As the star of the latest iWant digital series Ampalaya Chronicles: Me & Mrs. Cruz, Ina Raymundo said the role was actually first offered to her early last year. Despite many delays, she finally accepted the project because of the short lock-in taping schedule.
“Nung nalaman ko na three days yung lock-in. Kasi hindi ko kaya yung longer pa. Mahirap for me. Last year pa ito in-offer sa akin bago pa magka-pandemic and umoo na ako nung time na yun. Hanggang sa nagkaroon na ng pandemic, nag-lockdown na, tapos dapat tuloy na nung November pero din kasi hindi pa ako ready kasi magpapasko na nun eh. Mahirap mawala. So nung binigay nila yung dates na February sabi ko let’s do it, I want to do it. I’m very thankful na nagintay sila sa akin. Lagi kong sinasabi sa Firestarters (Productions) na maraming salamat hinintay niyo ako kasi medyo naghintay sila talaga I’m so sorry. Dumating sila sa point na naghanap na sila ng ibang Mrs. Cruz. Pero pag talagang uukol bubukol eh so natuloy din at masayang masaya kami na natuloy,” she shared during the Me & Mrs. Cruz mediacon held last March 17.
In Me & Mrs. Cruz, Ina plays the role of Eve Cruz, a sexy older woman who attracts the attention of a delivery boy named Caloy played by Paulo Angeles.
“My character she’s having a tough time moving on and yung best friend niya is trying to set her up with someone else because that’s the best way to cure a broken heart is to meet someone else. Sa set, masayang masaya kami sa taping. Para lang kaming naglalaro. Kahit na sa look test pa alng at photo shoot naman hay naku ang sarap makasama ang Firestarters. Very hip sila.
“Talagang may natural high ako. Wala akong tulog nung time na yun. Three hours lang ata yung tulog ko. Imbis na itulog ko na lang. Ang sarap kasi makipagkuwentuhan kasi nung lockdown nasa house lang ako. Eh siyempre mga kausap ko mga anak ko, mga bata di ba? So na-miss ko makipagkuwentuhan sa mga showbiz people, sa mga co-actors ko. Ang sarap. Kaya yun ang na-miss ko, yung mga ganun na behind the scenes,” she explained.
Having made a showbiz comeback after getting married and having four kids, Ina said she was happy to be given a different kind of sexy role.
“Twenty-six years later may mga offers na ganito and I don’t mind accepting it because it is fun. Siguro for the past five years yung mga roles ko inaapi, kawawa, zombie. So ngayon na-fa-flatter ako na may ganitong offer. I’m open to it. May storya, may challenge. Kumabaga may layer na of pain and maturity, lahat na yun, hugot lahat lahat. For me that’s a great combination na yugn character ko exudes sensuality and at the same time may layer of maturity. For me that’s so ideal,” she shared.
The 45-year-old actress revealed that she also had some reservations about portraying her role as Paulo Angeles’s object of affection in iWant’s romance series.
“Tuwing napapanuod ko talaga sarili ko nag-ki-cringe ako I don’t know why. Since Paolo is almost half my age, I’m always worried na baka mas magmukha akong nanay niya kaysa as a love interest. So that’s also a concern for me. But when I saw it naman, okay naman. But siyempre since I didn’t act for so long, one year, medyo nahihiya ako. But it’s a good story. I’m just being hard on myself. Pero maganda yung story and magaling si Paolo dito,” she added.