As her latest Star Cinema She's Dating The Gangster hits cinemas, director Cathy Garcia-Molina said she enjoyed bringing the popular teen book to the big screen with a few adjustments “May mga binago po. I cannot quantify it. The changes needed to be made para kasi alam naman natin na yung libro mas teens yung market niya. Tapos if I am right ang movies ko naman medyo mahina sa teens tapos parang gusto kong makapasok din dun sa pelikula at gustuhin ng mga katulad kong mommies and maybe mas mommy pa sa akin na mapanuod yung pelikula. So we had to adjust the kuwento, we had to change something para mas lumawak yung kuwento,” she shared during the grand presscon held last July 4 at the Dolphy theater inside the ABS-CBN compound.
After working with Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo in the hit series Got to Believe earlier this year, direk Cathy said made shooting the movie easier for all of them. “With every relationship na nabuo namin sa G2B, it got better, I got to know them better. Halos araw-araw kaming magkasama. Mas nakilala ko sila kung paano sila hina-handle para maging mas mababait na bata (laughs). Parang bumata ako. Parang nakasabay ako sa kanila and they had to mature para makasabay sa akin so it was a combination we had to meet halfway para magkaintindihan kami. Natuwa ako, I am very, very proud of these two. Hindi ko naman sasabihin na I've seen them grow but I've seen the beginning of that growth. Yung professionalism na gusto ko sanag magkaroon sila, ay grabe lumevel up ng sobra and I am so happy and proud na parang puwede ko na sila ipalapa sa lion kasi they can take care of themselves,” she admitted.
After directing blockbuster films like One More Chance and You Changed My Life, direk Cathy differentiates Kathniel from the other love teams she has directed in the past. “Medyo iba po sila. Para kang may mga babies. I consider them my babies. Actually is Daniel ang bagong bunso ko. Kung ang panganay ko ay si Lloydy, siya ang aking bunso, sila ni Kathryn. Parami na ng parami ang angkan ko, asawa na lang ang kulang. Chos! (laughs). Mas playful sila. Kasi nakasama ko sila John Lloyd, yung Tabing Ilog and Gimik noh, mas playful itong generation na ito, parang mas ADHD sila (laughs). Mas makukulit sila pero ang saya naman ng set,” she recalled.
With Kathniel being the fastest-rising love team in the country today, direk Cathy said they are definitely not your run-of-the-mill pair. “Feeling ko they are very unique. Maybe they will never be a Juday-Piolo or John Lloyd-Bea because Daniel is Daniel, alam naman natin yan. Iba si Daniel eh, hindi natin siya puwede i-compare kay Piolo or John Lloyd or kung sino man. Even Kathryn also. Ako hindi ko masabi kung sino sila. Kung ang basis natin ay kasikatan, I hope that they would reach the stardom na inabot ni Juday-Piolo and John Lloyd-Bea. Pero kung ang definition is kung sino sila, they will always be just Kathniel,” she explained.
When asked if the couple's real life romance the secret behind their popularity, direk Cathy said it is an added bonus for the fans. “Hindi ko alam. Ang akin lang talaga Daniel is very vocal about pagkakaroon ng attraction or crush kay Kathryn. But other than that hindi ko na alam beyond that. Para sa akin nakakatulong sa kanilang trabaho pero it shouldn't matter kung sila or hindi as it did not matter to John Lloyd and Bea and Piolo and Juday,” she added.
With her latest movie having the word “gangster” in the title, direk Cathy was quick to clarify any negative notion attached to the word. “Actually kaya nga may conscious effort kami na wala naman sa pagka-gangster nila yung may tendency to become violent, we really avoided that part. Kasi ang gangster naman doesn't necessarily mean na may gang ka na frat, violent, may hazing, ganyan. And even in the book walang ganung connotation na binigay na ang gangster na parang into ay into frat or anything. We have to be careful kasi alam naman natin na responsibilidad rin sa mga manunuod especially ang audience ni Kathryn at Daniel from three years old talaga pataas. So paano namin sila bibigyan ng isang role na medyo aawayan at katatakutan. So we have to be careful from the book to the movie to the actors, we were very careful in interpreting what a gangster is,” she explained.