When she first told her family that she was going to be part of the new drama series Viral Scandal, actress Ria Atayde said it was her father Art Atayde who wanted to make extra sure she was going to be safe.
“At first my dad was a little bit apprehensive given that my family has had to deal with COVID so many times over the past two years. But ultimately they know that this is something that I actually wanted to do din talaga. So they kind of just let me be. I guess because my mom and my brother are also actors so it’s just easier in that sense. They’re very supportive and actually ang dami nilang padalang food and all of that so I know they support me naman. It’s nice to have something like that. But every night naman I still get to talk to them at 6:30 pm kasi we have family rosary every night so we still get to keep in touch even if we’re apart,” she said.
When her family members like mom Sylvia Sanchez recently announcing that she was taking a hiatus from acting after Huwag Kang Mangamba and her brother Arjo pursuing interests outside of showbiz, Ria shared how these decisions have affected her and her family.
“Honestly speaking, everything’s been a little bit overwhelming. I didn’t realize how overwhelming everything would be. So I’ve just been taking it day by day. one day at a time. Today we’re okay, there’s nothing to stress about today (laughs). But family dynamics wise, I feel like my family has just always been supportive of one another. I’m very blessed to have that type of family. I don’t know, we got this, we’re okay (laughs),” she said.
In Viral Scandal, Ria plays the role of a legal defender for Charlie Dizon who becomes a victim of a viral video in their town of Sidero.
“Ako dito si attorney Lara Dizon who is the friend of mayor Troy Ramones (Jake Cuenca) who comes in for the legal side of our story., the lawyer of Rica Sicat (Charlie Dizon) and also a good friend of mayor Troy Ramones. Basta basically I symbolize another aspect of women empowerment which is something that we try to drive throughout the series. Of course I’m super excited. We’ve been working on this for so many months and we’ve built like a little family here already and we’re so happy all the time. It’s something that we really enjoyed working on and I’m really excited to see everybody enjoy it as well,” she said.
In preparation for her new role, Ria said she made sure to come off as a believable lawyer onscreen.
“If I’m being honest, at the start, the exact words of direk Lauren (Dyogi) was, ‘O they’re offering you to be the lawyer on Viral which is with Charlie (Dizon), Jake (Cuenca), and Dimples (Romana).’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, I love those three people. Yes!’ I didn’t think na lawyer (laughs). So when I said yes na that’s when it like sank in and I was like I need to prepare. So I watched a lot of law shows on Netflix, and on online, and movies. And then also reconnected with my college friends that are lawyers. So when it comes to pronunciation and explaining more about the things on the script, I get to consult them. And then apart from that, I looked up a lot of law stuff online during my free time,” she explained.
Unlike the lead character in the series, Ria said she has never experienced being the subject of an online scandal throughout her six years in showbiz.
“Parang I’m okay naman. I’m not sure. So far I haven’t had to deal with anything going viral. I mean it’s inevitable that fake news will be going around about you, from the person you are dating to what you are doing with your life. but apart from that I feel that I’m good. I’ve never had to deal with anything of that magnitude. I think what this series says now about society is that apart from the families that are intertwined, it touches on the play on power and our justice system and the social constructs that we try to break way from. And the dangers of social media and fake news,” she added.