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Now that they are working together on a drama series for the first time, Jericho Rosales admitted he had been looking forward to working with Jake Cuenca. The Green Rose actor recalls how he felt when he heard news that Jake might not push through with the project. “Actually nalungkot ako dati nung may balita na hindi na matutuloy si Jake. So I really got sad because kumbaga para sa akin, gustong-gusto ko makatrabaho yung mga leading men and na-fra-frustrate na ako na hindi ko nakakatrabaho sila Piolo (Pascual), John Lloyd (Cruz), and Sam Milby. Si Diether (Ocampo), sobrang cool kami nun so I also love working with Diet,” he shared.
Echo, had nothing but praises and admiration for his Green Rose co-star. “Now that I am able to work with Jake, ginanahan talaga ako. Sabi ko, ‘Wow, finally, an actor. A leading man and a known actor that I can work with.’ So nagtrabaho kaming dalawa sa mga eksena namin. Pinag-uusapan talaga namin. We congratulate each other after every scene. There’s no competition on who’s better. Hindi namin tinitingnan yung competition. I respect him as an actor,” he shared.
Echo said that he finds Jake’s professionalism as one of the reasons why Green Rose has become such a compelling series to watch. “I heard a lot about him before, but now that I’ve worked with him and nakita ko kung anong klaseng artista si Jake. Now I only have respect for the guy. Makikita mo yung mga eksena namin, yung characters, ‘pag may eksena kami, maganda. It’s nice. And ako, I don’t really mind kung sabihin man nila who’s the better actor or whatever. What’s important for me is nag-produce kami ng magandang scene. Meron kaming sinusunod na linya so dun kami buma-biyahe. Kailangan naming tutukan yung detalye nung show kasi hindi rin kami puwedeng lumayo but at the same time kailangan naming i-express yung feelings namin. On the set, talagang pinag-uusapan namin kung papano i-attack. Kasi may mga scenes kami na ang ganda, sobrang ganda, but sometimes we have to do it again. We actually worked on every scene, kami ni Jake, pinag-uusapan namin yung eksena. First time ko makatrabaho si Jake so ang sarap ‘pag ganun yung ka-eksena mo,” he explained.
As he plays the role of Jerome Delgado, a poor but good-hearted man wrongly accused of committing crimes because of a frame up, Echo said the role gave him new depth as an actor and provided a new kind of challenge when it came to imbibing his character. “Hindi pa naman ako na-frame up sa buhay ko. Yung character lang talaga ni Jerome, since nag-workshop kami, hawak ko na siya sa isip ko and then every time na nasa set kami, medyo they made sure na kuha na namin yung character namin so when we get to the set, in character na and hindi ko talaga masisi kung madala talaga ako sa buhay niya at saka dun sa character ni Jerome kasi talagang kakapitan mo yung character niya kasi talagang nakakaawa siya. Nakakaawa yung pinagdadaanan niya. I was actually blessed to portray a role na ganun na yung karga niya. For me, sasampa na lang ako dun tapos tatakbo na siya. So I had to do my homework from the beginning and yung pinakadulo yun na yun. Tapos na yung rehearsal, ganun,” he said.
Although he’s always up for complex kind of roles, Echo said another added challenge was the unexpected toll the role took on his body. “Yung pinaka-challenging dito is yung transition niya sa pagiging bagong character na dumating. It was medyo physically and emotionally challenging kasi may mga eksena na nagagawa ko na sumasakit yung batok ko sa sobrang pagka-intense niya. As in nagpapamasahe ako bawat eksena. Meron akong isang araw na sumisipa ako, iiyak ako, tumatakbo ako, pagod talaga ako. Emotionally drained ako. The character has many demands. Meron siyang stage na Jerome, the normal guy na mabait na na-in love. I’m loving pero may mga parts si Jerome na hindi ako yun eh. And then biglang he becomes a fugitive, nagtago. And then biglang naging may-ari ng isang malaking kompanya. And then pagbalik ko, magko-Korean ako. Meron akong mga Korean lines. He has to exude that power na parang ganun. So three characters in one,” he said.