Before Jane De Leon bagged the coveted “Darna” role, several other actresses portrayed the superheroine on the small and big screen.One of them is Lorna Tolentino, who was the youngest to play “Darna” at the age of 14.
The multi-awarded actress looks back on her “Darna” experience for a TV series produced by the late Kitchie Benedicto – in 1977 when computer-generated imagery (CGI) barely existed. So, how did they achieve the fantastical feel of Darna’s flying scenes?
“Nasa loob kami ng studio tapos ang background namin ‘yung green na chroma. Tapos meron silang nilalagay na malapad na manipis na table, ‘yung body mo lang ang nando’n, not your head at hindi kasama ang paa, para makaka-stretch ka para sa lipad or ‘yung paa mo nakataas. Si Ding, ilalagay sa likuran ko,” shared the Grand Slam Queen in this episode of Kapamilya Chat.
“Buti na lang maliit pa si Ding. Bata pa siya kaya madali pa siyang isakay at isama sa likuran.” Her little sidekick Ding was portrayed by then-child star Dranreb Belleza, who later on transitioned into a matinee idol.
The stunts and routines had to be precise, thus her regular weekly trainings. However, getting hurt or sometimes hurting other people during rehearsals was inevitable, “May mga nakaka-routine ako na nasasaktan ko, tinatamaan ko. Talagang ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry talaga’ kasi hindi naman sinasadya pero minsan sa timing nagkakamali kayo pareho. Kaya kailangan talaga pinag-aaralan.”
Besides the painstaking fight rehearsals, Lorna’s big preparation then was getting in full battle gear. Most likely due to her tender age, she was the first actress to don a one-piece instead of the usual two-piece Darna suit, “May mga fitting pa ng costumes. ‘Yung kanyang headgear hanggang sa boots, kailangan hinulma.”
The role was a big challenge placed upon her shoulders but she enjoyed every bit of it, “Alam ko kasi superhero si Darna, eh, siyempre ‘yun ang magbibigay sa’yo ng initiative. Superhero ‘yung ginagawa ko, tagapagligtas ng mabuting tao.”
Want to hear Lorna’s very own “Darna” shout? Check out this video from Kapamilya Chat!
Catch our new-gen Darna, Jane De Leon, her archnemesis Valentina (Janella Salvador), Ding (Zaijian Jaranilla), and more exciting characters in “Mars Ravelo’s Darna” starting August 15, weeknights, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.