From bathroom rehearsals to research – How Alexa, Yves, and Kira prepared for MMK episode

Prepare for heavy drama as Kapamilya stars Alexa Ilacad, Yves Flores, and Kira Balinger join forces in a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode that paints the story of three siblings trying to change their reality, growing up in a world of crime and drugs. The stars of MMK “Hope in Liberty” sat with Kapamilya Chat to tell more about the episode and how they prepared for their roles.

Intense drama is not a novel experience for the cast but it takes a different level of readiness to get on board after a long break. Their last taping was Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin for Kira, and Bagong Umaga for Yves, and Init Sa Magdamag for Alexa.

Alexa recalled asking her co-stars “Kaya pa kaya natin umiyak?” before the shoot and locking herself up in the comfort room to rehearse her crying. Director Raz Dela Torre was one reason she said ‘yes’ despite the slight reluctance. She knew she’ll be in good hands.

Direk Raz was also Yves’ motivation to go for this MMK episode. He was slated to star in previous stories but he had to beg off and ask for more time. “Una sa lahat, na-miss kong kasama si Direk Raz. Pangalawa, ayaw ko rin kasi ng biglaan na kinabukasan magte-taping ka na. Gusto ko din ‘yung story kasi first time ko siyang nagawa.”

Kira wasted no time studying the script because as the aphorism goes, “If you rest, you rust.” Yves went the extra mile by watching documentaries and reading up on the behavior of people under the influence of drugs. Alexa, on the other hand, took it slow. She was too nervous and the script won’t get in at first. Her major preparation was relaxing the mind, telling herself to just go with the flow. Add to that, prayers.

Alexa and Kira’s characters resonate with them in terms of strength and vulnerability unlike Yves who doesn’t have similarities with his character, which is a guy forced to take the wrong path in life.

Artists have their own method of getting rid of a character, or the so-called ‘pagpag,’ depending on the intensity of the role. For Alexa, there was one time she struggled to stop crying after a take, as if a release of personal emotions. But on most days, she can smoothly switch the character on and off.

Kira, whose first lock-in was via Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin, said they were lucky to have hotel accommodation then. So after a day of intense drama, the water baby would relax by dipping in the pool. Meanwhile, Yves’ ‘pagpag’ technique is chatting with co-stars after the take like everything’s back to normal.

Asked what viewers could learn from the episode, the trio talked about having a wide perspective about drugs as a social issue and what causes a person to commit such behavior. Alexa explained, “Kailangan siyang mapanood para mas maintindihan natin ‘yung mga Kapamilya nating dumadaan sa ganitong pagsubok, na hindi naman sila masamang tao. Kumbaga, kailangan natin mamulat din para alam natin kung paano natin sila matutulungan.”

Kira underscored that a person has a choice to refuse drugs and negative behavior, “Just because somebody else is doing it doesn’t mean kailangan mo din maimpluwensiyahan. You have the choice kung gagawin mo o magsi-stick ka sa tamang landas.”

But saying ‘No’ entails courage and at the end of the day, only you could do that for yourself. After all, drugs will never be the solution to any kind of problem. “Kung kailangan mo ng tulong, nandiyan ‘yung family mo para samahan ka. Kailangan ninyong magtulungan,” Yves added.

Don’t miss MMK “Hope in Liberty,”  tonight, August 14 at 8:30 pm, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.