“Wonderful!” This was what actress Marian Rivera blurted when asked how she could sum up her first project with ABS-CBN’s film outfit, Star Cinema for her action-comedy film Kung Fu Divas.
Marian, who co-produced the Onat Diaz-helmed film with co-star Ai-Ai de las Alas, had experienced, much to her fans’ excitement, a lot of firsts from the moment she said yes to working with Star Cinema.
For starters, she was able to set foot inside the ABS-CBN compound for the first time as an actress for the film’s promotion. (Marian had been an intern at ABS-CBN during her college days.) Then, there was the fact that she was able to work alongside other Kapamilya stars and crews.
Marian also underscored during the Kung Fu Divas grand press conference held at the Dolphy Theater on September 20 that she felt loved by the network. “Hindi mo naman mararamdaman na may discrimination sila kahit na taga kabila ako eh. ‘Yun ‘yung sinasabi ko na thankful ako na maranasan na ganito pala sila. Ang saya lang na naka-experience ako ng ganito sa kanila,” Marian related happily.
On top of the warm accommodation, the Kapuso contract star also didn’t fail to notice the great performance of the film outfit. “Nako wag naman sana masamain, siyempre mahal ko ang Regal [Films] dahil diyan ako at may kontrata ako diyan pero ang Star Cinema, magaling eh. Magaling sa lahat ng larangan. Bukod sa pagiging mahusay nila, napaka-loveable nila,” she noted, adding, “Hindi mo mararamdaman na taga kabila ako. Sobra silang maalaga at ramdam ko na love nila ako.”
With the kind of treatment that she received, Marian, albeit indirectly, didn’t disappoint her eager fans who are hoping to see more of her in another Kapamilya project. “Well hindi ako madadala kasi ang mga nakatrabaho ko eh napakababait sa akin.”
Although it wasn’t an entirely new setup given that her boyfriend Dingdong Dantes has already had two films with Star Cinema with another one set to come out late this year, Marian said that it was her own decision to take a chance on working with the film outfit.
What got her to say yes to the project? “Dahil naniniwala ako sa pelikula. Tsaka ang ganda eh. Kwento palang ni Direk Onat sakin na-amaze na ako eh,” she quickly explained.
Contrary to speculations, Marian pointed out that obtaining the permission of the Kapuso top honchos to support her first producer stint wasn’t that too difficult. “Nagbigay kami ng letter. Hindi naman din naging mahirap para sakanila na um-oo dahil alam nilang producer ako at sinususportahan nila ako,” she said.
Hopefully her request to work with Star Cinema won’t be the last one to be granted by the network’s management. “Natutuwa ako na ginagawa nating possible ang lahat na hindi porket nasa kabilang istasyon ka eh hindi ka maaaring makadayo sa ibang istasyon. Parang napuputol yung rivalry nung dalawa, although alam naman natin na siyempre kailangan ng kumpitensya pero dahil nga sa nangyayaring ito, ang saya lang na walang alitan. Ang saya lang rin na yung mga artista ng GMA maaari rin silang dumayo sa ABS para ma-experience nila,” she enthused.
Does her crossing over signify special treatment from her mother network? Marian said she believes that’s not the case. With her responsibility as a producer in mind, Marian said she couldn’t just let anyone do their part while she sat back and did nothing. Hence the effort to reach out to the management for permission to promote inside their rival network’s grounds. “Nagkataon lang po siguro na nung in-offer sakin ito ni Direk Onat eh co-producer po ako tsaka si Ate Ai saka rin po ang Star Cinema. Siguro destiny rin po na nagtaon lahat at siyempre bilang producer po ako nito gusto ko rin pong makatulong. Ayaw ko pong maging artista lang or financial lang na nagbigay lang ako. Ang gusto ko eh yung buong puso ko po ay nasa pelikula kasi kung lahat kami ganon ang ginagawa bakit ako hindi ko yun gagawin. So nakiusap kami sa GMA na baka maaari na mag-promote kami rito kasi makakatulong para sa pelikula ko at in fairness sa GMA sobrang love nila ako, hindi sila nagdalawang isip. Ang sabi nila ‘Sige gawin mo para mag-promote.’ So doon palang napaka-thankful ko na talaga at mahal na mahal ako ng GMA,” the 29-year-old actress clarified.
At this point, Marian also took the time to clarify rumors that she turned down a possible guesting for the late night comedy show Gandang Gabi Vice. She stressed that she couldn’t possibly go to all the shows to promote Kung Fu Divas “Bilang respeto lang sa GMA wag naman sa lahat for example kay Ate Kris [Aquino sa Kris TV] bilang okay ako kay Ate Kris.” But she reiterated that “Thankful ako kasi andami.”