“Hindi po naging madali.”
That’s what Hello, Love, Goodbye lead star Kathryn Bernardo had to say during the grand media conference of the said romance-drama. The young actress narrated her experiences during the shoot, specifically how film director Cathy Garcia-Molina got her into character.
The acclaimed filmmaker tasked the cast and crew not to speak to Kathryn, except if it was for business purposes, and confiscated her phone to relieve her of communications with real-and-reel life partner Daniel Padilla.
“‘Yong first week ko, umiiyak ako noon every night. Gusto ko ng magpa-book ng ticket pauwi kasi ayoko ng tapusin ‘yong movie kasi hirap na hirap na ako,” Kathryn told the press. “So, kausap ko siya (Daniel) noon every night at nakikita niya kung ano nangyayari sa akin. Ang nangyayari, hindi rin siya nakakatulog dito kasi nag-aalala siya sa akin. Sinabi na lang namin na mag-update ‘pag sa shoot, pero kinonfiscate din ‘yong phone ko. [...] Na-deprive ako sa ganoong open na communication.”
Being away from each other was really a challenge for the showbiz couple because both got used to working together for the past seven years.
“Naging malaking adjustment po siya, pero hindi siya nagkulang sa suporta,” Kathryn assured. “Doon ko siya lalong na-appreciate.”
Shooting heavy scenes restricted the Box Office Queen to use her phone and talk to people, especially Daniel, for she needed to feel immense sadness to become the character of Joy, to the point that when Daniel himself came to surprise visit, Direk Cathy hid him from Kathryn because she was shooting an important scene that required sadness.
“Malaking adjustment po siya pero ang lesson lang na natutunan ko doon ay ‘yung trust,” Kathryn said. “‘’Yong sinasabi ko lang palagi sa kanya ay tiwala, ‘yun lang, kasi nahihirapan din ako magtrabaho kung alam mong mabigat sa loob mo hanggang sa ayan. Nag-uusap po kami at full support po siya.”
According to Direk Cathy, Kathryn needed to feel the real struggles an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) faces on a day-to-day basis, which she plays in the flick.
“She can’t be happy,” Direk Cathy said. “Si Kath, bata pa lang, artista na. She fairly had a good life. Hindi sila naghirap. So, ano ang definition niya ng pain and suffering? Malayo sa kung ano ang definition ni Joy (Kath’s character in the film). Sabi ko kay Kath, ‘Ano ang gagawin mo? Aartehan mo lang ako? I-aarte mo lang lahat ng ‘to? Then, nobody will believe you. You have to know how it feels. You have to know kung anong pain ng OFW, ano ang suffering nila. Until you do that, you cannot be Joy.’”
Although Kathryn initially wanted to pack her bags, go back to the Philippines, and opt not to finish the movie, her mind changed when she reflected about simply embracing the role and challenge of playing an OFW.
“Kung tatanungin niyo po kung nakatulong, yes. Sobrang sobrang nakatulong,” Kathryn said of Direk Cathy’s way of directing. “Iba talaga ‘yung mabibigay kapag ganoon. Hindi po lahat gusto ‘yong method, pero napakalaking tulong ‘yung buong experience para magawa ko si Joy.”