MANILA, Philippines – In an interview after the January 20 press conference for her movie Love is Blind, Solenn Heussaff admitted that when she first found out ex-boyfriend Derek Ramsay was to be her leading man, she wasn't sure how to approach the situation. (READ: Derek Ramsay recalls breakup with Solenn Heussaff)
"It's not because I don't want to work with him, I was just scared na kung paano magiging reception ng press, siyempre nakakatakot yung mga questions minsan (about how the press would react, of course the questions are scary sometimes). So yun lang yung reason, noon, kung bakit never ako nagkaroon project with Derek (So that's the only reason, before, why I never had a project with Derek).
True enough, during the press conference and even after, reporters repeatedly asked the former couple if there was any awkwardness when it came to working with each other and when they had to do intimate scenes.
Solenn and Derek dated for 4 years, before breaking up 9 years ago.
During the conference, both actors said that they were happy to work with each other.
"Nung in-offer sa akin... I was very excited na si Solenn yung makakatrabaho ko (that I would be working with Solenn)," said Derek. "Tsaka alam din naman ni Solenn 'to (And Solenn knows this), na I broke my own heart when I broke up with her. But it is what it is, and it's better than... we don't have any kind of relationship. We're very good friends, we confide in one another about our problems, about our happiness, that's so much better – yeah, even [about our] love life. It's so much better that way, than not having anything with someone that you love so much."
"Ako (For me) same naman, I think for the 9 years, civil naman kami (we were civil), but it's not like we'd call each other and meet for coffee," said Solenn after Derek. In the 9 years since they broke up, the actress said that they've met up around 3 or 4 times. "Pero ito yung first time talaga (But this is the first time, really) that we actually had long conversation. Actually nung nag-yes ako sa movie na 'to di ko alam na si Derek yung leading man ko, nalaman ko after. Pero yun, I'm happy. (Actually, when I said yes to this movie, I didn't know that Derek would be my leading man, I only found out after. But there, I'm happy.)
But Derek admitted that he also wondered about the awkwardness before they began shooting. "Nung first day na papasok ako, parang ninenerbyos ako, na parang, 'Is there gonna be awkwardness (On the first day, I was nervous, like is there gonna be awkwardness)? Is it going to be weird?' I didn't feel both of those things. We both just hit it off, nagkwekwentuhan na kami kaagad (we shared stories right away), as if nothing ever happened," added Derek.
Spending a lot of time with each other turned out to be okay, but their intimate scenes were another hurdle to pass. "I know we're acting... pero there's memories here that di mo rin mapipigilan (but there are memories here that you can't ignore)," said Derek, who shared earlier that they became emotional during some of their scenes. "So you start playing that in your mind when you're doing the scene and I guess level up yung scene."
"Hindi naging madali. At kahit acting lang, siyempre ako I was a bit nervous (It wasn't easy. And even just acting, of course I was a bit nervous)," added Solenn.
When asked how their partners reacted to Derek and Solenn starring in the same movie, the former couple said that there were no problems for either of them.
"For me... he doesn't mind at all yung showbiz life ko, di niya alam yung mga projects na meron ko (He doesn't mind at all my showbiz life, he doesn't know too much about my projects). As in, I talk to him every once in a while [about them]," explained Solenn.
Photo by Jansen Romero/Rappler
"Of course when I decided to join this movie and Derek was my leading man, sinabi ko na rin sa kanya (I told him) out of respect din. Tapos yun lang, sabi niya, 'That's your decision, that's your work, gagawin mo kung ready ka, o kung hindi, don't do it.' (And that's it, he said, 'That's your decision, that's your work, do if you're ready, or if not, don't do it.') But it's my decision at the end of the day."
"With my end naman, my partner knows how special she is to me and to my entire family. And she's been told, 'You have nothing to worry about when it comes to that,' so okay lang," said Derek.
During the conference, Derek and Solenn also spoke about what they learned from their past relationship.
On her part, Solenn said that it made them both mature – it was a long distance relationship, as she was studying abroad at the time. Derek was also Solenn's first serious boyfriend.
"We were still very young, si Derek yung first totoong boyfriend ko, first love ko, so siyempre medyo intense yung relationship na 'yan. I was also studying abroad, so diba dati walang Skype, walang anything so nagbu-buy pa ako ng mga cards na may 20 minutes lang to call the Philippines, ganyan. So it was hard for us, and I think it made us more mature as people as well kasi di naging madali para sa'kin yung long distance."
(We were still very young, Derek was my first real boyfriend, my first love, so of course the relationship was a bit intense. I was also studying abroad, so before there was no Skype, right, there was nothing, so I would buy cards with only 20 minutes to call the Philippines. So it was hard for us, and I think it made us more mature as people as well because long distance wasn't easy.)
Love is Blind showing soon! Will post our mall tours schedule soon! Already one coming up this sunday! #LoveIsBlind A photo posted by @solennheussaff on Jan 27, 2016 at 5:39am PST
Derek said that he learned not to give too much of himself in a relationship – he shared that he was trying to figure out what to do with his life at the time, but his priority was to answer Solenn's calls.
"We're the same, pag pumasok kami sa isang relationship, todo. Walang levels. It's either you're not in a relationship or todo ka sa isang relationship. (We're the same, when we enter a relationship, it's all in. No levels. It's either you're not in a relationship or you give your all for a relationship.)
"And I think that's what we learned, I guess, that you also shouldn't forget about yourself. Kasi (Because) we can't be too focused too much on one another," Derek said.
After the press conference, Solenn was asked how she and Derek are now: "Well it's fun kasi yun, mas mature kami ngayon (we're more mature now), we also know each other very well kasi (because) we were together for a long time before, and we've been through a lot of hardships together, so ayun (there). I know that if I need anything I can call him and if he needs anything he can call me, and I'm happy we got to reunite in this project, and yun, that everything can be okay."
Love is Blind opens in theaters on February 10, and also stars Kiray Celis and Kean Cipriano. – Rappler.com