Jameson and Andrea are reminiscent of Rico-Judy Ann, says MMK director Kevin Alambra

With Jameson Blake and Andrea Brillantes portraying a relationship tested by sickness, Maalaala Mo Kaya “Lupus Love” is sure going to be a big cryfest.

Director Kevin Alambra says the episode has many layers. Apart from the romantic angle that will resonate with the viewers, it’s also MMK’s first time to shed light on lupus. It tells the story of Victoria (Andrea Brillantes) and her foreigner partner Nick (Jameson)’s journey as the former battles the rare disease.

Jameson mentioned he had more similarities than differences with Nick, in that they were both born and raised abroad. He further described Nick as respectful, kind-hearted, and mature, and was on the brink of losing faith in love before meeting Victoria. Jameson thinks he shares similar values with Nick, hence easier to be in the character’s shoes.

According to Jameson, Andrea was a breeze to work with. He also credits Direk Kevin for helping them shape their performances by being hands-on from pre-production to the actual shoot.

Direk Kevin returned the compliment to his actors and discussed how they collaborated. As a true MMK baby who started as the program’s researcher, Direk Kevin knows every MMK episode must be researched-based. Every story is never based on the writers’ imagination but on real people. That’s why it helps when the actors get to talk to the letter-senders. That way, Jameson and Andrea were able to observe the case studies’ nuances.

But while hands-on, Direk Kevin also let Jameson and Andrea do their thing, “I would still ask them if they have questions. I would ask them how they feel about a certain thing before we do it. Ako, I treat my actors as my greatest collaborator on screen kasi sila ‘yung mas makakaramdam. They would have their interpretation. At the end of the day, nagma-matter ‘yun sa amin, especially sa akin, kasi they’re part of the story-telling.”

He commends Jameson and Andrea for being open about the scenes. For him, there’s no other way to describe the two artists than “brilliant.” And he’s excited for viewers to see more of the tandem’s acting prowess in the episode. He added that Jameson and Andrea balanced each other out and that the former also had his shining moments even if the story was presented from Andrea’s point of view as the letter-sender, Victoria. 

With Jameson’s leading-man charm and dimples and Andrea’s effortless ability to turn the waterworks on, they’re reminiscent of Rico Yan and Judy Ann Santos, says Direk Kevin.

Meanwhile, asked how MMK chooses life stories to be featured, Direk Kevin explained that research remains the core of each episode. Although they have to keep up with digital trends and consider some trending content like Victoria and Nick’s viral TikTok video, the research team still has to delve deep into the life stories.

And at the end of the day, it’s the lesson and the letter-sender’s readiness to share that will make a story stand out. “Ang kailangan namin ay ‘yung willingness nila magkwento, ‘yung i-open up nila kung sino sila at kung paano nila nalagpasan. Kasi, kung walang learning pa rin at hindi sila handa na harapin ‘yun, parang hindi pa siya kwento para sa MMK. Kailangan mo mag-inspire ng mga tao, and it comes from them. Sila naman ‘yung boss dito, eh.”

Catch MMK “Lupus Love,” this Saturday, October 1, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.