CHERIE Gil has proven once again how effective an actress she is in her role as the scheming Helena in GMA-7’s hit primetime drama, “Onanay”. She’s now one of the most hated characters on local TV for oppressing the height-challenged Jo Berry as Onay. But recently, Onay got the chance to take revenge on her, pouncing her and pulling her hair without mercy. It’s good she agreed to do that “violent” scene?
“It’s all part of the job,” she says. “Actually, we had fun doing that scene. Ang saya nga, e. I found it funny. It’s brilliant of our director, Gina Alajar, to stage that cat fight between us kasi ang laki ko at ang liit ni Onay. First time I had a fight with a small person. Hesitant pa siya at first and nervous baka hindi raw niya magawa, but I assured her okay lang sa’kin. Actually, she’s very strong. Ang bigat niya at hindi ko nga siya mabuhat, e. Nabunot talaga ang buhok ko nang sabunutan niya ako. Viewers enjoyed that scene so much and because of that, lalong tumaas ang ratings namin.”
When “Onanay” started airing in August, we remember she was having doubts if the show starring a midget would click but they’re now on their sixth month. “Yes, noong una, lahat kami, we’re thinking, kakagatin kaya kami ng tao? But all our efforts paid off. We get on being extended. And we’re really thankful that the audience accepted us warmly. I really admire Direk Gina as she has invested so much of herself in the show. She’s always happy and smiling even when the going gets rough. And her spirituality is amazing. She always prays. One time, our generator wouldn’t work, biglang namatay, and we’re taping a scene that’s to be aired that same night. But she prayed and soon, it was working again.”
When their show started, it was up against “Bagani”, which was replaced by “Ngayon at Kailanman” which also starred her own mom, Rosemarie Gil. Now, that show has also ended and they’re up against a new one. “Yes, we’re facing a new challenge and I was teasing my mom about it na natalo namin sila, but kunwari, she doesn’t hear me. Siyempre, lahat kami, all fired up to do our best para mas mapaganda pa ang show now that another new show is up against us.”
Cherie might be busy with a soap that takes so much of her time but she has also finished two new movies. First is “Cinematografo Mirador” directed by Loy Arcenas and the second is “Kaputol” directed by Mac Alejandre from a script by Ricky Lee. “In the first one, I play a balikbayan from the U.S. who comes home to scatter the ashes of my late husband here. In the second, I play two roles. I’m a lesbian director who’s having an affair with Angel Aquino and in the movie within a movie that I’m making, kasama ko naman si Alfred Vargas. Because of this movie, I was inspired to take the scriptwriting workshop of Ricky Lee but then, I realized, ang hirap pala magsulat ng screenplay, so magdidirek na lang siguro ako.”
How’s her daughter Bianca who made a movie here last year? “She’s thinking of cultivating a career here but I told her mag-try muna siya sa New York. She finished theatre arts there at Tisch School of the Arts in NYU so sabi ko, subukan muna niya roon.”