Award-winning actress Maja Salvador, known for her versatility and memorable TV portrayals, displays her acting chops once more in TV5’s primetime drama-comedy “Niña Niño,” her first teleserye for the Kapatid Network.
This time, she shares the screen with Cinemalaya’s Best Actor for 2017, 16-year-old actor Noel Comia Jr. The two portray the sister and brother duo in the show.
Maja plays the lead role of Niña, a street toughie who is forced by circumstances to earn money as a con-artist. She will be joined by younger brother Niño, and both of them navigate life’s highs and lows as they learn the lessons of survival, forgiveness and hope, and the importance of family.
Noel was handpicked by series’ director Thop Nazareno, whom he had worked in the award-winni
The young actor said he was chosen for the role of Niño because Direk Thop is already familiar with his range as an actor.
At the recent media conference with Cebu’s Entertainment Group, Maja revealed that she had a hand in picking her cast-mates because the producers asked her a list of actors she wanted to work with.
“Alam nila na malaking adjustment ito sa akin so gusto nila na maging komportable ako sa mga kasama ko,” she told Click Cebu.
Included in Maja’s list is box-office star Empoy Marquez, who plays the role of Gardo.
“Sino ba naman ang tatanggi sa ganitong klase ng teleserye at ganitong mga kasamahan? Ang babait ng mga kasama ko rito, parang naglalaro lang kami,” Empoy told Click Cebu during the media con.
Empoy, who is working with Direk Thop for the first time, said the young director is a unifying force on the set.
“Every morning, nagpe-pray muna kami para maganda ‘yung weather. Sobrang tutok sa trabaho. Pagka break time, harutan-harutan. Pero pagdating sa mga eksena, seryoso siya,” the comedian added.
Empoy said the director makes it a point to look after everyone on the set. “Sobrang maalaga sa artists niya, sa art dep (department), production, utility, staff and crew,” he added.
Arron Villaflor, who is also working with Direk Thop for the first time, said the director brings out the best in each of his actors.
“Nagpapasalamat ako na sa bawat eksena na ginawaga namin, binabantayan niya talaga. Hindi niya pinapalagpas na good lang ‘yung performance namin. Gusto nya kasi laging very good,” he said.
Arron, who portrays Bert in the series, cited two words to describe their director: cool and collaborative.
“Direk Thop, sobrang cool na director. Sobrang baby-faced kasi so feeling ko parang may kapatid ako na bata. Iba ‘yung perspective niya sa trabaho, iba ‘yung perspective nya sa mga eksena na ginagawa namin and I would say he’s a very collaborative director. Sobrang binibigyan niya ng pagkakataon ‘yung bawat isa sa amin na ipakita sa kanya kung ano na ba ‘yung character na pinagkatiwala sa amin,” the actor said.
The series’ lead star, Maja, said they are having an easy, light and enjoyable time during filming and that the project is something she readily gave her yes to.
“Nagustuhan ko ‘yung konsepto, nagustuhan ko ‘yung script. ‘Yung mga lines namin, wala naman akong reklamo. Kung meron man, pinag-uusapan namin kaagad ni Direk sa set,” she said.
Rounding up the cast of “Niña Niño” are Ruby Ruiz, Lilet Esteban, Ian Pangilinan, Sachzna, Junyka Santarin, Moi Bien, and Dudz Teraña.
The teleserye is produced by Cignal Entertainment and line-produced by CS Studios and Spring Films, headed by Erickson Raymundo, director Joyce Bernal, and actor Piolo Pascual.
Experience the sorrows and joys of “Niña Niño,” Mondays to Fridays at 7:15 p.m., after “Sing Galing” and right before “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” on TV5’s primetime block, TodoMax Primetime Singko.