People & Inspiration

In Focus: Daniel Padilla's Career Survival Tools—A Thick Skin, Authenticity, & Kathryn Bernardo

In Focus: Daniel Padilla's Career Survival Tools—A Thick Skin, Authenticity, & Kathryn Bernardo

Being famous is not everything, and who else can make you believe this other than someone of Daniel Padilla's level. The Teen King knows this all too well, mainly as part of KathNiel—one of the most popular love teams for almost a decade now. At a recent Facebook Live session via the Actors’ Cue #ExtendTheLove initiative (a project helping displaced film workers due to the national lockdown), Daniel didn't mince words on how his reel-turned-real relationship with leading lady Kathryn Bernardo became a double-edged sword.

“Nine and a half years na yata kaming magkasama sa lahat ng rom-com at drama na pelikula. Mahirap kasi ang dami na naming nagawa eh. Ang dami na naming pelikulang nagawa at laging challenge yung, ‘O, pano na ‘to ngayon? Pano nyo iibahin na naman ’to?’” he admitted.

[related: Love Actually: Meet Daniel Padilla The Way Only Kathryn Bernardo Sees Him]

Unknown to his fans, for example, DJ’s last film project with Star Cinema last year filled him with doubt.

Kaya nung magsisimula kami nung The Hows of Us, ang daming mga tanong, ang daming question sa aming dalawa na baka hindi na panuorin or baka hindi na kumita yang pelikula nyo dahil parang lahat ay nagawa nyo na," he recalled.

Yet, this only fired Daniel up to do better—explore more of what he can do further. 

"Dun na siguro papasok yung character nung pelikula mismo kasi dun namin nilalagay na hindi naman kami yun eh. It’s a character na pino-portray namin. So mas challenging sya yet mas satisfying din lalo pag positive yung outcome ng pelikula. At least na-overcome mo na naman yung pagsubok na yun sa aming dalawa ni Kathryn. Hindi sya madali at kailangan naming trabahuin, kailangan ibahin. Kasi kung pare-pareho lang, wala namang mangyayari na, diba? At kung si Kathryn at si Daniel eh sana reality show na lang ginawa nun,” he said.

It's the kind of maturity DJ now proudly wields after all these years.

[related: In Focus: Proudly 'Sakang' Kathryn Bernardo On Self-Love]

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DP (@supremo_dp) on

A rough start

Even before joining showbiz, DJ said he first got a taste of a love for cinema through, yes, Harry Potter.

Pinaka-magic sa akin nung bata ako nung nanuod ako ng Harry Potter movie na Sorcerer’s Stone na nakaupo na ako mismo sa hagdan ng sinehan kasi punong-puno yung sinehan and dun na ako nabaliw sa Harry Potter. Yung effects pa lang and yung storyline ng pelikulang yun,” he mused.

But having been born to celebrity parents Rommel Padilla and Karla Estrada, DJ said it was almost expected that he would follow in his Erpat and Ermat's footsteps.

Pero sobra akong mahiyain nung bata ako, eh. So, hindi ko na-imagine yung sarili kong magiging artista dahil mahiyain ako, parang di ko kaya."

[related: In Focus: The Sweetest Things That Kathryn Bernardo Does For Daniel Padilla]

At 14, DJ got to be part of ABS-CBN's Gimik 2010, the remake of the popular 90s teen show where the likes of Judy Ann Santos, Rico Yan, and Jolina Magdangal starred. Yet, by the time DJ took on his first project, he admitted his heart was not yet set on acting.

Wala naman akong masyado ginagawa sa show na yun dahil role ko kapatid lang, ganun. Pero dun ako namulat sa taping na inaabot kami ng umaga. Kasi nga bata ako, ang isip ko nasa gala, eh. Gusto kong gumala kasama ang mga kaibigan ko. Gusto ko mag-aral. High school kaming lahat, gusto ko kasabay sila so nandun yung isip ko pa noon. So, after Gimik nag-stop ako two years sa pag-aartista. Naisip ko na baka nga hindi ito para sa akin."

Along the way, however, DJ learned to really take acting seriously.

“Actually, ako yung bunso nung batch ng Gimik 2010. Na-enjoy ko rin sa set kasi ka-vibes ko yung mga kasama kong artista dun. Masaya rin silang kasama. Pero na-'one time big time' ako ni Miss Mylene Dizon eh. Dun ako na, ‘Oh my goodness, anong ginagawa ko?’'" he said excitedly.

"Dun ako naano na totoo na ‘to. Hindi na ‘to laro laro lang. Talagang seryoso din sya and dun ko na naisip na kailangan ko ayusin. Pero dahil dun kay Tita Mylene dahil nabuksan nya yun, nabuksan ang mga mata ko sa craft. Sa eksena yun, may linya ako na na-utal-utal ako eh. Hindi ko maintindihan. Eh parang ilang beses na rin. Syempre bad trip din yun, diba? So, yun, napagbigyan ka lang nang konti,” he recalled with a laugh.

