In 2013, Toni Gonzaga was already one of the biggest stars of her generation. She was starring in back-to-back blockbusters and she was hosting a number of hit TV shows. She really was already on top her game.
But when “Four Sisters and a Wedding” was offered to her and she was told she would be starring with fellow industry heavyweights, Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, and Shaina Magdayao, Toni wanted out.
In the second part of her “I Feel U” interview with King of Talk Boy Abunda, the actress revealed that she felt so intimidated by her co-stars that she even tried “begging” Malou Santos, who was then Star Cinema’s chief operating officer, to let her quit the project.
“Dalawang beses akong nagpunta kay Tita Malou nun. Talagang I was begging off. Nakiusap ako, ‘Tita Malou, hindi ko po yata talaga kaya. Nakakahiya po. Baka hindi ko po mabigay ‘yung hiningi.’ Dalawang beses ‘yun,” she recalled.
On the second time she tried to back out, director Cathy Garcia-Molina was there, which only made it harder for Toni to say it.
She continued, “‘Yung pangalawa ko pa, kasabay ko pa si Direk Cathy. Sabi ko, ‘Paano ko tatanggihan nandito si Direk Cathy?’ Sabi ni Tita Malou, ‘Anong sasabihin mo?’ [Sabi ko], ‘Parang hindi ko po yata kaya.’”
Then the “Pinoy Big Brother” host explained that her anxiety came from years of doing only romantic comedies and she didn’t think she would be able to be as good as Bea, Angel, and Shaina, who were already known as dramatic actresses.
“’Yung time na ‘yun natatakot ako, kasi kilala natin si Angel, Action-Drama Queen. Bea, Movie Queen [at] Drama Queen. Lahat sila mga queen in their own rights and they’re Best Actresses already during that time,” she said. “Eh ‘yung mga ginagawa ko nung time na ‘yun mga rom-com, sabi ko, ‘Ano bang maibibigay ko pa para dito?’”
But no matter how hard she tried, Tita Malou didn’t let her walk away. “Ayun, Tita Malou talaga. [Sabi niya], ‘You have to do this film. You have to.’ Natatakot lang ako nun lagi.”
So Toni faced the project head-on and eventually realized it was meant to be. Her role as the eldest Salazar sibling Teddie became one of her most iconic performances and it even earned her a Best Supporting Actress award from Gawad PASADO Awards — a four-way tie between her, Bea, Angel, and Shaina.
To this day, “Four Sisters and a Wedding” continues to be one of the most memorable Filipino films and has become a never-ending source of quotable quotes and memes — something none of them ever expected.
“Ang saya ng experience na ‘yun for me. Nagulat nga kami ganun pala kaganda ‘yung pelikula. ‘Yung time na ‘yun, hindi namin siya iniisip na,” said Toni.
Watch Toni’s full interview here:
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Toni Gonzaga opens up about toughest year she and her family had
Toni Gonzaga recalls harsh words said to her when she moved to ABS-CBN
Toni, Alex play 'Never Have I Ever' SPG edition with their husbands!