Now it can be said that Angel Locsin’s rejecting the project “Marimar” is a blessing in disguise for GMA 7. Because Marian Rivera has turned out to be the perfect if not the best choice to play Marimar in the local TV version which the network is dishing out to its viewers starting tonight (August 13).
Marian, who in the words of GMA Network’s Chairman/CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon, would be GMA’s next big star, is more sensual than the original choice for the role. Her mestiza looks is also much closer to that of a Latina that Thalia, the original Marimar, is. Marian will be giving a fresh twist to the phenomenal character and give it a distinct Filipino flavor.
During the recent presscon for “Marimar,” Marian also displayed sensuality in her dancing. Come to think of it, her leading man, Dingdong Dantes, also manifested his own sensuality as a dancer. They are truly a perfect pair. By the way, as Sergio Santibañez, Dingdong is set to show a new dimension to his acting capacity and make more hearts swoon to his striking good looks.
For their respective roles, Marian and Dingdong really prepared for them. Like Marian underwent dancing lessons under a noted choreographer (although she already could dance), and Dingdong had to work out to achieve that lean physique that has enhanced his sexual, sensual form.
Playing the lead roles, Marimar and Sergio, Marian and Dingdong has that so-called perfect chemistry. And no matter what the wags say, Dingdong isn’t having problems with his real-life girlfriend, Karylle, who has said time and again that she’s not jealous with the sensuous Marian.
The popular feedback from televiewers say GMA 7 has another winner with “Marimar,” the Mexican telenovela that changed the landscape of Philippine TV in the 90s. “Marimar” not only ushered in the telenovela craze in the country, it also jumpstarted the production of shorter and more fast-paced soap series in the local setting.
With the most bankable Filipino actors portraying the well-loved roles in the original Mexican series, GMA Network’s “Marimar” will surely be endeared to the Filipinos because the setting and the characters are definitely closer to home.
GMA Network is proud to present Richard Gomez and Katrina Halili, who are touted to deliver a notable performance as husband and wife in the series. Richard will be portraying the complex character of Renato Santibañez, the affluent businessman who is also Sergio’s father. Katrina Halili is the cunning and self-centered Angelika, who is Sergio’s girlfriend but marries his father instead to get her hands on the Santibañez fortune.
With directors Joyce Bernal and Mac Alejandre at the helm, recreating Marimar to suit the Filipino setting is indeed very challenging and rewarding as well – what with a powerhouse cast completed by Rita Avila as Lupita, Jestoni Alarcon as Gustavo Aldama, Manilyn Reynes as Corazon, Bing Loyzaga as Esperanza, Caridad Sanchez as Lola Cruz, Leo Martinez as Lolo Pancho, Nadine Samonte as Innocencia, Boboy Garovillo as Padre Porres, Mel Kimura as Perpekta, Gabby Eigenmann as Nicandro, Bianca King as Natalia, Mike Tan as Choi, Sheena Halili as Monica, and Marky Lopez as Arturo. Funnyman Michael V. will also be lending his voice to Marimar’s trusted pet Fulgoso (portrayed by the golden retriever Nigel, who won in the “SIS”dog contest for the role), while sexy comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto voices Angelika’s pet poodle and Fulgoso’s love interest Fifi.
The riveting story of Marimar is set to have viewers hooked once more as the much-awaited Filipino version premieres tonight. Moreover, children will surely be delighted in hearing and dancing to the catchy “Marimar” theme song, which is sung by no less than Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez.