To dig deep into your own emotions and then pour them out as a totally different person is one of the many reasons why we will always admire actors who are fully committed to their craft. This is also why Jodi Sta. Maria finds it difficult to snap out of her “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” character Marissa every time the director calls cut.
“Kahit si Marissa is a character, tao pa rin siya. Kahit sabihin mong karakter lang siya na isinusuot ko tuwing mag-ti-taping ako, ‘yung puso namin iisa,” she told ABS-CBN News.
On the show, Marissa recently suffered a huge blow with the loss of her baby Jacob and Jodi couldn’t help but imagine herself in real life and her teenage son Thirdy.
“Bilang nanay din ako, na-imagine ko lang na kung sa akin nangyari ‘to, kung kay Thirdy nangyari ‘to, kung sa anak ko ‘to nangyari, parang hindi ko rin alam kung ano ang gagawin ko. Hindi ko lubos maisip.”
The scene brought so much anguish to Jodi that it took her a while before she could let go. “We took the scene. And after that, hindi talaga ako nakabitaw doon sa emosyon.”
This wasn’t always the case for the actress, especially when she was younger and had not have much life experience yet. “I remember when I was younger, as an actor, ang dali, eh. Parang may switch lang ang emosyon: on, off. Iyak? Iyak. After noon, tawanan. Tawanan before mag-take? And then kailangan umiyak? Iiyak.”
She continued, “Ngayon, as an actor, parang nag-iba ‘yung process ko. Hindi ko na kaya ‘yung before the scene, nakikipagkuwentuhan pa ako, tapos action, nandoon na ako agad. Now, mas maraming preparasyon ‘yung kailangan kong gawin. And that means I really have to go deep. Deep into my emotions, my memory bank.”
The “Dear Other Self” star admitted that she even reached the point of talking herself out of the character and forcing herself to remember that her real son, Thirdy, is fine and well.
“Kaya din kapag nahugot ko siya, ang hirap din niyang i-let go. Kailangan kong i-remind ang sarili ko talaga, consciously: ‘Jodi, it’s just a scene. You are not Marissa. You do not have a son named Jacob. Thirdy is okay. You are okay. It’s just a scene. Let go, let go, let go.’ I have to consciously remind myself of it. You prepare, be in that moment, and then after the director says ‘cut,’ it’s another process. You have to let go.”
“Hindi ikaw ‘yun. Kasi, naniwala ka, eh. When you’re there in that moment, you really feel, you really believe it’s happening,” she added. “So, kailangan mo sabihin sa utak mo: ‘No, it’s not happening. This is not real. This is not true. It’s just a scene.’
Jodi held on to Marissa throughout the show’s seven-month run on ABS-CBN’s primetime across various platforms.
Also starring Iza Calzado, Maricel Soriano, and more, “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” will air its finale this Friday, March 19.
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