EXCLUSIVE: Jericho almost turned down Halik, went on to embrace most favorite, realistic role ever

Ever since it began airing eight months ago, Halik has consistently rated high on primetime because of its riveting, exceptional, and relatable storyline that absolutely captured the attention and the hearts of the audiences, resulting to a tremendous phenomenon.

Aside from that, it also boasts a powerhouse cast comprised of some of the most talented and seasoned thespians in the local entertainment sphere, led by award-winning actor Jericho Rosales who plays the lead protagonist Lino Bartolome.

However, did you know that he almost turned down the role in this top-rating series?

On initially disliking Halik

EXCLUSIVE Jericho almost turned down Halik went on to embrace most favorite realistic role ever 1

That’s what he revealed during his exclusive interview with Entertainment.ABS-CBN.com last April 5 on the set of Halik.

“They offered the show to me. I don’t know if it was offered to anyone else but in-offer nila ‘yon along with other shows, and to be honest, I didn’t want the show. I didn’t want to do Halik,” he confessed. “I feel like I’d done something like that before. Feel ko parang this is my third [show about marital issues] – from The Legal Wife and Magpahanggang Wakas – ibang itsura lang.”

He added, “I didn’t feel like doing something like this again, and as an artist, I’m not used to doing the same thing over and over again. So, I wanted to do something [different].”

But after considering the advice of the people around him, the 39-year-old bankable heartthrob had finally decided his fate.

“So I was thinking and I asked my friends, I asked everyone, my wife, she said Halik [is right]. ‘If you wanna end on a high, then this is the show for you before you change course or do something else.’ So I said okay, I’ll do it,” he relayed.

This totally pressured him to work hard and make his portrayal be “realistic, “exciting”, and “challenging”, never wanting to be relaxed. Fortunately, his perennial scene partner Yam Concepcion, who plays his erring, unfaithful wife Jade, is as perseverant as he is.

On eventually embracing the role

However, as the days went by, Jericho has learned to embrace Lino and relentlessly does his best to portray him as compelling and as impeccable as he could, until it turned out to become his most favorite character to date.

“[Among] the other characters that I played, siya ‘yong isa sa pinaka-real. Kumbaga, 90% super real character, or even 95%, parang gano’n. Gusto ko sana mas realistic pa na character but I think I tried my best to make the character really interesting and relatable. He’s a lovable character pero most important sa’kin ‘yong lessons kasi parang siya lagi ‘yong unpopular decision, laging ‘bakit gano’n.’ I wanted to make sure that he knows how to forgive, he knows how to suffer, he knows how to give other people chances, he knows how to be patient, he knows how to love,” he imparted.

Besides, he shared how Lino’s ability to impose life morals to other men on being a spouse, a parent, and a son makes him special, as well as how their script seemed to be not always enough for the continuously evolving character.

“He’s my favorite character because ‘di na nagkakasya sa kanya kung ano ‘yong nasusulat do’n sa script. Literally, almost every scene, I change something on the script. Like not I have a say, but I know the character, I am the character. I handle the character, pinalaki ko ‘yong character. Kumbaga, inalagaan ko ‘yon e, I mastered the character. I know him and I know what he’s going to say, he’s going to do.

“Sometimes it’s not enough for him anymore. The lines and situations are not enough anymore for the character so pinapalaki talaga, lumalaki siya. Most of the scenes makikita n’yo na explosive, parang “woah!” [pero] ‘di gano’n sinulat ‘yon. It’s just because sobrang kapal ng character, sometimes bigla na lang dumarating ‘yong mga linya, emotions,” he noted.

Then he went on to explain, “It’s a growing, living character – na ‘Why he’s becoming like this?’ ‘Bakit ba siya nagiging minsan violent?’ It’s definitely damaging him as a person. So na-enjoy ko siya and I welcomed that growth of the character, not in me or not because I’m changing as a person. I’m just discovering new things doon sa character. That’s a good sign kasi kahit patapos na kami, naggro-grow pa rin siya. It’s a very, very good character. Kahit na mabait siya, nagkaroon siya ng maraming kulay. That’s what’s nice about him.”

