It has always been a conscious effort for Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla to offer the Filipino audience with something different with their every outing, especially in the movies. Eight films together later, they come out with another different portrayal yet arguably the most relatable of all: George and Primo in “The Hows of Us.”
The film, which zeroes in on the complexities, nuances, and challenges of being in a long-term relationship, required that Kathryn and Daniel peel off more layers in themselves as actors and take inspiration from their very own relationship. They themselves have been in a long-term one, “more than five years” in Daniel’s very own words, and so one would think that it would come easier.
“Hindi totoo ‘yan,” Daniel clarified to us in his very-DJ-straightforward manner, during an exclusive interview. “Mahirap. Sobrang hirap. At napapagalitan pa rin kami dahil dun.”
“Matagal kami bago nakapasok dito kina Primo at George,” Kathryn seconded. “Hindi siya kung marami ka nang nagawa, mas madaling pumasok sa character. Minsan nga ‘pag mas marami na ang nagawa mo, mas mahirap.”
Hearing them say that came as a surprise, because Daniel and Kathryn have managed to make it look so natural. But as he expounded his point, I couldn’t help but agree. It may seem easy, but accomplishing a lot only opens yourself up to a wealth of learning and possibilities. It never ends.
“Hindi madaling umarte, una sa lahat. Madaling umarte, pero maganda ba ‘yung pagkakaarte mo, ‘di ba? Mahirap gampanan ang isang role. Lalo na kung gusto mong gandahan, gusto mong galingan. Laging parang kulang,” Daniel said. Ano pang kailangan kong gawin? Ano pa ang kulang ko bilang isang artista? Paano pa ‘ko gagaling?”
He added, “Hindi siya nagiging, kuha ko na ‘to, ‘matic na ‘to. Talagang every time dapat tumatakbo ‘yung isip mo, lalo na sa set, sa isang eksena. Bago pa ‘yung eksena, patakbuhin mo na sa isip mo ‘yung mangyayari sa eksena kasi ang dami mong puwedeng gawin, ang dami mong puwedeng paglaruan, na in the end kapag hindi ka nag-prepare, laging, tsk, dapat ginawa ko ‘yun, sana ginawa ko ‘yun.”
The actor and recording artist knows he doesn’t owe a good performance only to himself; he owes it to the people he works with and the people who want to see a good show, who want to be inspired by a beautiful movie.
“The Hows of Us” sees Kathryn and Daniel at their best, coming from multiple projects that strengthened their love for the craft and their mastery in the profession. The things they told us during the interview, they might not have been able to say had we asked those a few years prior. It takes growth. It takes highs and lows. It's what makes the magic of Kathryn and Daniel.
Although so much has changed (for the better, of course), it’s inspiring to see these two remain grounded. Star Cinema Managing Director Olivia Lamasan, who helmed their 2016 movie “Barcelona: A Love Untold,” apparently plays a pivotal role in keeping both of their feet firmly planted on the ground.
“‘Yun ‘yung madadala talaga ko, ‘yung mga tinuro niya,” Daniel said of Inang. “Hindi lang in terms of acting, pati ‘yung kung pa’no ka sa set, pa’no ka bilang tao. Ang pinakagusto niya is ‘yung pagpapakumbaba mo talaga sa mga tao. ‘Yung humbled ka lang lagi. Hindi mo naman mapipilit ‘yon, pero makukuha mo ‘yun sa tamang pag-iisip.”
The proper perspective is also essential when it comes to keeping their fears in check. The two are no fearless warriors, but have armed themselves with the right weapons to combat whatever is before them that scares them.
“Parating may fear. Lalo na sa’kin,” Kathryn confessed. “‘Recently lang, hindi ko alam kung pa’no siya i-handle. Ang secret pala nun, bakit hindi mo gamitin ‘yung fear na ‘yun as motivation? Nagwo-work siya. And feeling ko hangga’t nandun ‘yung fear – hindi ‘yung matatakot ka sa lahat ng gagawin mo – laging nandun ‘yung hunger mo na kailangan mong mas galingan.”
We’re all afraid to fail (whether that’s a partial or full fear), but it’s inevitable. DJ acknowledges that failure is what we need for us to discover our real limits. At the same time, he reminds us that we must give ourselves credit too. We should celebrate our victories.
“Nakakatakot pa sa trabaho namin, walang kasiguraduhan ‘di ba? Lagi naman nilang sinasabi sa bawat artistang nagsisimula, ingatan mo, kasi baka isang araw biglang wala ka na. And totoo naman ‘yun dahil hindi sila natatapos maghanap ng artista. So anytime puwede ka talagang mapalitan,” he related.
“Pero ang importante once na mangyari ‘yon, tanggap mo. Para mawala ‘yung takot is ‘yung acceptance. Always be ready. Hanggang nandito ka sa kung nasa’n ka man, sa mga posisyones natin, you enjoy and cherish and share it to others. Enjoy-in mo kasama ng ibang tao. Never enjoy it by yourself because hindi mo ‘yun mae-enjoy.”
Spoken like a true king and queen, replete with wisdom, grace, and humility.
Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, “The Hows of Us” is showing in 435 cinemas nationwide. You can buy your movie tickets here: Robinsons Movieworld, SM Cinema, and Sure Seats, and official merchandise at the ABS-CBN Store.
“The Hows of Us: How to Love and Unlove” is also now available on National Book Store! Or you can order online to get your dose of inspiration on love and relationships. 💙
Watch out for the next installment of Kathryn and Daniel Week – our week-long celebration of the couple’s seventh anniversary as a love team.
For more stories, check these out:
Kathryn and Daniel Week: Where everything started
Kathryn, inalala ang first kiss with Daniel! How did it go?
#ThrowbackTuesday: Back when Daniel called Kathryn his ‘madam baby’