Keempee talks about Kathryn

With his character providing a significant plot twist in the finale week of 2 Good 2 Be True, it was indeed a short but sweet stint for Keempee de Leon, who played Kathryn Bernardo’s estranged father in the teleserye.  

In this episode of Kapamilya Chat, the actor expressed gratitude and pride to be part of the consistently most-watched series on Netflix Philippines, that is, despite the hate he received due to his shady character. 

“’Yun na nga, ang daming nagagalit sa akin,” he laughed. “And’yan na nga sila Helena (Gloria Diaz), si Attorney (Raul Montesa), tapos dumagdag pa daw ako. Ang daming nagagalit sa akin. Natatawa na lang ako, kumbaga, I don’t feel bad. Natutuwa ako kasi very effective ‘yung role ni Joey at talagang apektado lahat ng tao, ng viewers.” He makes time to read comments and while it’s tempting to explain himself, he just let the fans go through all these emotions. 

Even a seasoned actor like him wasn’t spared from having jitters and felt starstruck since it was his first time working with KathNiel. “No’ng sinabi pang, ‘Ikaw ang tatay ni Kathryn dito,’ parang nagkaroon ng kaba. Hindi ko alam kung paano aarte. Nauunahan ng isip ko agad kung ano ‘yung gagawin o ano ‘yung mangyayari.” He had thoughts like, “Paano ba gagawin ‘pag eksena ko? Baka mamaya mabulol ako. Baka magkamali ako.” 

Although he was guided by their very dedicated director Mae Cruz-Alviar, whom he was also working with for the first time, Keempee felt like a newbie on set probably because he came in halfway through the story. 
“Pumasok ako Season 2 na lang, eh. So, kailangan ko tahiin saan ba ako magmumula, ano bang emosyon ko pagpasok dito papunta doon. Parang nangalawang ako in a way na nagkaroon ako ng kaba. Nagkaroon ng doubt sa sarili ko. Pero awa ng Diyos it turned out okay naman at ayos naman kina Direk Mae,” he further shared. 

It helped that his on-screen daughter is a true sweetheart and professional. He said Kathryn praising him “Ang galing n’yo po” after their first scene together sounded like a validation to him, “Nabunutan ako ng tinik.”

He continued, “Kasi may mga aktor na okay katrabaho, okay ka-eksena, pero ang tingin sa’yo parang, ‘Yun na ba yun? ‘Yun lang ba kaya mo?’ At least ito narinig ko, ‘Ang galing n’yo po.’ Kahit yun lang ang sabihin, ayos na, okay na ako do’n.”

Asked his discoveries about the lead actress, he revealed, “Magaling makisama si Kathryn sa lahat ng co-actors niya, maalaga, mahilig siya magpakain at magpa-deliver ng food for the actors and the staff and crew.”

He jestingly said that Kathryn effortlessly maintains her slim figure despite her big appetite, “Hindi ko alam saan niya nilalagay ‘yung kinakain niya lalo ngayon sobrang payat niya no’ng last na taping na ginawa namin.” He thinks it must be her workout routine. 

He added that Kathryn is very focused, dedicated, and humble despite her superstar status. She asked questions, which, for the more senior actors, is a sign of thirst for learning.

“Kahit matagal na rin si Kathryn sa industriya, ando’n pa rin ‘yung nagtatanong siya sa direktor, ‘Direk, okay ba ‘yung ginawa ko? Kulang pa ba? Kailangan dagdagan or more emotions pa?’ Bihira na lang ‘yung artistang gano’n na nagtatanong sa direktor kahit batikan na. Kaya nakakatuwa.”

Keempee recalled he was stunned by Kathryn’s intense transition of emotions in a particular scene, so much so he applauded her after the take, “Sabi ko, ‘Nak! Iba ka!’ Magaling siya talaga.”

He went on to enumerate the things he will miss about the show and on top of the list is the bond he shared with his co-stars. Although he taped every three days, thus unable to join the cast’s get-togethers every rest day in the lock-in base, still he felt loved and welcomed. He will also miss his character and the people he worked with from cast to production. 

For Keempee, this project is truly one for the books. “Thankful ako sa lahat.”

Watch the finale episode of 2 Good 2 Be True this Friday, November 11, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.