In the current landscape of local entertainment, the tell-tale sign of a successful love team is when they reach that unbreakable status. So imagine when two stars from two of the top-tier tandems in show business history from two different networks broke out of their respective ties to come together for a big-screen project—to say that hearing the news was intriguing doesn’t quite sum it up.
Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, stars of the Star Cinema film Hello, Love, Goodbye directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, both admit that they never thought that the crossover was possible. From anyone’s perspective, it was a refreshing move. But the question hung over our heads: Could they pull it off?
In the film, Kathryn and Alden take on the roles of Hong Kong-dwellers Joy and Ethan. The former is a domestic helper using her two-year contract as a stepping stone to her much bigger dream of practicing her nursing degree in Canada. The latter, on the other hand, is a bartender who lives one day at a time without fixed goals. When their paths cross, the two are pushed to test their boundaries, evaluate where they are in life, and ultimately realize what it takes to grow.
Coincidentally, both actors have found themselves in the same position at the same time in real life. “Sakto, pareho kami ni Alden na nasa point ng career ngayon na kailangan naming umalis sa love team para sa growth namin,” Kathryn shares. “Walang masama na nasa love team kami kasi doon talaga kami nakilala, pero darating ka sa point na hahanapin mo siya as an actor.”
In the spirit of reel-to-real parallels, Kathryn describes Joy as someone who knows how to look after herself before others. Yes, she may be carrying the weight of being an OFW quite heavily on her shoulders and back, but Joy also has that undying pursuit of what will make her happy in the long run. “She’s honest with herself na ,'Hindi ako masaya dito, so someday doon ako kasi ‘yun yung goal ko for myself.'”
When it comes to her own experience of going into a different direction career-wise, the 23-year-old actress says that personal growth is also about investing in making yourself whole. “Sometimes, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable kasi ang dami kong natutunan tungkol sa sarili ko,” she explains. “Iba din na ma-handle mo siya on your own, para when it comes to your relationships—like for me, with DJ—mas buo ka, mas na-fill mo ‘yung space kung saan may nawawala.” It echoes Joy’s sentiments of pursuing her future while sacrificing her present with Ethan in order to find what is still missing in her personhood.
But it’s not to say that Kathryn is necessarily feeling a void; this leap is only a mere opportunity for her to improve on herself and her craft. In fact, Kathryn feels grateful that, unlike Joy, she doesn’t have to choose between her career and her relationships at the moment. “I’m very lucky that I have both dahil hindi lahat na-eexperience ‘yun. I’m living my best life with my family, my boyfriend, and my career. Wala na ‘kong mahihiling pa,” she gushes.
Alden, on the other hand, claims that he’s far from the character he played. When asked to describe Ethan, he says, “Siya ‘yung type ng tao na, ‘Seize the moment, I’m living for today, who knows what will happen tomorrow?’” And this is exactly what drew Alden more to his role. “It gave me the challenge, and Direk Cathy was really there to hold my hand through it.”
Personality-wise, Alden and Ethan may be set apart. But as he talks about this fateful moment in his career, it seems that the story has quite rubbed into the 27-year-old actor. “Sometimes we think that we are at our limits, pero pwede pa pala,” he says. “In this project alone, ang daming ‘pwede pa pala’ na nangyari—pwede palang magsama ang dalawang artist from different networks, pwede palang mag-pair up ang dalawang strangers from different love teams.” In the words of both Alden and Ethan, “Pwede ka pa palang maging ‘more.’” After Ethan fell in love with Joy, he realized that he’s willing to give Joy the future that she deserves and allow himself to be more than what he’s used to. And Alden, in real life, found himself expanding his horizons to uncharted territories and challenging himself to new heights.
The greater the risk, the greater the reward, and Alden believes so. “Ang buhay mas magiging thrilling if you jump into uncertainties,” he says. “Always find things that will add to your character and experiences para mas kumapal ‘yung armor mo.”
For Ethan, it’s his encounter with Joy that propelled him to get his life together. He thought that he could do it simultaneously—being with his love and working on his future. But what does Alden think about balancing work and relationships? “Ayokong sabihin na career ang pipiliin ko or love life ang pipiliin ko. Lahat tayo iba-iba ng mindset, iba-iba ng priorities. You need to ask yourself, “What do I really need right now?” Then doon ka mag-decide.”
Be it Kathryn and Alden or Joy and Ethan, this momentous pairing is truly a symbol of evolution. Now, the question begs: Were they able to pull it off? To our delight, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Jan Aranilla (Kathryn) and Mel Sy (Alden)
Makeup by Justine del Rosario
Hair by Chris Rodil
Grooming by Rick Calderon
Video Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
Video Edited by Play It Forward
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