January 14 ------ The onscreen reunion of Jackie Lou Blanco and Ricky Davao surely brings smile and romantic thrill to viewers of I Can See You: AlterNate, even if their characters are set against its drama-suspense-action genre. With their commitment to and passion for their craft, they prove all and sundry that a former couple can be allies in creating something engaging for viewers. “I’m very happy that we were given a chance to work together after so long,” said the actress of their latest TV project, which also presents Dingdong Dantes and Beauty Gonzalez as a new acting tandem, in a recent virtual press conference, “and we both agreed to do it. Super long na talaga.” But Jackie Lou managed to recall that perhaps their last work together was on the set of Captain Barbell. It was their collaboration as both actors. Jackie Lou added that Ricky “got the chance to direct me in one soap, pero ito na lang ulit, so medyo matagal.”
As much as some would like to think that there would be something romantic between them whenever they were working together, it was clear that Jackie Lou and Ricky had moved forward. They were and are a picture of bliss and contentment. The way they talked to each other during the virtual event could attest to it. There was respect and love for one another. “Napakadali namang ka-trabaho ni direk Ricky because he’s very professional and wala kaming naging problema,” shared Jackie Lou. “It was just siguro nakaka-panibago lang in the beginning kasi matagal kaming hindi nagka-trabaho, pero after that, OK na.” After that, the veteran actors were on their toes to be everyone’s Carmencita and Lyndon, foster parents of Nate, played by Dingdong, who also took on the role of the former’s brother named Michael.
Jackie Lou and Ricky generously answered, with a smile, every inquiry thrown at them. Like the actress, the actor-director also had only nice words for her. “Madaling ka-trabaho naman si Jackie,” said he. “Unang-una, magaling na artista. Tapos napakaganda rin nung materyal talaga namin, yung mga eksena namin, hindi yung usual kaya nakaka-excite, maganda.” While they were in lock-in taping for the drama anthology series, Jackie Lou and Ricky got the support of their kids, “Siyempre merong nag-ba-back-up na team, yung mga anak namin, palaging nag-te-text, tumatawag, ‘What happened to Mama and what was your eksena?’ Tapos, may eksenang sasampalin, ‘Are you going to slap, Mama? Is it for real? Did you shout at her?’ Yung mga anak ko kasi Marites.”
Even if both have seen what each can bring to the acting table, Jackie Lou had moments when Ricky’s acting put her in awe or admiration. “Usually, after we did a scene, sasabihin ko agad sa mga anak ko, ‘Grabe ang galing talaga ng tatay niyo,’” said she. “Meron na naman siyang binigay na hindi ko i-nexpect. I mean Ricky is such a good actor, always has been.”
As a couple within the AlterNate narrative, seeing them side by side in intense confrontation scenes is a given. “I think the most physical part was supposed to be the sampalan, pero parang hindi namin pinag-usapan, pero ni-nerbyos din ako… siyempre paano ako sasampalin, di ba?,” recalled Jackie Lou of a slapping that was perhaps fueled by their characters’ outburst of emotion. As per direk Dominic Zapata’s instructions, Ricky described it as the back-slap of Gina Alajar in Nagbabagang Luha. “Hindi umabot dun kasi ang lakas-lakas na nung eksena,” added Ricky.
Upon learning this, their children were curious about how Jackie Lou and Ricky would execute the scene. “Pero nung sinabing ganun, yung mga anak ko tumawag, ‘Are you really going to do that?’ Sabi ko, ‘Well, we’re both actors,’” said he. “‘Well, we are both professional actors, we will do it.’ Of course, nung ginagawa na namin, kung ano yung nanduduon sa eksena, yun ang ginawa namin. Kasi iba na talaga if you’re in the scene doing it, nagbabago-bago with all the co-actors involved.”
Ricky shared that his role was older than him, but he carried on as expected. “And then the character, I think it’s medyo panibago sa akin, kasi ang inaarte ko dito mas matandang tao, parang na-realize ko nga na para akong daddy ko, the late Charlie Davao or the late Eddie Garcia. Sabi ko parang ganito yung ginagawa nila noong araw,” added he. “Tapos nandidito na ako sa sitwasyong ito na ganun na yung mga nabibigay sa aking role. Parang it’s like homage na rin to these actors na ito, nitong character.”
Aside from the reunion that piques the curiosity of everyone, the acting of Jackie Lou and Ricky is expected to hold the viewers’ attention to the unfolding AlterNate narrative.