While many arguably consider Lino as an ideal man, Jericho emphasized that Lino is not perfect but is actually flawed by saying, “In my opinion, he is not the perfect character, he is not the perfect hero. To be honest with you, I think he’s a flawed character. Nilalabanan ko ‘yon coz the people wanna see a perfect hero. But for me, I wanted to see a real person.”

Although Lino is one of his most remarkable roles to date both on film and TV, he’s already leaving the judgment to the viewers on how it would stand out from the characters of other series or flicks with parallel narrative.

“You can answer that question because you watch and you compare the characters and how they handled it. I won’t compare my character to the other characters but you can judge for yourself what’s different – what’s different do’n sa napanood mo,” he said.

On the tremendous success of Halik

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“Well, in every show that you make, you always hope for the best and expect for the worst. With that said, we were just hopeful na it’s going to work and siyempre may mga kaba kami no’ng simula. Every victory is really sweet. When I say every victory, every time they will announce na our ratings went higher than expected or kung paano umakyat ng umakyat ng milyon-milyon ‘yong views namin sa iWant. But most importantly is the reaction of people and what they were doing na nakikita namin sa social media. ‘Yong reactions nila nakikita namin sa social media and on TV, not to mention that we became again household names,” he noted.

On his preparations for the character

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Meanwhile, when it comes to preparing for the character, Jericho divulged that although Lino doesn’t require much from him, except being sensitive, he has to always brace himself physically, emotionally, and mentally for the stressful parts, such as his fighting scenes with Yam character, Jade.

“To prepare for the character, ‘di siya masyadong mahirap kasi as we progressed, naggro-grow ng naggro-grow ‘yong character. But discovering issues about his marriage, mga gano’n, I just have to be really sensitive for the character. I just have to discover that. ‘Yon ‘yong fun part do’n kasi parang wala naman masyadong requirement ‘yong character ko e, pero ‘yong stressful part do’n e lagi silang nag-aaway mag-asawa so I had to be physically, emotionally, mentally prepared for that.

In their more than a year of doing Halik, Jericho confessed getting “really, really tired” because of having to carry his role every other day, which are the schedules of their tapings, and having to sacrifice his well-being and time for himself and his family. The stress truly took a toll on his health, thus he has tried to discipline himself and put a mental note to let go of his character every time he is out of the set.

“I have to fight for my sleep, I had to fight for my rest, I had to fight for my time to relax ‘coz for me, work and rest come hand-in-hand. I don’t really feel useless if I would rest and I have to rest because napapagod ‘yong utak ko sa kanya e. Sometimes we’re shooting like the entire day puro iyakan, puro sigawan,” he noted.

Then he recalled, “One of the problems I encountered is me losing my voice, I got sick many times during the show because I can’t deal with puyat. Nahihirapan ako talaga. So ‘yong sigaw ng sigaw si Lino nagagasgas ‘yong throat ko.”

On his similarities and differences with Lino

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Fondly called by his colleagues and fans as Echo, the actor is obviously happy in the arms of his gorgeous model-fashion blogger wife Kim Jones, and being a responsible father to his 17-year-old son Santino. As such, we’re delighted when he told us that it’s those scenes about family he finds relatable.

On the other hand, he finds himself entirely different in terms of handling marriage, and some on-cam situations concerning family. However, he claims that he’s not perfect and it’s just that what he does in real life works, jesting that Lino should better learn from him.

On his realizations

When it comes to the morals brought to him by the show, the actor actually had a lot to share but it was his point-of-view on marriage that absolutely struck us and made us nod our heads in agreement.

“The idea of marriage, it may be controversial or something, being used as an excuse to be suffering in a relationship. The idea of marriage being abused because we’re married, you have to be quiet, you have to suck up, you have to not say anything because we’re married. And for me that’s wrong. For me marriage should not be used as an excuse  para mag-suffer ang isang tao, to not speak up and to not express yourself, to just, even on the wrong things, say yes. Marriage is a by-product of love and you have to be married in your heart, not on paper. Otherwise, it’s useless. The greatest bond for me is to be married in your heart and to commit love in the person unconditionally. Marriage isn’t just paper [or] contract. I don’t like that idea. That’s one thing I learned.”