Judy Ann Santos — the award winning actress who can make the nation cry with her every memorable dramatic lead — is finally returning to prime time TV with something completely new. She isn’t the oppressed but the oppressor — basically and very surprisingly the kontrabida.
Premiering on October 7, “Starla” headlines Santos as the fierce and headstrong lawyer, Teresa. Driven by a long held grudge, Teresa is bent on owning Barrio Maulap, her former hometown which also gave her bitter experiences while growing up.
In her bid to do so, she comes across her estranged father Greggy (Joel Torre), whom she hates so much, and the latter’s adopted child Buboy (Enzo Pelojero).
Teresa’s plan to buy Barrio Maulap hits a roadblock when it miraculously recovers from the crises that hit the farming community. Little did she know, Buboy has a secret weapon — Starla, a wishing star who has been helping Barrio Maulap.
Indeed the 41-year-old actress is turning a new leaf by accepting the role of Teresa. It can be remembered that 33 years since entering the show business, Santos has made a name in playing iconic TV protagonists such Ula, Esperanza, Mara, and later on Ysabella, just to name a few — all of whom endured sufferings from antagonists before finally getting their happy ending.
So why did Santos agree to play an antagonist in her teleserye comeback?
“Ang tagal ko kasing hindi nakapag-teleserye so I wanted to show something different, something new. Gusto kong gumawa ng character na hindi ko pa nagagawa sa teleserye, or sa buhay ko ng pag aartista,” Santos directly answered at the media launch of Starla.
The actress, also dubbed as local showbiz’s “Teleserye Queen” has not been on a lead role in a prime time teleserye since 2013’s “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.”
“Sakto din na yung pagiging kontrabida ay sa isang teleserye na pambata, hindi siya ganun ka seryoso,” she added.
Santos explained that she’s comfortable to be an antagonist in a children’s show because Starla is overall inspirational.
“I really wanted to have a teleserye na hindi naman masyadong bugbugan sa drama, yung mas feel-good, yung nakaka-happy lang panoorin and yung magbabalik ng hopes sa mga tao.”
Santos also claimed that after being in the business for more than three decades, she feels she has paid her dues to be able to choose the roles she so wanted.
“Pag naggawa mo na lahat ng pang bubogbog at pang aapi —lahat na yata ng sapak tinanggap ko na — it’s about time na pwede na akong gumawa ng iba’t ibang characters when it comes to teleserye.”
She then said she’s passing on the crown of her erstwhile oppressed characters to the new batch of aspiring actresses.
“There are younger ones, there are a new batch of fresh actors and actresses who can already do those parts and graduate na ako dun, pwede na ako mag move forward. Napapanood ko sila, carry na nila yan, dito na ako sa part na to.”
As it is her first time to play the antagonist role, Santos admitted she had to have a peg for Teresa.
“We went for Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.” It fits the character of Teresa kasi may backstory kung gaano siya katigas — postura, matapang sa labas pero yung loob niya she’s just trying to shield it because of the pain na bitbit ng puso niya.”
In the end, Santos is proud to have been given the role of Teresa and is excited for a new challenge in her career.
“Nasa estado lang ako ngayon na gagawin ko kung ano yung gusto kong gawin, medyo mataray pakinggan but I guess, I’ve given a lot of my time already that it’s about time that I choose the projects that I want to make,” she finally noted.