Beyond memes, “Kara Mia” mirrors love of family

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Get past the funny, oftentimes freaky memes, that have gone viral on social media and you’ll find that at the heart of GMA’s newest primetime series “Kara Mia” is a heartwarming story about family and love.

The teleserye’s lead stars, Barbie Forteza and Mika dela Cruz playing sisters with two heads, told Cebu’s Entertainment Group at a recent gathering that while they are amused by how netizens have created memes based on the teasers and trailer, they’re ready to prove that “Kara Mia” offers so much more.

“As per the memes na nagte-trend online, lahat sila natatakot, natatawa, they find it creepy so we will do otherwise. Ang magiging approach ng Kara Mia, very pambata kasi may touch of fantasy kami, folklore, though may rare cases talaga na ganun – na isang katawan with two heads. There was one in England and one in India but ‘yung head sa likod walang buhay. But since fantasy kami and folklore kami, may creative license kami to do everything,” said Barbie, who plays the role of Kara.

Mika, on the other hand, explained that the creative team took inspiration from the cases of diprosopus, a rare medical condition of a person having two heads.

“In real life, hindi po sila nagtatagal, hindi sila lumalagpas sa pagiging baby,” she said.

But unlike “Kara Mia” where both characters are alive, the other face in these cases remains lifeless.

“Walang expression and walang buhay. It’s just an extra face,” she added.

The actress said that through research, the creative team found out about the case of a man named Edward Mondrake, who lived in the 19th century, and was reportedly called The Man with Two Faces.

“Yung face nya sa likod naging burden sa kanya psychologically. Pakiramdam nya binubulungan sya ng (evil) stuff. And he took his own life,” she said.

“Kara Mia” won’t be morbid, the stars promised.

“It’s light drama and fantasy. The story is very relatable. It’s a typical story about sisters, of family, of two girls falling in love,” said Barbie.

Mika described how she and Barbie navigate the scenes together.

“We have two types of shooting. Kapag live, sabay naming ginagawa ni Barbie ang eksena pero hindi kami magka eksena – shots nya muna then shots ko. Usually magkatalikuran kami and sila (production) na ang bahala sa editing paano nila tatanggalin ang katawan ko,” she said.

These scenes can be physically challenging, the actress admitted.

“There are times that I have to do everything backwards… kung ano ‘yung ipapagawa kay Barbie, kailangan kong gawin lahat nang pabaliktad, kahit ‘yung paglalakad. At kailangang gawin nang natural ‘eh so may times na nakapatong kami ni Barbie,” Mika narrated.

For the easy scenes that don’t require much emotion, they do it with the chroma.

“Nakapasok ako sa chroma board. ‘Yung face ko lang, naka tight shot lang sa akin para madaling mapatong yung mukha ko,” she added.

Playing the leading man of Mika’s character, Mia is Kapuso returnee Paul Salas who described his role, Chino as “suplado na may pagka kontrabida.”

“Magpinsan kami ni Jak (Roberto). Dapat nilang abangan kung anong magiging reaksyon namin na makikita namin na two faces sila,” he said.

Confident that viewers will eventually warm up to the characters and the story, the “Kara Mia” stars welcome the buzz generated by the memes.

“Nakakatawa po ‘yung mga memes kasi akala nila naiinis kami pero nai-inspire po kami na ipakita sa kanila na kailangan nilang panoorin. Weird sya, creepy sya kung iisipin mo

‘yung concept lang pero syempre hindi naman nila alam kung anong tatakbuhan ng storya so sa pinapakita nilang enthusiasm na gawan ng ingay ‘yung kwento, darating ang araw na panonoorin nila,” Mika said.

Playing important roles in the series are highly-respected and award-winning actors: Carmina Villarroel as Aya, the doting mother of the sisters; John Estrada as Arthur, Aya’s husband and the father of Kara and Mia; Glydel Mercado as Julia, Arthur’s crazy ex-girlfriend who will drive a wedge between him and Aya.


Mike Tan as Iswal

Adding a dose of enchantment to the series is Mike Tan as Iswal, the mischievous engkanto who lives in the forest and is enthralled by Aya’s beauty. He will do everything in his power to be close to her.

Completing the stellar cast are Liezel Lopez as Ellie, Julia’s daughter who is both narcissistic and materialistic; Althea Ablan as Estrella, the younger sister who is funny, irreverent, and loves both Kara and Mia; Arthur Solinap as Lex, the supportive Ilonggo uncle of Kara and Mia; Karenina Haniel as Lerma/LJ, Kara’s funny best friend; April Gustilo as Betty, the silly sidekick of Julia with Ms. Alicia Alonzo as Asuncion, Aya’s hostile mother who looks at Kara and Mia as freaks and Ms. Gina Pareño as Corazon, the reclusive grandmother of Iswal.

An all original creation of the GMA Entertainment Group, “Kara Mia” is a powerful and dramatic representation of how good and evil are every individual’s two natures, of how we make the good triumph over the other, and how love will time and again conquer all.

The series is a product of the visionary minds of Tina Velasco, Elle Ortizluis, Cynthia Paz (Brainstormers); Onay Sales, John Kenneth De Leon, Kutz Enriquez (Writers); Des Garbes-Severino (head writer); under the tutelage of the Creative Team headed by Richard ‘Dode’ Cruz (Creative Head); Aloy Adlawan, Denoy Navarro-Punio (Creative Consultants), under the capable supervision of the Production team headed by Ms. Lilybeth G. Rasonable (SVP For EG), Ms. Redgie Magno (VP For Drama), Ms. Cheryl Ching-Sy (AVP for Drama), Ms. Hazel Felizmenio Abonita (Senior Program Manager), Ms. Winnie Holis-Reyes (Executive Producer).

Under the helm of esteemed director Dominic Zapata, the series also showcases the scenic beauty of the city of Bacolod, where the story takes place and some of the important scenes were shot.

Catch “Kara Mia” weeknights on GMA Telebabad, after “24 Oras.”

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