THEA Tolentino can’t believe that seven years have quickly passed since she won in the artista search known as “Protege”. ‘“I was just 16 then,” she says. “I was launched playing the title role of ‘Pyra, Babaeng Apoy’ but eventually, mas nakilala ako playing contravida roles after I played villain to Barbie Forteza in ‘Half Sisters’. Since then, hindi ako nawawalan ng project and I’m very thankful to GMA dahil heto, I have a new show again, ‘Madrasta’, where once again, contravida ang role ko.”
“Madrasta” replaced ‘Dahil sa Pag-ibig’ in GMA’s Afternoon Prime. Doesn’t she get tired of being a villain in soap after soap?
“Not really, kasi iba-iba naman ang atake ko sa bawat villain role na ibinibigay nila sa akin, like in ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ na transgender ang role. Pinag-aaralan kong mabuti ang character assigned to me, pati back story niya why she’s behaving that way, para naiiba-iba ko pati hitsura ko, like dito sa ‘Madrasta’, nagpaiba ako ng hair style at pati ng kulay ng buhok ko kasi mayaman ang role ko rito as Katharine, the husband of Juancho Trivino na iniwan siya at sumama sa lover ko, played by Ahron Villena.”
How does it feel that she’s supporting Arra San Agustin who plays the title role of “Madrasta”? “She’s okay. Hindi siya basta magpapaapi sa akin dito. Lumalaban siya. Magaganda ang mga eksena namin dito, like yung wedding scene nila ni Juancho. After maghiwalay kami, nagkagustuhan sila ni Juancho at yun nga, ikakasal sila na ang setting is on the top of a beautiful hill na ginamitan pa ng helicopter ang eksena. Then, nang nakahirap na sila sa altar, biglang umappear ang beauty ko para sumigaw ng ‘Itigil ang kasal!’ Ayun, nagbalik ang character ko para lang guluhin sila.”
It’s common knowledge she’s going steady with Mikoy Morales, a runner up in ‘Protege’ who now plays Alden Richards’ best friend in “The Gift”. Doesn’t Mikoy find her grouchy and cranky considering she’s always making “taray” to someone in her soaps?
“Not at all. Kasi sa harap lang naman ng kamera ako nagtataray. Off cam, sweet po ako, maniwala kayo’t hindi. I’m a good girl. Mikoy and I are very supportive of each other’s careers and when it comes to the roles we play on screen, hindi kami nakikialam at all sa isa’t isa.”
They’ve been together for almost seven years. No plans to tie the knot yet? “Wala po. We’re not ready to settle down kasi early 20s pa lang naman kami. Ang layo pa ng tatakbuhin ng careers namin, so trabaho muna. Ayaw namin nung feeling na nasasakal namin ang isa’t isa. Mikoy is actually busier than I am kasi aside from ‘The Gift’, he’s also in ‘Pepito Manaloto’ and ‘Bubble Gang’. Bilib nga ako kasi he’s versatile and can do both drama and comedy with equal ease.”
In “Madrasta”, Gladys Reyes plays her mother in law as Juancho Trivino’s mother. Isn’t she fazed doing scenes with Gladys who’s an accomplished contravida? “Mabait po siya and it’s always nice to work with her. Marami akong natutuhan sa kanya. In my first soap, ‘Pyra’, hindi ko siya makakalimutan. May eksenang sinampal niya ako. Hindi niya dinaya. Ang lakas talaga. Naiwan yung marka ng kamay niya sa mukha ko. So doon ko nalamang in doing such scenes, bigay todo mo na. Don’t fake it.”