Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Allan Policarpio @alpolicarp­io

In GMA 7’s new afternoon drama, “Magkaagaw,” Jeric gonzales is require d to sho ws ome skin an ddo steamy scenes with Klea Pined aan d Sher yl C ruz, who play his character ’sl ove interests.

But between his two costars, it’s Sheryl who made the 27-year-old actor feel more nervous and awkward.

“My scenes with Ms Sheryl wer e ha rder, o fc ourse. She’s an older ,m ore experience­d actress, so I wasn’t sur eh ow to approach our scenes. Who should make t hef irst move? I was careful not to make her feel uncomforta­ble,” he told the Inquirer at a recent press conference. “I didn’t know wha tto expect.”

But “as profession­als,” Jeric said, they mad esu re tha tt hey wer e al ready in characte rt he momen tt he camer as tarts rolling.

“Befor e sh ooting our scenes, we woul ddot he blocking and all that . We ge t to ld tha tt her ew ould ak issing scene. But we don’ t do it until during the actual take,” he said o fw orki ng w ith the 45-yearold actress. “But I’m amazed at how quickly we could ge ti nto our characters. I was overwhelme­d , but I manage d to stay in t hem oment.”

“Working with seasoned actors can be tricky. Sometimes you’r es oi n awe that you just wan tto watch them. Bu tt his has been a learn-

ing experience,” he added.

In “Magkaagaw,” which airs Mondays to Saturdays, Sheryl is Veron, an ambitious woman who beats the odds to become an influentia­l corporate executive. Veron crosses path with a handsome young man, Jio (Jeric), who, unbeknown to her, is the husband of her employee and mentee, Clarisse (Klea).

“If I were to compare my intimate scenes with them, I would say that the ones I did with Klea were more passionate,” Jeric said. “Those with Ms. Sheryl, meanwhile, were more wild and aggressive. That’s why it was hard.”

Because he has to show off his body, Jeric took it upon himself to do different sports and exercises as part of his preparatio­ns.

“I really have to be in good condition for this. I’m at the gym almost every day. I do boxing and Muay Thai to keep my body fit. I maintain a healthy diet, too,” related Jeric, who has no qualms being packaged as a sexy actor. “That’s fine with me. Of course, the body should only be secondary to the acting.”

Jeric, a former hopeful in the talent search Protégé, used to get dishearten­ed by bashers making fun of his acting skills—or lack thereof. But as he gained more experience and did more shows, he said he began to make significan­t strides toward becoming a competent actor.

“I started becoming more confident in my acting when I was doing ‘Kambal Karibal’ (2017 to 2018). People started calling me by my character’s (Makoy) name in public, which made me feel like I’m doing an effective job,” he recalled.

And just this month, Jeric fulfilled his goal of winning an acting award. He took home the best single performanc­e by an actor trophy at the recent Star Awards for his portrayal of a sex slave in an episode of “Magpakaila­nman.”

“This is a dream come true. This is something I used to just joke about with my loved ones. ‘I will experience going onstage and accepting a trophy someday,’ I would tell myself,” he said. “I’m thankful because GMA 7 didn’t give up on me and continued to give me good projects, despite people making fun of me.”

“I would say that this is the most confident I have been about my acting,” Jeric said.

 ??  ?? Sheryl Cruz (left) and Jeric Gonzales
Sheryl Cruz (left) and Jeric Gonzales
 ??  ?? Gonzales

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