MANILA, Philippines — Will third time be the charm for the Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap team-up?
Jodi and Richard were first paired up via ABS-CBN’s Be Careful With My Heart, an experimental “love team” that anchored the ratings success of the series so much so it ran for over two years from July 2012 to November 2014. This was followed by the film The Achy Breaky Hearts in 2016.
In the upcoming Kapamilya teleserye Sana Dalawa Ang Puso, Jodi plays dual characters Lisa and Mona, who look identical but are polar opposites in their status in life. The former is a lady boss, while the latter is a bet collector. Both will cross paths with the wealthy businessman Martin Co (Richard).
In a recent presscon, Jodi said, “Personally, I’m very comfortable working with Richard and this is our third project together. Also, I’m very excited with our new dynamics as partners in Sana Dalawa Ang Puso.”
Said Richard, “For me, we just picked up where we left off, parang hindi naman nagkaroon ng lull in between. It’s still the same. Masaya! Of course, I’m always happy to be working with Jodi because we’re already comfortable with each other. I find this a very exciting project also, because it has a lot of challenges. Like Jodi, she plays two characters here. I also have a new character. It’s a new challenge for all of us.”
To add spice to the series and the tandem, Robin Padilla is cast as the other male lead star, whose character Leo Tabayoyong works for the company of Lisa.
Robin himself is a self-proclaimed fan of the “love team.” He said he felt intimidated to be cast as the “third wheel” in what has already been a “tried-and-tested” tandem. The action star, who comes in fresh from the success of his Star Cinema film Unexpectedly Yours, had to request for a meeting with Richard to talk about the TV project.
Asked for his reaction, Richard said, “I looked at it as a way of getting to know each other. I didn’t know about his concerns. I just sort of felt that we should get to know each other. I didn’t have any hesitation to meet up with him.”
“(Robin) has more right to be here because in terms of experience mas senior siya sa atin. Maybe there’s a bit apprehension because we’re going to be in a love team with Jodi. (But then) Jodi has two characters. It’s not directly, like there’s just one person we’re fighting over… But I don’t think (Robin) is scared of me. He’s been thanking us when in fact we should be the ones thanking him. If not for him, I don’t think this show would push through,” Richard added.
“On my part, I’ve always tried not to compare myself with others, basta gawin ko lang yung part ko the best way I can, then let’s see how it goes… I cannot compete with others because we all have our own strengths and weaknesses… Wherever the story goes, we’re prepared to do it because it’s part of our jobs.”
Jodi herself is feeling the nerves ahead of the series’ Jan. 29 premiere. “Every time I embark on a project, I’m always anxious because of that feeling of not knowing whether you’ll be accepted or not by the viewers, or their response to what they will be watching. But somehow, it gives me peace knowing everyone is doing their best to make this show work.”
It’s also Jodi’s first time to work with Robin. Her first reaction was, “I was excited more than anything (to know) that I’ll be working with him. I’ve never worked with him before. I used to just see him on billboards, napapanood ko sa television nung bata ako (laughs) tapos ngayon di ba big star makakasama mo at makakatrabaho mo.”
And for Robin to be admitting that he was feeling intimidated by them, Jodi said, is “maybe the reason why he is Robin Padilla because of his humility.”
She won’t be making any comparisons between the two male stars. “They shouldn’t be compared because they’re two different people, two unique individuals. Both of them have strengths. I’ll be unfair if I compare the two of them.
“Robin is very charming and really, gentlemanly, not just towards his leading lady but with everyone on the set. That’s natural to him. With Richard, nakakatuwa siya. One of his strengths really is his sense of humor, and of course, he’s very intelligent.”
Meanwhile, Jodi shared how she’s able to pull off two very different characters in her latest show.
“It’s not an easy process creating these two characters. There are days when I need to shift from Lisa to Mona, or sometimes Mona to Lisa, or in one day, I have to shift from one character to another many times. However, before I started to work on this project, I already conditioned myself for it. When we were starting, the production helped me in doing one character at a time until I got the hang of it. And then, when they saw that I could do two characters in one day, it was done. It also made things easier for production.”
Despite being busy with work, the 35-year-old Jodi seems to be managing her time well as a mom and a college student. Recently, the Psychology major made it to the Dean’s List, proving not only that it’s never too late to pursue a college degree but also being busy with one’s career is not an excuse not to go after other big dreams in life.
“It started with this dream that I never let go of. I really wanted to return to school. And of course, I reached a point in my life wherein I decided that I needed to pursue that dream and once that I decided, I really made time for school,” said Jodi, adding she strictly devotes her Tuesdays to school. “My family has been very understanding and supportive of my dreams. It’s not easy, this journey of my life, but I make sure that I have a breather, time to rest and to relax.”
As for her acting job, she knows that “it will always be here.”
“I’m also very thankful to ABS-CBN that they allowed me to, you know, pursue my dreams. So, it’s really about finding your time to do something that you like and fighting for that time.