[related: Style Inspo: How to Elevate Your Couple Style According to KathNiel]

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DP (@supremo_dp) on

Easing into acting

DJ's tough beginnings in the craft only led to tougher ones. At the same session, he candidly shared moments in his career which most actors would probably hesitate to talk about—say, the hardest scenes he has to do.

“Oh my God, ang dami. Ako syempre, automatically ang mahirap are the emotional scenes! Ako minsan kahit andun na yung emosyon tapos hindi mo bigla mailabas, sobrang frustrating! Pero ang maganda kasi minsan kapag sobrang frustrated ka na, dun ka na napipikon, dun na lumalabas yung emosyon mo eh. Pero minsan din nakakahiya sa mga tao sa set tumatagal, ganun," he explained. "Pero minsan kailangan natin intindihin yun, diba? Hindi naman lahat din kasi madali. Iba’t-ibang proseso eh pagdating sa emosyon."

DJ specified this one instance where he had absolutely nowhere to get his hugot from.

"Yun isa pang mahirap yun. Meron akong isang eksenang hindi ko nagawa, ang nangyari—na-revise!" he said with a laugh. "Pero ang maganda naman dun, napag-usapan namin na hindi ko nga kaya at saka minsan dumating lang yung eksena ngayon. Mainit pa nung sinulat, 'tapos mabigat yung eksena. 'So, san ko kukunin yung emosyon nyan ngayon? Kanina pa ako tawa nang tawa eh, tapos ngayon iiyak na ako? Mahirap, pero minsan may mga ganun." 

But that's when the people on the set would come assisting, he said.

"Pero kung ready ka naman, sa tulong ng director mo, sa tulong ng mga co-actors, lalo na pag ramdam mo na yung eksena sa paligid mo, minsan automatic na bibigay, eh."

[related: In Focus: Here's Major Proof That KathNiel's Relationship Is Stronger Than Ever]

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DP (@supremo_dp) on

Honing his craft 

Becoming part of KathNiel officially via Growing Up, DJ admitted stepping up his acting game—and it was mainly because of Kathryn.

Eh mahusay talagang artista yung bata pa at nag-Mara Clara na sya nun. Tapos nung pumasok ako, first time ko makita ang mga basher dahil galit sila sa akin dahil ang original na love team ni Kathryn noon ay si Albie (Casiño). Sabay biglang next show, ako yung kasama. Dun ako nagkaroon ng plano na kailangan galingan ko ’to, kailangan kong patunayan sa kanila na worthy ako na pinalit (para) kay Kathryn," he revealed.

DJ wanted to excel so bad—"And ako rin sobrang nahihiya ako kina Kathryn, ayokong pumalpak dahil ako yung baguhan. Nasa akin yung extra effort na husayan ko. Hindi ko sinasabi na ang galing ko nun ah. Pero nung pinapanuod ko nung huli, natatawa na lang ako sa sarili ko pag may napapanuod akong mga clips. Pero I did my best," he said.

SInce then, DJ's admiration for Kathryn has apparently not waned. During one particularly unforgettable scene together, he remembered thinking, "'Hayup itong si Kathryn na ’to. Paano nya nakukuha at paano nya na-su-sustain yung emosyon at yung haba ng linya...' na syempre, diba, pag linagay ko yung sarili ko dun hindi ko ata kaya yun. Isa yun sa na-struck ako sa kanya at isa yun. Yun yung nadadala ka eh, yung emotion na yun biglang makakalimutan mo yung mga camera sa paligid mo biglang, ‘Ano ‘to? Nag-aaway ba talaga tayo?’ Parang alam mo yun?”

[related: Where To Next: Here's How To Enjoy Iceland A La KathNiel!]

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DP (@supremo_dp) on

DJ today

DJ likes to think his present working style is nothing short of perfectionist.

Hangga’t hindi ko pa nakukuha ay hindi ako titigil. Di bale ng hindi tayo mag-dinner, kailangan kong gawin ‘to. May ganun eh. Kailangang magawa kasi pag nag-cut yun at alam mong hindi mo naibigay, naku, hindi ka makakatulog nun. Alam mo na hindi mo nagawa. Ang bwisit mo madadala mo nang matagal yun. Hindi ka titigil hangga’t hindi ka na-sa-satisfy at hindi mo na-sa-satisfy yung director mo," he said.

DJ then reflected over his journey that has molded him into one of local showbiz's most followed matinee idols and most sought-after endorsers. How did he ever manage? Nothing much, he said, but “Pakikisama at syempre number one din yung pagmamahal sa trabaho at sa craft. Yun lang naman ang mga natutunan ko din. Pag pumasok ka naman alam naman natin lahat sa industriya, maraming mga taong magsasabi sayo, ‘Ganito dapat ah, wag kang  ganyan.’ So maganda na lahat yan i-filter mo lang nag sarili mo, kunin mo lang yung alam mong tama at i-wash out mo yung sa tingin mong hindi naman makakatulong sayo."

ALSO READ: Hot Stuff: An 'Excited' Hyun Bin To Visit Manila 'Definitely'

Photos from Daniel Padilla's Instagram account

Latest

Popular

Trending

The Writer

View All

Recommended from Other ABS-CBN Websites