Judy Ann goes bad on screen in “Starla”


By Joseph Peter R. Gonzales

Judy Ann Santos expresses her excitement over her latest soap opera titled, “Starla” in which she will play a bad character, a first in her acting career.

“That’s right!” she avers. “It’s a different Juday the viewers will see in the show. I’m a ‘bida-contravida’ here. I play the role of a ruthless lawyer in the story. It’s something new for me, the reason why I got challenged in my portrayal.”

Many are curious if she has a peg on her latest boob tube character.

“Oh, yes! Do you remember the hit Hollywood film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ in 2006? Meryll Streep’s character there Miranda Priestley is my peg. Meryll was very good in portraying a ‘bida-contravida’ in the particular potboiler.

“I had to watch the movie over and over again to study her character. The way she walked, her posture, the way she spoke, all of that. Apart from that, I also had to study the movements of a lawyer. And also the way they speak.

“I tell you it’s not easy! For one, their dialogues are so critical. You have to check if your English is okay. Then, you have to make sure that you’re credible in delivering all those legal terms which are used in the scenes.”

The award-winning actress reveals she found it hard initially.

“Would you believe, on the first taping day, I had no Take One? I was really struggling.

Well, you have to consider that I haven’t done a ‘tele-serye’ for five years so it was as if I was starting all over again. I really couldn’t forget our first day of taping.

“I couldn’t perfect a scene in just one take. It’s either I forget my lines or I would just release myself from the scene mainly because I haven’t grasped my character yet. It would take four, five or six takes before I complete a scene. It’s only after a few days when the character started to sink in to me. It wasn’t easy but when I got accustomed to it, it’s also enjoyable to do.”

Juday is happy that “Starla” serves as her comeback vehicle in the soap scene.

“I really wanted something which is not a total heavy drama. What makes ‘Starla’ perfect is that it’s inspirational in nature. It’s the kind of program that will bring hope back in the heart of every viewer. It’s very timely, so to speak.”

To correct the notion of some people, Judy Ann is not playing the title role.

“Yes! I’m not Starla. Child actress Jana Agoncillo is. She is the wayward wishing star who wants to go back to star world. As I’ve said, I’m a ruthless lawyer here.”

The actress-TV host is proud to be in the company of competent performers in the show.

“Co-starring with me and Jana her are Raymart Santiago, Joel Torre, Meryl Soriano, Joem Bascon and child actor Enzo Pelojero. Ms. Charo Santos and Mr. Tirso Cruz III have special participation, too.”

For Juday, she’s glad that at this point, she can choose the projects she wants to do even if it’s somewhat offbeat like ‘Starla.”

“That’s true! I’m already thirty-plus in the ‘biz. I think it’s high time that I make vehicles which I really want to do. ‘Starla’ is one because it’s inspirational that when my children get to watch it, they’ll be proud of me,” she ends.