In the past decade, we can all arguably agree that Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo is the formidable loveteam of their generation. And this 2022, they are celebrating their 10th year as an on-and-off-screen couple!
As we look forward on seeing them as Ali and Eloy in their teleserye return via the much-awaited romance-comedy series 2 Good 2 Be True, they recently had a fun, lighthearted, and insightful conversation with their beloved directors Olivia M. Lamasan, Cathy Garcia-Molina, and Mae Cruz-Alviar during the “2Good2gether: A Special Reunion”.
Direk Cathy and Direk Olive weren’t able to hide their excitement to be finally reunited with KathNiel, who they had not seen nor bonded with for a long time. Direk Mae, on the other hand, was thrilled to have a casual chikahan with them, which is something they could not usually do on the set of 2 Good 2 Be True.
The kuwentuhan over food started off with a cheery kumustahan and a little throwback as the couple reminisced their journey as individual actors and as a loveteam. As we all know, Kath has been in the industry for around two decades now, starting off as a child star at the age of six. DJ, meanwhile, followed the footsteps of his parents in showbiz when he was 13 and first appeared in the youth-oriented show Gimik 2010. Their first project together was Growing Up, in which he replaced her supposed on-screen partner then, Albie Casiño, who was involved in a controversy during that time.
They immediately hit it off, thus they were given their first-ever teleserye Princess and I. Direk Olive revealed that the production actually had a hard time then, since the original plan was it would be to Enrique Gil’s Dasho Jao to whom Kath’s Mikay would be married, yet fans clamored for the KathNiel’s characters to end up together. And apparently, it was the latter that materialized.
Little did everyone know that the two were actually already a couple then, which, according to Kath, officially began on May 25, 2012, with only their families, specifically their moms, who only knew about it.
When asked how they would describe their 10 years as an on-and-off-screen couple, the 26-year-old actress said that it would be “unforgettable,” imparting how their fans have brought them “unforgettable joy,” and at the same time how the people’s doubts bring “unforgettable pain” to them. However, the trust bestowed to them by the directors always boost their confidence, which motivates them to continue whatever they are doing.
The 27-year-old actor, on the other hand, deemed of their journey as “magical.” “Kaya sinasabi ko ‘magical’ kasi hindi mo naman masasabi na dahil naging kami, nag-work. Pwede rin namang hindi nag-work dahil kami na rin, baka nawala na rin. Siguro dahil trinabaho rin naming dahil may gusto rin kaming mapuntahan pareho noon. At ‘yong mga supporters namin noon, siyempre overwhelmed kami, pasikat din kami, ‘di ba? Kasama rin ‘yon e,” DJ stated.
Having done two movies and three teleseryes with them – namely, Got To Believe (2013), “She’s Dating The Gangster” (2014), Pangako Sa ‘Yo (2015), La Luna Sangre (2017), and “The Hows of Us” (2018) – Direk Cathy related how she’s able to have built a deep connection and relationship with them.
Direk Olive, meanwhile, had the chance to work with them in “Barcelona: A Love Untold” in 2016 as their director, as well as in Pangako Sa ‘Yo as she helped them develop their characters Yna and Angelo – and was amazed by DJ’s intelligence and depth as an actor. They may have faced challenges and doubts wile doing the movie, but they firmly believe that the project was necessary to transition them from teeny-bopper roles into more mature portrayals. She’s thankful that they’re able to succeed and Direk Cathy and Direk Mae were able to further do it.
For Direk Mae, who was their director in “Crazy Beautiful You” in 2015, she was really impressed by how DJ asked the right questions in every scene they did. Besides, she was astonished by their professionalism as they were able to pull off the last scene of the film, wherein they had to act really in love with one another, despite having a misunderstanding while shooting it.
With regards to what they have learned about themselves throughout the 10 years, Daniel conveyed that it would be how much he loves this job and craft, which their lock-in taping for 2 Good 2 Be True made him realize. And he’s passionate and enjoys every part of it, as they’re able to acquire new learnings and get to work with veteran actor Ronaldo Valdez for the first time.
When asked about the role that created a huge impact on them or greatly affected them, DJ said that it would be Ely of “Barcelona: A Love Untold” as he really got shocked and frightened by the weight of the character (and with Direk Olive, too!) as he didn’t only have to show off his dramatic chops, but have to learn Spanish and do his “guerilla scenes” right. Despite the pressure, that was where he respected the craft more and felt the maturity and fulfillment he’d been yearning to.
Kathryn, on the other hand, disclosed that her all-time favorite movie of her would be “She’s Dating The Gangster,” for it was the very first time when she felt really proud about something she has done and made her promise herself that the next projects she would do must give her the same emotion. However, her most notable character for her would be Joy of “Hello, Love, Goodbye (2019).” Even though it made her nervous since DJ was not her partner, it provided her more learnings and different growth as a person and as an actress.
Although they’re always together in the past decade, KathNiel imparted that they still have their own share of differences, and at the same time, are able to learn and pick up something new from one another’s life and experiences. And just like any couple, the “non-negotiable” in their relationship is disloyalty and destroying the other’s trust.
