KChat Andrea Brillantes on Senior High

Just a few hours before the “Senior High” finale, titled “The Ender To Remember” and with the hashtag “SHGraduation” airs on our TV and digital screens tonight, the show’s lead star Andrea Brillantes graced Kapamilya Chat with her effervescent energy, reflecting about her journey as twin sisters Sky Love Cruz and Luna Amore Cruz.

Andrea expressed gratitude for the success of the mystery-ridden series that has also tackled intense subject matters involving teens such as bullying, drug abuse, mental health, and suicide in proper ways.

She’s amazed by the immense amount of support that poured in, which translated into social media trends and the show's consistent performance on video streaming platforms such as iWantTFC. The first time “Senior High” clinched the top spot on iWantTFC, Andrea went to church to thank the heavens, and expressed her appreciation for her cast-mates through their chat group.

“Sobra akong nagpapasalamat, as in. Sobrang saya ko. And feeling ko naman natupad ‘yung prayers ko,” she said, adding that she also wished for the series’ success during her visit to a famous cathedral in Spain. Besides its success, she’s thankful for how the show served as a catalyst in educating viewers about the real issues teens face in silence.

In the past months, viewers have been invested in finding out the truth about Luna’s alleged suicide. Fans even created social media groups where they could tackle all their suspicions and express their lovely comments about the show. Andrea revealed that she joined some of these groups to check out what viewers had to say.

Even in the middle of filming, the cast members didn’t know how the story would end, especially who Luna’s real killer was, until they got the final script by Week 8. Andrea also revealed that there had been changes in the story. For one, she wasn’t supposed to play twin characters. In the original story pitch, Sky was supposed to have a boyfriend, who would be the intended victim. Add to that, Sky’s character was originally sketched as an ex-drug addict.

In the second draft, Sky’s sister was supposed to be played by another actress, but Dreamscape Entertainment Head Deo Endrinal thought Andrea playing twin characters would enhance the narrative. And he knew that Andrea could pull it off.

She mentioned that she had already committed to the project prior to being informed about these alterations, leaving her with no option but to summon the courage to proceed. She’s brave in pursuing challenging assignments, anyway.

“No’ng sinend na ‘yung script, saka ko lang nalaman, ‘Kambal pala? Nasa’n na ‘yung ex-boyfriend?’ Okay! G,” was her reaction. Asked her experience playing dual roles for the series, she replied, “It was very tiring, physically. Tapos ako din kasi gumagawa ng makeup ko. Sometimes kasi I only have 15 minutes, or pwede naman siguro 20, pero chinallenge ko ‘yung sarili ko.”

Remember Sky and Luna’s first meeting? Andrea revealed that it took almost 8 hours of filming. “Nakakapagod siya pero masaya,” she added.

The young actress was very involved in building Sky and Luna’s characters. She made extensive preparations to fully characterize the twins, and even came up with mood boards to portray them distinctly, very specific with their individual style, routine, personality, the way they walk, and even their vocabulary and scent.  She watched movies featuring twins and talked to her twin friends. Even their reactions had to be distinct – Sky was made to look more stoic, while Luna more expressive. Apart from the differences, she also took note of the two’s similarities.

Unlike other actors who struggle to switch off their characters, Andrea is capable of letting go of her on-screen roles easily. She only needs alone time to drop her characters’ baggage. Parting ways with Sky was especially easier since the character served as a vessel for her to unleash her pent-up emotions, which is why her so-called “mata-mata acting” would come out naturally, of course, with the help of Director Onat Diaz, who was very detailed in their collaboration in every scene.

Andrea also imparted her farewell to Sky and Luna, two characters whom they admire for their distinct but equally beautiful embodiment of bravery.

For us, viewers, a big part of following “Senior High” in the past five months is knowing what goes on off-cam, and it looks like the ensemble of young stars clicked immediately. Andrea has formed a unique bond with her co-artists, who’ve now become her ‘barkada’ in real life.

To cap off this episode, Andrea, or Blythe as she’s fondly called, described the Northford High squad – Kyle Echarri, Juan Karlos Labajo, Xyriel Manabat, Zaijian Jaranilla, Daniela Stranner, Elijah Canlas, Miggy Jimenz, Tommy Alejandrino, and Gela Atayde – and pondered their similarities and differences with their on-screen characters.

Catch the Senior High “Ender To Remember,” tonight, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, TV5, and A2Z.