Today, we learned: great things don’t happen overnight. Like a lot of relationships, Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano’s friendship was not instant. In a behind-the-scenes story shared by Star Cinema Creative Director Vanessa Valdez, it’s revealed that it took the “He’s Into Her” stars quite some time before they got comfortable with each other.
With never-before-seen photos, Vanessa titled her post “FIRST DAY SHOOT, LAST DAY SCRIPT-READING”, where she took us back to DonBelle’s “awkward” first day working together.
“The first day shoot of ‘HIH’ took place in December 2019. We shot (what is now known as) Lorde & NaMiMiSay’s versions of Deib and Max’s meet-cute,” the caption reads. It also says that Belle and Donny “were barely talking to each other that day.”
“They — we — were all in that awkward getting-to-know-you phase. Belle arrived on the set first. I could feel her nervous energy, so I asked her to sit with us (that would be Cha, Dip, Red, and me) to calm her down as we waited for breakfast to arrive.”
When Donny arrived, he chose to sit away from Belle, but soon they were left alone together, whether they wanted to or not.
“A little later, Donny arrived. He greeted all of us, and I sensed that he was feeling his way around as well. So, to make him more comfortable with all of us, and Belle in particular, I asked him to sit with us for breakfast. I thought he would sit beside Belle, who was on my right side. He sat on my left side instead. I wanted to laugh at how tentative both of them were. To allow them to talk to each other more, I left them and told them I’d be discussing the scene we were about to shoot with Direk @cvovidanes.”
The two were chatty towards everyone on set, including the staff, the crew, the extras, except to each other. But after going through a lock-in taping, Donny and Belle finally developed a “new sense of familiarity and friendship” between them, adding more “kilig” to their scenes.
The post continues, “By the time we did the script-reading for the third leg of the shoot (the Zoom photos here), I didn’t feel like an awkward third wheel watching these two kids create magic. You could feel the kilig from across the screen as we rehearsed the dream sequence of episode 2 and the P.E. class of episode 5. We even left them on their own (photo 6) to rehearse the big fight of episode 5, and they were patiently helping each other with their lines, lifting each other through the tough spots.”
To end it, Vanessa shared an insight she learned from what she has witnessed between Donny and Belle. “The pandemic put a lot of things on pause, including our production. But the time apart has allowed people to grow closer in a delightful, unexpected way that makes the journey even more beautiful.”
Also starring Kaori Oinuma, Rhys Miguel, Criza Taa, Joao Constancia, Jeremiah Lisbo, Vivoree, and more, “He’s Into Her” airs every Friday on iWant TFC and Sundays on A2Z, Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and TFC!
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