Yam Concepcion talks about working with her leading men, directors in Init Sa Magdamag

Despite not being able to bring a glass of wine to calm her nerves down, which she usually does in her interviews, Init Sa Magdamag star Yam Concepcion was apparently relaxed during her recent conversation with the King of Talk Boy Abunda.

The exclusive one-on-one interview began with the actress opening up about what she feels for finally notching her first-ever lead role after being in the industry for around a decade already. As avid followers of her career know, she rose to popularity via her controversial role in the 2011 movie “Rigodon” and eventually started her television journey as part of the 2013 Kapamilya soap opera Carlo J. Caparas’ Dugong Buhay.

READ: Yam Concepcion’s remarkable rise as a topnotch Kapamilya leading lady

“I’m still in disbelief na I was given this role because I also waited for 10 years to get a lead role. So, parang ‘wow, this is finally happening!’. It is such a great feeling,” she disclosed.

Aside from her brilliance and versatility as an actress, Yam is also known for being in a strong and happy long-distance relationship with her longtime non-showbiz boyfriend Miguel CuUnjieng, who currently works in New York, USA.

As the host recalled either a past conversation she had with her or an article he read about her wherein she stated that if someone would love her, he has to fully understand the she passionately loves her job, he made her choose between love for acting or love for the man she’s going to marry. She confidently responded that Miguel would never let her choose since he knows how passionate she is in her career.

“You know what, parang knowing Miguel, he would never give me that choice. It’s a mature kind of love, it’s a supportive kind of love. Kasi sanay tayo na parati tayong pinapapili – love, career, and all. That’s normal [and] totally unfair. But he would never give me that choice,” she said.

In fact, when he found out that she will be starring in Init Sa Magdamag, she happily imparted that “he is very proud”. It was also actually him who encouraged her to do it during those times that she was still hesitant to accept the project since she was uncertain if she could carry the weight if being the lead. But he reminded her that she owes it to herself for working so hard for a long time and she truly deserves it.

Moving on to her current character Rita, the 32-year-old actress enthusiastically described her as resolute, hardworking, and ambitious woman who will do everything to attain her dream of becoming a nurse and to provide for her family. But her normal and peaceful life would suddenly change when she falls in love to her first love Tupe (Gerald Anderson) and to the man she would end up with, Peterson (JM de Guzman).

“What I love about Rita the most is her selflessness and her capacity to love. Matapang siya, but love is the root of her flaws. What I love about her is she’s also human, she’s not perfect. She’s human as she is, she makes decisions out of love and it could be good or bad,” she disclosed. Then she added that Rita is the type of person who doesn’t have regrets in life because she stands up by every decision that she makes.

When asked about her experience working with her two leading men, Yam imparted that Gerald is such a gentleman and he’s going to show a really different facet of him in this series. On the other hand, she initially jested that JM is “sakto lang”, but went on to laud him as a generous actor who never fails to give the emotions and energies needed by his co-actor in a certain scene. As for her performance in this show, she described herself as “sobrang init, mainit na mainit”.

The discussion then veered towards their love scenes, in which Tito Boy quizzed her how actors like her are able to pull off those kinds of scenes. 

“It’s all about trust on your director kung paano nila imo-mount ‘yong eksena, and your co-actor as well. So far, I’ve been fortunate that lahat ng naka-loveteam ko ay very respectful naman, very professional,” she said, adding that it’s necessary for the actors involved in an intimate scene to talk about it before hand in order for both of them to be aware of their boundaries and have an understanding. Besides, an actor should remind himself/herself that he/she is a totally different person or he/she is in his/her character’s shoe every time she is in front of the camera.

However, it’s also inevitable that an actor gets swayed with how intense and passionate a scene, just like what happened to her in the past. But that didn’t make her feel violated because she knew that it was only a spur of the moment and that she’s powerful enough to say if she’s already being violated.

When it comes to the reason why everyone should watch, the seasoned, sought-after leading lady iterated that it’s totally different from all the shows she has done.

“Number one, because I feel like the show is fully nuanced, sobra. As in very particular sila in terms of emotions, in terms of the truth ng lahat ng characters. And the story, ang ganda talaga ng pagkakasulat, Tito Boy. Madaming makaka-relate sa kuwento namin, maraming mai-inspire sa kuwento. And I think that’s what we need now, this kind of story,” Yam stated.

She further imparted that it’s actually not her first time working with director Raymund B. Ocampo, since she already got to work with him in a project during her years as an “extra”, while it’s her first time to meet their other director Ian Lorenos.

“Pinipiga talaga nila ako sa mga eksena. Hindi pwede ‘yong okay lang, kailangan okay na okay. ‘Yong tipong huhugutin ka nila, which is challenging for me. Ang hirap kaya no’n Tito Boy. Hindi naman ako nasa level na magaling ka na, na ‘okay I can do this, I can do that. Give me a scene, okay na ‘yan’. Hindi e. I’m still constantly learning and I’m still figuring things out and, of course, with their help and their guidance, natutulungan nila akong ilabas kung ano ang kaya kong ilabas,” she related.

Then she added that there are times that she questions her performances in this series, but they have been really patient enough in making her understand the objective of a scene. It’s also collaborative since they ask her opinions as regarding certain scenes, even though she prefers not to ask any question.

The King of Talk wrapped up the interview by asking Yam what piece of advice she could give to her character Rita, to which she retorted, “You’re on the right track. Keep fighting. Just keep fighting”. Meanwhile, if it’s Rita who would give her an advice, it’s probably “prioritize love above all else”.

Catch Yam on Init Sa Magdamag, weeknights after Huwag Kang Mangamba on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, and iWantTFC.