The drama series A Soldier’s Heart is counting down to its finale. Two of its cast members, Yves Flores and Royce Cabrera, talk about the show and look back on their fondest memories on the set, in this episode of Kapamilya Chat.
Yves and Royce first worked together in the 2019 independent film “Lola Igna.” They were almost cast together in another Eduardo Roy Jr. masterpiece “Fuccbois” in that same year. Unfortunately, Yves encountered a slight conflict. Both films ushered them to their biggest acting nominations. In the recently concluded Gawad Urian, Yves was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for “Lola Igna” while Royce was recognized as a Best Actor nominee for “Fuccbois.”
Currently, they’re seen as military men in A Soldier’s Heart. When the teleserye and possible roles were presented to Yves, the character of Benjie Arguelles pulled him in immediately. Yves analysed which part of Benjie’s psyche he could relate to. He said they are both vocal about their feelings. They are the type who would openly confess their emotions despite the risks. Yves, single for a year now, said he would rather get hurt from telling the truth than hide his feelings to the girl he likes.
Yves thought it would be challenging yet exciting to portray a soldier with a soft side. He struggled at first, clueless of how to pull off the clashing personas in one body. He needed to act stiff as how soldiers are while hinting at his special affection for Jerome Ponce’s Phil Panganiban. His effort coupled with the director and writers’ guidance helped him fully embrace Benjie’s character over time.
It was Yves’ first time to portray this kind of role and he feels grateful to everyone who showed support. He never thought Benjie and Phil’s ‘bromance’ would create a loud impact, adding that the positive reception helped the writers explore the unconventional story.
Yves and Jerome’s closeness was a plus factor. They first bumped to each other in 2011 during an audition for Pinoy Big Brother. Yves got in while Jerome was picked as a reserve housemate. But instead of joining the show, Jerome was tapped to be part of the daytime series Be Careful with My Heart in 2012. At that time, Yves has already exited the house and was also given his first acting gig. They would meet again at a pictorial for their respective series and that’s how their friendship started.
Despite the positive feedback on their partnership, Yves has qualms about doing a bigger BL (Boys’ Love) series. But he could re-consider depending on the material, cast, and director. He thinks it would be best to do a BL show with someone he’s comfortable with like Jerome, or Royce.
Unlike Yves, Royce has a wider experience in doing delicate gay scenes as shown in the indie film “Fuccbois.” In the said movie, Royce was paired with another newcomer Kokoy de Santos who is also part of A Soldier’s Heart. Thus, the banters about Royce and Kokoy’s characters falling in love in the war zone.
Royce plays as a trooper while Kokoy portrays as a rebel in A Soldier’s Heart. Quite a newbie in the primetime block, Royce felt immense pressure working with the show’s intimidating cast ensemble. The gruelling military trainings and acting alongside legit military men added more to the challenge. But at the same time, he was thankful for the opportunity and excited to work with the veterans and seasoned actors in the series.
The show’s seven lead actors might have different personalities but they all get along well. Their brotherhood got deeper during the locked-in tapings. Royce shared that Gerald Anderson and Carlo Aquino, the senior stars in the group, give tips and pieces of advice on the set.
Even the girls, Sue Ramirez and Charlie Dizon, are easy to get along with. Yves described them as “mas siga pa kaysa sa amin.”He’s been friends with Sue for years and their closeness hasn’t changed. The whole bunch used to stay in just one tent prior to the pandemic, so it was easy to build rapport. They even poke fun at Carlo’s ‘aging problems.’ During the locked-in tapings, Royce and Yves were roommates but the latter would often invade Gerald’s room to make use of his appliances (like television and refrigerator).
Sometimes the bonding inside the tent extends during takes, especially when Yves and Jerome would share scenes. In that scene where Alex (Gerald Anderson)’s family invited the troupe to a dinner in a restaurant, Jerome and Yves are called out for goofing around while the cameras are rolling. “Kainan na eksena. Itong si Jerome, bago mag-eksena, nilagyan niya ng sili ‘yung kutsara ko. Tapos noong nag-take na, sobrang anghang. Binigyan ako ng tubig ni Jerome, eh pati ‘yung baso may sili. So, habang nagte-take, sinusuntok ko siya sa ilalim tapos nakita kami ni Direk,” Yves recounted.
Royce shared his own amusing anecdote. He revealed that Irma Adlawan scolded him for draining a bottle of cooking oil. “Nanghiram kami ng cooking oil kasi magluluto. Si Elmo ‘yung nanghiram. Kinabukasan, hinanap ni Tita Irma ‘yun. Ako lang ‘yung nakita niyang gising na kasama doon sa mga nagluto, so ako tinanong nila. Sabi ko, ‘Hindi ko po alam. Naubos po yata.’ Tapos biglang lumabas si Tita Irma, tinawag ako.” Royce swears he was clueless about what happened to the cooking oil. Still, he got a lesson from no less than Irma Adlawan about the etiquette for borrowing.
In the last three weeks, A Soldier’s Heart will give audiences a deeper understanding of how far these unsung heroes could sacrifice for their oath. For Yves and Royce, a soldier is willing to give up his own happiness, freedom, and life for the nation’s sake. Yves also hinted at a ‘kilig’ moment between Benjie and Phil.
Don’t miss the remaining episodes of A Soldier’s Heart on Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live.