• Jennylyn’s new leading man is an international model



    PLUS: Derrick Monasterio now a hot property and Drew and Iya to host new game show
    After months of thorough searching, GMA Network has finally found a leading man for Jennylyn Mercado in the person of international model Gil Cuerva. Based in Hong Kong, Gil started modeling when he was just 17 years old. He is considered a hot property in the fashion industry in the region, including Singapore and Thailand, besides Hong Kong and the Philippines.

    It wasn’t an easy journey for Gil to go from modeling to acting though. The opportunity came when he was about to fly to Bangkok from Hong Kong for a two-week stint, which meant a big pay check.

    “Then my management told me about the audition for My Love From The Star. I was told there was no assurance that I would get the part so I was given the choice to still proceed to Bangkok for the two-week shoot, or I go to Manila for the audition. My desire to try acting prevailed,” Gil told Showbuzz in an exclusive interview.

    Clearly, he made the right decision.

    Jennylyn Mercado with her ‘My Love From The Star’ leading man, Gil Cuerva

    Jennylyn Mercado with her ‘My Love From The Star’ leading man, Gil Cuerva

    Apparently, Gil was in high school when he started nurturing his dream of becoming an actor. He decided to finish school first before plunging into showbiz, and considered the opportunity to audition for My Love From The Star as a good sign.

    The audition was unlike an ordinary go-see where the talent only has to pose for the camera. Gil had to do script-reading and acting already, and was even asked to do scenes with Jennylyn. From the onset, the production team wanted to see who would have that perfect chemistry with the leading lady.

    After the audition, Gil went back to Hong Kong to resume his modeling career.

    He told Showbuzz too that life as a model in another country is not easy.

    “I was living alone so I had to do everything by myself. I cook, I wash the dishes, I do my laundry, I do pretty much everything. I have been used to that kind of life whichever country I go for my work as a model.”

    When he learned that he got the part of Mateo Do and needed to undergo an acting workshop with Jen, Gil dropped everything he was doing, canceled a lined-up modelling job and hurried back to Manila.

    After the workshop, the story conference was held where he met the other members of the cast, and on Monday morning, Gil reported to his first day of taping.

    On the set before his 11 a.m. call time, his first scene was with Jen right away.

    “I’m kinda nervous because I’m still feeling my way through. I’m still trying to get familiar [with the job]but I’m embracing everything, including the pressure that comes along with it. I know it’s a process,” Gil said that day when Showbuzz visited him on the set.

    He is thankful that their director, Joyce Bernal, arranged a merienda with him and Jen the day before taping, since it made him more comfortable with the multi-awarded actress. Jen even introduced her son Jazz to him during that meeting.

    “I just feel that I now know Jen much better. It was really a good experience talking to her—seeing her both as a mom and as an individual.”

    Meanwhile, Jen is so impressed with how professional Gil is, telling Showbuzz, “Nakakatuwa siya. I noticed, even in our workshops, he was so attentive and so willing to learn. He’s like a sponge absorbing everything that he can absorb. He is quiet also, parang nakikiramdam muna. Ako naman, I give him pieces of advice every now and then, kung ano’ng maisip ko, sinasabi ko sa kanya and what’s nice is he listens.”

    Jen and Gil are both excited over the project they are doing because they know how big it is. My Love From The Star was a very successful Korean series not only around Asia.

    “Being a newcomer in acting, there’s a lot of pressure on me to really deliver, especially since the original Mateo Do, Kim So Hyun, is very big in Korea. I known there will be comparisons but I’m up to the challenge,” Gil enthused.

    Jen, on her part, also feels that My Love From The Star is a new challenge. “Dito kasi, hindi ako inaapi, hindi sinasabunutan, hindi iyak ng iyak. Dito, mas magaan at nakakatawa ang mga eksena. The things that you see me doing in the movies dadalhin ko naman sa TV. Masaya ito and I know, maraming kikiligin. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the viewers,” said Jen.

    * * *

    Many people are surprised when they see the producer of the Metro Manila Film Festival entry Kabisera, led by Superstar Nora Aunor. They can’t believe that the producer is a 23-year-old good looking guy who can give some showbiz heartthrobs a run for their money. His name is RJ Agustin.

    RJ, the youngest (and the handsomest) producer among those who fielded movies and were chosen as finalists to the Metro Manila Film Festival, is no stranger to showbiz. He practically grew up on movie sets as the son of film director Boy San Agustin. Kabisera is actually the second movie he is producing. The first one was the indie First Ko Si Third starring Nova Villa and Freddie Web, which was a successful entry at the Cinemalaya a couple of years back.

    For RJ, producing good movies is a passion. He also loves acting. In fact, he has a substantial role in Kabisera. He is quick to say though that he does not produce to act.

    “It just happened that there was a role that our director Real Florido said was good for me. In the movie, I play the role of Nanay Nora’s son. Pasaway yung character kaya laging may conflict kay Nanay Guy,” JR quipped.

    In Showbuzz’s interview with Nora, meanwhile, the Superstar pointed out that RJ is a good actor. “If he will be given a break, he can easily make it as an actor. He has depth and he is serious about his craft. On the set, he didn’t want to be treated as a producer, he also did not want to be distracted by production problems. He just concentrated on his work as an actor. What the director says, he follows. He is also very punctual when it comes to his call time.

    “May isang eksena kami na sinampal ko siya. Sabi ko sa kanya, dayain ko na lang para hindi siya masaktan pero hindi siya pumayag. He told me to really slap him because he wanted the scene to be realistic. So I did. You should see his reaction when I hit him on the face. It was really good,” said Ate Guy.

    So what did RJ feel when he got that slap from the Superstar? “Masakit, mala­kas sumampal si Nanay. But I’m thankful that we did it [that way]kasi mas naging genuine lumabas yung eksena. The following day nga, Nanay Guy texted me asking me where I was. I told her I was at the doctor’s clinic. Hindi kasi nawawala yung tunog sa tenga ko after ng sampal niya sa ‘kin,” RJ averred.

    * * *

    Derrick Monasterio

    Derrick Monasterio

    Hot property. That’s how Derrick Monasterio is called jokingly by friends at GMA. He is now considered as one of the network’s hot stars after his series Tsuperhero showed strength in the national ratings.

    It has been consistently beating the competition since it premiered in November. Not even the grand finals of a reality show could beat it. Is it true that the other network is now cooking up a show that will feature characters with super powers go up against Derrick’s Tsuperhero?

    Whatever happens, 2017 will see a busier Derrick because he will be starring in a big—as in really big–series. Showbuzz is not at liberty yet to reveal this new project for the Kapuso heartthrob. All we can say is that the role he will portray fits him to a tee.

    * * *

    GUESS WHO? An upcoming actor is so passionate in denying he has a sex video but a very close friend of the actor intimated to Showbuzz that it’s really the actor in the viral post. The source knows this because the actor admitted it to his close friend.

    * * *

    SHORTS… After being together in the show Home Foodie, husband and wife Drew Arellano and Iya Villania are hosting a game show together on GMA called People Versus The Stars. Drew and Iya are very excited because the show’s concept is original where the celebrity guests’ mistake could mean big prizes—as high as P250,000—for the home viewers.


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