Notorious for being an all-out kontrabida, Rita Avila is up for tough scenes even those that are quite physical. In this edition of Kapamilya React, the screen veteran looks back on her finest TV portrayals.
Walang Hanggan (2012)
One thing that makes Rita proud of Walang Hanggan is the stellar cast. Headlined by Coco Martin and Julia Montes, joined by Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta, Melissa Ricks, and Helen Gamboa, the show exudes dramatic intensity on-cam but warm camaraderie off-cam.
Rita said she was in awe of Dawn’s ethereal beauty and Richard’s handsome appeal. She had memorable bonding times with everyone even with younger actresses and fellow doll-lovers Julia and Melissa.
She also remembers Helen’s love for food, “Si Tita Helen Gamboa lagi niya kami pinapakain kasi ang payat daw namin ni Melissa. Kaya nagtatago kami ni Melissa ‘pag lunch break na pero ipapahanap niya kami. Kailangan kumain kami kasabay nilang lahat dahil ang dami niyang pagkain.”
She played Jane Montenegro, the wife of Richard’s Marco Montenegro, who was still in love with former sweetheart Emilia Guidotti portrayed by Dawn. A shocking twist caught viewers by surprise when Rita’s character died in a plane crash.
Magpahanggang Wakas (2016)
While playing a kontrabida in Walang Hanggan was all about elegance and remarkable exchange of scathing insults, Rita went tougher in Magpahanggang Wakas as she breathed life to Tyang Rosing.
It was a complex character, a mix of kontrabida and hilarity, making Rosing one of her favorites, “Gusto ko ‘yung role ko diyan kasi later on parang bumait na siya na nakakatawa na ‘yung character. Minsan ang hirap-hirap talagang umarte kasi tawanan kami nang tawanan. Paano ko sasabihin ‘yung line, eh natatawa na ako?”
Magpahanggang Wakas chronicled the love story Waldo (Jericho Rosales) and Aryann (Arci Munoz) and all the trials and series of tragic events they had to endure before finally fulfilling a promise once made.
Among the plethora of onscreen catfights, Rita’s squabble with Vina Morales in the afternoon soap Precious Hearts Romances Presents Araw-Gabi is one of the most amusing. For one, she went for an all-out riot, “Kinalimutan ko na ‘yung sarili ko. Naka-short dress ako doon pero talagang sinakyan ko si Vina.”
Also, they accidentally hurt for each other for real, “Mahirap ang eksenang ‘yun! Ninenerbyos ako bago gawin ‘yun. Medyo nagkasakitan kami by accident.”
Rita served viewers an enthralling performance in Araw-Gabi, playing dual roles in the latter part. She started as a good woman in the series until her character, Odessa, returned from a boat explosion as a completely different person – more elegant and confident than ever. As it turned out, the resurrected Odessa was the real Celestina (Vina Morales).
From being timid, she had to give villainous stares and evil laughter which she would practice at home the night before their taping, “Ang hindi ko makakalimutan diyan, nu’ng naging ako na si Vina Morales kasi gustong-gusto ko ‘yung pagtawa niya, ‘yung evil laughter niya na ang kaba ko paano ko gagawin ‘yung ganu’ng klaseng tawa niya.”
Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin (2020-Present)
Rita’s sharp kontrabida skills bring trouble to a whole new level in the Kapamilya series Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. She currently plays Belen, a lonely woman who loves to stir conflict and hatred. Battling it out against Lucing (Maricel Soriano) and the fearless Marissa (Jodi Sta. Maria), she also has to look glamorous in each face-off.
Belen stirred ‘gigil’ since her first appearance on the show. The scene where she intentionally fell off the stairs in the middle of a confrontation with Lucing has become talk of the town. It was challenging and risky, so they had to play it out by a single good take. “Si Maria ang natakot sa akin diyan kasi nu’ng binalya ko ‘yung sarili ko, akala niya talaga nalaglag ako,” shared Rita.
Rita doesn’t mind portraying either good or bad characters. They have their own pros and cons. She loves playing both, although kontrabida roles bring a different sense of fulfilment.
“Pareho kong gusto pero mas may challenge talaga ‘pag kontrabida kasi nga, you go far from who you are tapos edgy at maraming sinasabi. Pero gusto ko rin ‘yung mabait kasi masarap din ‘yung role mo at love ka ng viewers,” she explained.
Even if she’s typecast in kontrabida roles, Rita is happy that she doesn’t accumulate hate in real life, “Buti na lang wala namang nang-aaway sa akin talaga. Kasi may mga kwento na ‘yung ibang kontrabida, talagang pinapalo sila ‘pag nakita sila sa labas. Ako naman, parang natatanggap nila na acting ko lang talaga ‘yun.”
Whether she’s playing bad or good, Rita’s versatility will always bring us to an amusing viewing experience. Watch Rita react to her onscreen portrayals in this video!