They also believe that pride and ego could destroy any relationship, thus they’ve learned how to manage it. DJ implied that he never felt envious of her girlfriend’s individual successes as he knows how she worked hard for it and she truly deserves all the achievements she’s been reaping. The same goes for Kath, as she expressed how happy and proud she always is to DJ’s accomplishments, too. However, she confessed that she’s actually “ma-pride,” which sometimes causes their misunderstandings. But her boyfriend has taught her to lower her pride, and that respect and support should never be gone between them.
With regards to being idolized by a lot of people, Kath said that it’s both good and “nakaka-pressure.” “Good kasi alam mo na you’re doing something right that’s why people look up to you. Kasi baka nakita nila ‘yong sarili nila sa’yo or nakaka-relate sila sa’yo. Grabe ‘yon para ma-earn mo ‘yong respeto na ‘yon, sino ba ‘yong ayaw ng gano’n, ‘di ba? Pero siguro nakaka-pressure siya kasi lahat ng mata na sa’yo, parang konting pagkakamali mo, ‘di lang sarili mo ang maaapektuhan, [pati] ‘yong mga taong umiidolo sa’yo. Ayaw mo silang ma-disappoint.”
DJ shared that he always keeps in mind the values that his mom Karla Estrada, who raised him and his siblings well singlehandedly, has instilled in him, such as being careful with everything that he would say or do. Kath added that they do not let people or their status completely change them, and reminded their fans not to expect them to be perfect because at the end of the day, they’re still humans that could make mistakes.
Now that they are dubbed “Asia’s Superstar” and “Supreme Idol of his Generation,” the power couple said that they actually do not care about titles as it’s already enough for them to hear the appreciation and wonderful stories from their fans on how they are able to touch their lives in different ways.
When it comes to the things they wish to achieve together, this was when Daniel inserted the topic of marriage and their plans of building their own house and family together. DJ confessed that he’s actually been looking forward to it as they’ve been talking about sharing life together ever since they were only 16 or 17 years old. They confessed that they actually used to have a target age of settling down, but got adjusted because of the realization that they’re not ready to make it happen soon, yet.
KathNiel then had the chance to ask the three directors in return. DJ initially quizzed them, “Do you still believe in us?”, to which Direk Cathy replied, “Sobrang naniniwala pa sa kaya n’yong ibigay individually, [and] as a pair”.
He then quickly added, “Nasa tamang daan ba kami?”, to which Direk Olive answered, “Kasi ang tamang daan ay kung ano ang makakapag-fulfill sa’yo bilang tao. So, if you say that this fulfills you, then wala ka nga ba sa tamang daan?”
Direk Cathy echoed that by saying, “We’re only the ones who can determine what’s success for us,” as well as Direk Mae who uttered, “Based on [your] journey, yes [you’re] on the right track, pero direction-wise, only [you] can say that”.
Direk Olive then expressed how she looks forward on seeing them do more projects together and separately, as she believes that there’s a different growth whenever they work separately, which enables them to offer something fresh and new to the public once they get to work again. She’s also amazed by their level of depth and confidence as individuals and commends them for staying grounded despite their success. Thus, she feels blessed to have worked with them and witnessed who they really are in real life.
On the other hand, Direk Cathy wasn’t able to hold back her emotions as she imparted how the pandemic has made her realize a lot of things as a mom, director, and colleague. She also went on to ask them to come back or be active again because the industry truly needs them, especially to serve as role models to up-and-coming new artists on what being an actor should be.
“Lahat po ‘yon nanggaling sa inyo – kung paano n’yo kami pinalaki, itong sampung taon na ‘to, lahat ‘yon dahil sa tinanim n’yo sa amin. Alam naming ‘yong totoong essence ng pagiging aktor, o tawagin man nating isang artista, alam naming kung ano ang totoong essence no’n kaya talagang trine-treasure namin ‘to. Hindi lang ‘to basta fame, fortune, the bright lights, hindi lang ‘yon e; it’s something deeper. The experiences, the lives you touched,” DJ commented.
He continued, “Kami ni Kathryn, 100% ‘yong trust na binibigay namin sa inyo kasi kayo lang ang nagbibigay sa amin din no’ng tiwala. Binabalik n’yo at nilalabas n’yo ang best sa amin all the time.”
Direk Mae, meanwhile, admitted that KathNiel were really the reasons why she did it because she highly believes in them, and at the same time, she feels their trust and she’s just giving it back to them.
DJ implied that he and Kathryn also agreed to do it because it’s been a long time since they did a rom-com project, to which the public first admired them. “Dito naman tayo minahal ng mga tao e. Originally from rom-com tayo talaga love ng tao, ‘di ba? At kailan pa ba tayo last gumawa? Tayo pa ‘yon, Direk Cathy, no’ng Got To Believe pa. Pero special din ‘tong 2 Good 2 Be True. Parang part 2 ng Got To Believe, parang gano’n ‘yong dating niya.”
The fun, lighthearted, and insightful conversation concluded with a toast, as a way of cheering and celebrating for KathNiel’s 10 years together and beyond!
Catch Daniel and Kathryn on 2 Good 2 Be True, beginning on May 16 on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, and TV5. It’s also going to have a 72-hour advance screening on Netflix on May 13 and on iWantTFC on May 14.