Philippine Daily Inquirer

Judy Ann explores her dark side

- By Rito P. Asilo @ritoasilo

Judy Ann Santos became famous for playing beleaguere­d heroines who overcome all types of adversity. But while the actress is happy with roles that are snug fit for her wholesome image and prodigious acting skills, she says she’s more than happy to essay characters that cast her against type.

In ABS-CBN’S new primetime teleserye “Starla,” for instance, Juday says her role is not readily sympatheti­c.

“The series is about a star (Jana Agoncillo) who needs to grant good wishes so that she would become a full-fledged wishing star,” she discloses. “But the family drama that drives the show is the story of Teresa (Judy Ann) and her father, Greggy (Joel Torre). The hatred and pain in her heart are fueling her need to wreak havoc on Barrio Maulap as a way to avenge her mother. She blames them for her death.”

While the story of “Starla” is “unusual,” Juday also finds it refreshing to head off the beaten track, she says. “The character is very dark, which is challengin­g to do. This is also the reason behind my recent guesting [as Jane] in ‘Ang Probinsyan­o,’ which felt like an intro to my character in ‘Starla’—handa lang kayo kasi naiiba ito. Hindi ito bait-baitan dot com (laughs).

“Portraying Jane was something different and truly outof-the-box for me, para maiba naman. It isn’t easy to play someone with a multiple personalit­y disorder. I had to do it to challenge myself.”

But the actress says she really isn’t turning her back on the dramas she’s famous for. In fact, her first collaborat­ion with Brillante Ma Mendoza, “Mindanao,” which premiered in Busan early this month, has just been chosen as one of the entries in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival.

Is she open to a reunion film with Piolo Pascual?

The last time she worked with the heartthrob was in Joyce Bernal’s blockbuste­r romcom, “Don’t Give Up On Us,” in 2006. The tried-and-tested tandem of Judy Ann and Piolo were also seen in such starrers as “Esperanza,” “Kahit Isang Saglit,” “Bakit ’Di Totohanin" and “Till There Was You.”

“Of course!” she answers with a laugh. “If it’s a very good material, why not?”

 ??  ?? Judy Ann Santos (right) and Enzo Pelojero in “Starla”
Judy Ann Santos (right) and Enzo Pelojero in “Starla”
 ??  ?? Judy Ann Santos
Judy Ann Santos

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