MARIAN Rivera revealed that playing a teacher in “Super Ma'am,” her comeback fantaserye which premiered last Monday, was actually a dream role.
“I was a Sped (Special Education) teacher and it was really my dream to become a teacher,” said GMA 7’s acknowledged primetime queen during her recent Cebu visit where she had a lively chat with the Entertainment Group of Cebu (E-Group) in an uptown restaurant.
Being a mother, Rivera wants her daughter (and other children in the future) to see her past projects and be proud of her.
Having been away from primetime television for two and a half years while attending to her role as mom, Rivera thought she would struggle with her comback. But thanks to her good-natured director L.A. Madridejos and supportive co-stars, the project proved to be easier.
The Kapuso network laid three possible projects for her to choose from and based on the result of a survey as to what televiewers wanted to see in her comeback, the super-hero/teacher project came into being.
Rivera said that the teleseries will make viewers, especially students, realize and appreciate the importance and value of school and teachers.
Minerva Henerala, the soft-hearted and dedicated high school teacher, had a close encounter with mythical glowing winged-creatures called Tamawo, which later on wreaked havoc in the community. Minerva’s alter ego, Super Ma’am, then emerges to become a Tamawo slayer and save the human world.
Giving able support to Marian are her leading men. Matthias Rhoads plays Trevor Jones, an American archaeologist and writer. Having stayed only a year in the country, Matthias considered the role as a “big stroke of luck, stimulating and perfect.” Being part of the series, he said, is “an amazing journey.”
The role gives him the impetus to learn the Tagalog language. Rivera herself suggested to Madridejos to pressure the young Filipino-American actor to deliver his lines in Tagalog.
The other leading man is comedian and stage actor Jerald Napoles, who plays the role of Esteban, the talkative janitor of the school. Both Trevor and Esteban fall for Minerva.
Napoles joked that his inclusion in the series fills the need for “texture” in a world of good-looking individuals.
Rivera had no qualms about doing fight scenes as she describes herself as “walang kinatatakutan at palaban (fearless and a fighter).”
She bares her tummy instead of the upper part of her body in a costume that underwent several trials and changes. She joked that the choice was to prove that she has no stretch marks even after giving birth to daughter Maria Letizia Dantes last November 2015.
Aside from Rhoads and Napoles, also giving Rivera able support are Helen Gamboa as Lolita Honorio, Minerva’s grandmother; Dina Bonnevie as Raquel Henerala, Minerva’s archaeologist mother; Al Tantay as Chaplin Henerala, Minerva’s father; Julius Miguel as Bixby Henerala, Minerva’s younger brother; Kim Domingo as Mabelle Henerala / Avenir Segovia, Minerva’s lost sister who was raised by Greta Segovia, who is played by Jackielou Blanco, the main villain being the radical and powerful Tamawo; Carmina Villaroel as Ceres, the great Tagachu who is the heir of the powerful buntot pagi, which gives one the power to transform into a Tamawo slayer; and Ai-ai delas Alas in a special role.
Other supporting cast members are Joyce Ching, Kristoffer Martin, Kevin Santos, Isabelle de Leon, Andrew Gan, Jillian Ward, Enrico Cuenca, Ash Ortega, Marika Sasaki, Vincent Magbanua, Ralph Noriega, Meg Imperial, Ashley Rivera and Shyr Valdez.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2017.
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