Paulo Angeles on working with Ina Raymundo, challenges of learning spoken word poetry for “Me and Mrs. Cruz”

Kapamilya actor Paulo Angeles delivers fresh ‘kilig’ and ‘hugots’ in the next instalment of iWantTFC  anthology series Ampalaya Chronicles titled “Me and Mrs. Cruz.”  The former Hashtags member talks about the show’s intriguing story of romance, first impression with the OG ‘crush ng bayan’ Ina Raymundo, and more in this episode of Kapamilya Chat.

Ampalaya Chronicles Presents Me and Mrs. Cruz”  explores the fear and beauty in giving love another chance peppered with factors often considered as romantic hurdles such as wide age gap. Paulo plays Caloy, a performer and flower shop delivery guy who’d dress up as famous musicians while on duty. He would meet Eve, a gorgeous widow still mending her broken heart, and wonder what’s behind the walls she’s built. 

Na-curious ako sa kanya kasi tuwing nagde-deliver ako, siya lang hindi tumatanggap ng flowers. Tapos sa kaka-deliver ko sa kanya, kasi gusto kong tanggapin niya ‘yung flowers, doon na nag-start ‘yung love story,” said Paulo about their characters. 

According to Paulo, he was chosen from a long list of potential leading men. He went straight into training for spoken word poetry, a big staple for Amapalaya Chronicles’ episodes. 

Learning the lengthy ‘hugot’ pieces was the most challenging part for Paulo, apart from the lock-in protocols. He had to work doubly hard from memorization to rehearsals until the actual performance, resulting in lack of sleep and suffering from mild hypertension. 

Kasi after taping, imbes na maggpahinga ako, inaaral ko pa ‘yung poetry, ‘yung script mismo. Hanggang sa hindi na ako nakakapagpahinga. Siguro, tulog ko lang mga two o three hours, eh ilang days na ‘yung taping,” he further shared. 

But, the final output was worth all his efforts. He was even surprised by how he managed to deliver the spoken word poetry during actual takes. 

Working opposite one of showbiz’s original ‘crush ng bayan,’ the 23-year-old actor confessed that he was shy to approach his leading lady. He had qualms, intimidated by Ina’s acting prowess and experience. Albeit scared, he knew this project would be one for the books. Besides, he wanted to explore new characters and stories and learn from the seasoned actress. 

But, it didn’t take long for the camaraderie to grow, thanks to Ina’s warmth and kindness. The workflow went smooth and fun. “Noong pumunta na ako sa set, iniiba ko na ‘yung mindset ko para hindi ko na isipin ‘yung kaba, hindi ko na isipin ‘yung hiya, para focus na lang ako,” he said. 

Paulo went on to talk about the struggles of lock-in taping, “Hindi ko kaya na matagal naka-lock in para akong nalulungkot.” Wearing face masks and shields during rehearsals felt uncomfortable as well. He also misses the close interaction with the cast. On the bright side, the setup helped him focus on his role and studying the script. 

Adding more to the challenge was playing a character far from real life. For one, he never tried giving flowers to a girl. He also has no experience in May-December love affairs. His only similarity with Caloy is the full-on attitude in love. 

Asked about his take on May-December romance, Paulo stressed that the heart has a decision of its own. No one but your own heart can choose the person right for your happiness. Besides, he’s heard success stories about couples with a wide age gap.

Catch the premiere of iWantTFC’s “Me and Mrs. Cruz” on March 26.