Super Soldiers thrilled to have fight scenes, costumes and powers in Mars Ravelo’s Darna

A villain squad has been formed in Mars Ravelo’s Darna as Heneral Borgo (Richard Quan) gears up for his biggest battle. Get to know the seven characters who transformed from ordinary bad guys into full-blown villains with super strength and super abilities aka the Super Soldiers.

Did you see this coming? Even the actors comprising the Super Soldiers –Paolo Gumabao, Simon Ibarra, Eric Fructuoso, Mac Manicad, Young JV, Joshua Colet, Dawn Chang, and Kim Rodriguez – are amazed by the plot twist in the story and their character development.

The actors revealed that they actually wanted to play Extras in the series. Well, who wouldn’t be fascinated with superpowers, costumes, and fight scenes? “I always want to play the bad guy,” shared Eric. While it takes more effort to be an Extra – Eric mentioned he wears a 10-kilo costume and white contact lenses that sometimes cloud his vision – still they enjoy every bit of it.



“’Yung saya ang naglalabas ng pagiging natural,” he said in a recent blogcon. By being natural, he meant improvising dialogues to make his character appear hilariously annoying.  “Lahat ng nakikita at napapanood about Pineda’s character, dahil lang sa mga kwentuhan namin, sa mga biruan namin. Kahit ‘yung mga dialogue at patawa, kami-kami lang din. It just came naturally… Eh ang comedy hindi naman nire-rehearse. It comes out naturally. Dapat spontaneous.”

Simon seconded, “Sa harap ng kamera, masarap siyang gawin. Tapos ‘pag ang kaeksena mo pa ay tulad nilang lahat na laging may kanya-kanyang kalokohon sa set, para lang talaga kaming naglalaro.”



A part of their preparations was getting physically fit for their costumes and fight scenes. Kim lost weight with intermittent fasting and cardio workout, while Simon said he’s been into running lately.

Dawn’s background in dancing helps her pull off highly-choreographed action sequences, so there wasn’t much physical preparation on her part. “Madaling mag-adapt ang isang mananayaw sa kung anumang klase ng body movement ang ibibigay o ire-request.”



What she focused more on was her mental strength, juggling her role in Darna with her baking business. Her Super Soldier Maisha character can hypnotize people through her dance moves, which she thinks is a badass and relatable kind of superpower. Of course, Pinoy viewers are very much into dancing these days.

The cast appreciates the sense of collaboration that goes into every scene. The production listens to their input such as in making their costumes, and even they were amazed by the final designs.

Off-cam, they adore one another and bond like a real family, which is a big help in their portrayal. Paolo imparted that even his heavy scenes with Simon aren’t that difficult to deliver. On his transition from Narda (Jane de Leon)’s admirer to Darna (Jane de Leon)’s enemy, he said the emotional continuity was challenging but he takes it as a learning experience.



Kim, as a new Kapamilya, mentioned that she asks help from her senior co-actors like Joko Diaz and Carla Martinez to polish her acting. According to Kim, she thought her character would only appear for a few episodes since she just transferred to ABS-CBN under Ogie Diaz’s management when she was offered the role. But, of course, she’s thankful to still be on the show. She expressed gratitude to the Darna team, especially her co-stars, for the warm welcome, adding that she enjoys bonding with them.



For Josh, joining Mars Ravelo’s Darna was a restart in his career. Although his career path changed from being pegged to becoming a leading man to playing the bad guy, he’s happy with his current role. “As long as I have work and I have the opportunity to express myself through acting, walang problema sa akin. Masaya ako.” He said his goal is to always deliver something fresh to his audience by playing with his character. Josh, who started in commercials and theater, also has a background in martial arts, which comes in handy during action scenes. If he continues to take on the action route, he would like to train in doing level-up stunts.



What can viewers expect from the Super Soldiers? “Before, may Extras lang, ngayon, kaya naging super kasi mas iba ‘yung powers nila, mas advanced,” explained Mac, who hinted at a major event that will trigger his character Ali to shed skin from being Regina/Valentina (Janella Salvador)’s loyal assistant into a Super Soldier.



Ali’s character has laser powers and heat vision, Ishna/Xandra (Kim) has shape-shifting abilities with intensified hand-to-hand combat skills, Noah (Paolo) can create and control fire, Zaldy (Simon) can grow to a 50-feet tall giant, Maisha (Dawn)’s hypnotic powers can make people replicate her moves, Pineda (Eric) can control inanimate scraps, and Andre (Young JV) has the powers to make an object explode.



Just for fun, the actors were asked what superpowers they’d like to possess in real life. Dawn answered she wants to be the most intelligent person in the world, Kim dreams of invisibility, Eric wishes he can stop time or travel to the past. Young JV wants to teleport ala Nightcrawler, the same goes for Simon “para iwas sa traffic.” Josh wants to explore our country’s marine biodiversity, and the superpower for that is being able to breathe underwater and talk to fishes. With the losses we experienced in the pandemic, Mac’s dream ability is to heal sickness.

Choose your Super Soldiers! Catch Borgo’s villain squad in Mars Ravelo’s Darna, weeknights, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.