Kapamilya Chat JM de Guzman on Linlang

Netizens have been on an intense ‘gigil’ fest since the premiere of digital series “Linlang” topbilled by JM De Guzman, Kim Chiu, and Paulo Avelino. The show undoubtedly satisfies every Pinoy viewer’s illicit affair with socially unaccepted infidelity stories. Interestingly, it satiates our cravings for excitement and entertainment. 

JM thinks the ABS-CBN and Dreamscape creatives deserve a pat on the back for creating such a compelling narrative that keeps audiences invested. And by invested, he means people sending him hate messages as reaction to his character’s unwise decisions. “May mga nababasa ako na, ‘Gigil mo na ako.’ 'Kuha mo gigil ko.’ Minsan inaasar na ako, parang, ang pangit ko daw. Inaasar na ‘yung physical appearance ko dahil sa sobrang galit nila.” 

No worries, he only takes these ‘gigil’ comments as validation of his impactful portrayal. “Masarap sa pakiramdam. Nakakawala ng pagod. Nakaka-inspire ulit gumawa ng series. Masaya ako na maraming nakaka-relate, maraming nati-trigger,” he said of the audience’s reception. 

In the story, he plays Alexander, or Alex, a boxing great and a successful lawyer who engages in an illicit affair with his half-brother Victor (Paulo)’s wife Juliana (Kim). Asked how he breathed life to Alex, he said he has the creatives to thank for, as they built the character’s backstory. 

He had to make it more human by observing the nuances of real lawyers and undergoing boxing training. He described Alex as physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. But for a passionate actor like him, the more challenging the role is, the better. The worst part, though, was rooting for his character, “’Yung paniwalain ang sarili ko na tama ang mga ginagawa ko.”

But, thanks to his castmates who would come on set bringing their best, JM was extra inspired to take on his acting duties. "Nahirapan din naman ako sa pag-portray pero na-lessen 'yung hirap dahil lahat ng cast prepared, eh. A game sila lahat, so talagang 'yung support ba, at 'yung vibe sa set hindi ka pwedeng mag-relax."

From there, he was asked to give the other characters a short message from Alex’s POV. To Maricel Soriano’s Amelia, Alex’s mother, he said, “Salamat sa pagtiwala mo sa akin at pagsuporta mo sa akin kahit alam mong mali na ako.”

Meanwhile, he warned Victor: “Akin si Juliana.” And to Juliana: “Akin ka lang, Juliana, wala kang magagawa.”

To Kaila Estrada’s Sylvia, Alex’s wife: “Relax ka lang, mahal kita.” Speaking of Kaila, JM has nothing but praises for his on-screen partner, calling her “brilliant.” He mentioned that their trending confrontation scene was a real challenge to mount, yet Kaila helped him deliver his part.

“Unang-una ‘yung pinakamahirap do’n ‘yung memorization ng lines kasi ang haba ng lines namin. Nagde-demand siya ng sobrang emosyon, so, mahirap tapos uulitin pa para sa camera angles. So, kailangan namin i-maintain ‘yung emotions,” he narrated. “Pero ang galing talaga ni Kaila. Wala akong masabi. Dinala niya ‘yung eksena.”

“Nag-throw lines kami bago kami pumasok sa eksena para mas maging fluid ‘yung bagsakan ng mga linya, para alam namin ‘yung mga cues namin bago pa kami i-block ni Direk.”

He further shared of Kaila, “’Yung mga scenes niya, kahit hindi ako ‘yung kaeksena niya, kahit si Inay [Maricel] pa lang, naririnig ko siya, grabe ang intense.”

In keeping with Alex’s character, JM was asked how likely he’s going to live life as Alex did, stopping at nothing until he gets what he wants. He thought, “At some point lang siguro. Achiever naman si Alex, eh, naging lawyer siya, sobrang disiplinado siya.” But, he clarified, “Pero ‘yung mga mali, hindi ko gagawin.”

If he could talk to Alex, he’d tell him: “Okay ka na, eh. Marunong ka sana makuntento. Marunong ka sana ma-appreciate ‘yung pagmamahal na natatanggap mo sa asawa mo, sa buhay mo. Huwag kang greedy.” 

Check out JM’s interview on Kapamilya Chat. 

Be ready for more ‘gigil’ episodes of “Linlang” on Prime Video!