natin masasagot yan, (laughs),” he admitted.
As an actor, Jake said he has become more confident when it comes to his craft. “Nandito na ako sa punto ng buhay ko na parang feeling ko kaya ko gawin ang lahat in terms of acting. Sobrang marami na akong natutunan over the years and gusto ko i-exercise yung skill ko so basta may magandang project na i-offer, may budget man o wala, indie man or mainstream, basta maganda yung script and it spoke to me, tumagos sa puso ko, gagawin ko talaga,” he said.
In his latest film Lihis, Jake plays an NPA recruit who gets into a lustful relationship with his co-star Joem Bascon. Jake said he had no hesitations about playing a gay character in the film. “One thing about our project is, it's something that you will see is a love story between two men. I think we were just very honest with the script and it's a movie. It's hard to mount sensitive stories like these. I don't want to go into detail about it but in moviesparang there's more freedom of expression and that's also why I love doing movies. Actually we did this project (Lihis) before anything came up.Saka Ricky Lee wrote this even before Brokeback Mountain came out. Feeling ko tatayo itong project na ito hindi dahil sa ginaya namin sa iba, hindi dahil may pinagkopyahan kami, kundi dahil galing ito sa puso ni Joel Lamangan at ni Ricky Lee. Natuwa naman si direk Joel sa amin nila Lovi (Poe), nila Joem na nabigyan namin ng hustisya yung mga characters namin,” he admitted. Apart from Lihis, Jake is also set to star in another upcoming movie with Cristine Reyes entitled Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi.
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