The Write One,” Viu and GMA’s first-ever collaboration, continues to keep its viewers hooked on the twists and turns of the story! Bringing this fantastical world of parallel universes alive is the stellar cast led by real-life couples Ruru Madrid and Bianca Umali, along with Paul Salas and Mikee Quintos.
Midway through shooting the show’s action-packed scenes, Viu Philippines got to chat with the show’s leads about working together as a couple, how they’re “writing” their stories as their characters, and what they’ve learned from being part of this groundbreaking project for Viu and GMA. Check out snippets of our chat with them below!
Ruru and Bianca on the lessons they’ve learned as Liam and Joyce
As the lead characters of “The Write One,” Ruru and Bianca love the challenge of shooting difficult scenes and showcasing a variety of emotions, all to give Viu-ers and Kapuso audiences a great show.
“The Write One is completely different from the past projects that we’ve had. It’s the first collaboration project of Viu and GMA, so the audience is different, the market is different, and the challenges are different,” says Ruru. “That’s why we work hard to give it our all for every scene.”
The leads also note how there’s an added challenge in understanding the emotions of their characters that make sense of the “plot twist”—the revised timeline that Liam (Ruru’s character) writes to change their lives.
“The characters we play are complex, and we cannot just show one-dimensional emotions. Each scene requires us to feel and display a variety of emotions so that we can give justice to the scene,” adds Ruru.
Getting into character, especially for her role as Joyce, is something that Bianca finds both challenging and rewarding. “It’s one of those things that you have to experience for you to understand how we get into that state of ‘okay, I am ready, I am in character,’” she quips.
“My favorite lesson from Joyce is her sense of unconditional love as a woman, a daughter, a wife, and a mother. I experienced all this from Joyce,” says Bianca. Her first time playing a mother on screen is rewarding for her too, as being a mother is something that she dreams of in the future.
“I see the possibilities of being a mother through Joyce. I keep asking myself, ‘oh, so if this happened to me as Bianca, how would I handle this situation? How will I respond? That’s what I love about Joyce,” she adds. This is especially true in the scenes at the beginning where Liam and Joyce in the old timeline navigate the struggles of a young family and the mishaps that caused Liam to accidentally revise their lives through the magic typewriter.
As for Ruru, playing Liam made him realize how important it is to be thankful for what we have and to pace ourselves when we ask for more.
“‘The Write One’ is a story about contentment, really. Sometimes, we don’t see that we actually already have what we need: a loving family, a happy life, and enough resources, but we push ourselves and want more. It’s not bad to dream big, but we shouldn’t overdo it. We should learn to appreciate everything that we have before we ask for more.”
“The Write One” marks Ruru and Bianca’s first time working together as a real-life couple. Initially, they had been each other’s refuge and safe space outside of their respective projects, but this show taught them how to balance their on-screen work and relationship well.
“I realized we had to go through this experience for us to see better how we work as professionals. I saw how amazing Bianca’s work ethic is: from how she treats the staff on set to how she prepares for the role… I am lucky to have her as my leading lady and the love of my life,” shares Ruru.
As for Bianca, she was pleasantly surprised by how she became an avid fan of Ruru. “I love Ruru, and it fills my heart to see other people look up to him whenever he succeeds in his projects. But I didn’t expect to feel this way—that I would be a fan, that I would idolize him so much, seeing how he works, how patient he is as an actor, and how determined he is to deliver a great scene.”
“He’s the glue that keeps everyone in the production, really,” adds Bianca. “He taught me a different approach to working—one that allows everyone in the project to be driven and determined to work hard.”
Paul Salas and Mikee Quintos on relaxing as a way to deliver a great scene
When asked about their creative process in bringing out their series characters, Paul bared that he still gets first-day jitters during tapings. “I try to relax myself. I focus on the object of my character (Hans), that he’s a loving person, and is a lawyer by profession. I did my research.”
Mikee shared that she used to catch him talking with her dad, who is also a lawyer, over the phone in the middle of taping.
Thankful about having someone to remind him to relax during tapings, Paul considers having his offscreen partner Mikee in the same series a big help for him.
It’s the same with Mikee, who appreciates Paul’s presence on set, especially in high-tension scenes. “I always feel a little intimidated when I’m excited about a scene. I want to give justice to scripts that I believe are written very well,” Mikee shared.
Mikee further shared that her character Via is most relatable with the way she expresses herself. “The environment and the people she grew up with are big factors in how she reacts to what’s happening around her. These are details that are not explicitly shown on screen, so more than just the actor tasked to play Via, I feel like it’s real a responsibility to show how Via is as a person; that her actions are greatly influenced by her past experiences.”
In this project, the couple realized that acting in one series brought out their competitiveness. Paul, however, cleared that it’s good competition. “Instead of feeling pressured, we enjoy the competitiveness that we feel when working together.”
On working with industry veterans and the surprises ahead
Talking about the talent pool of The Write One cast, the four leads reveal that working with veteran actors on set such as Miss Lotlot de Leon, Ramon Christopher, Mon Confiado, and Art Acuña, among others, was inspiring as much as it was a good challenge for them as younger actors in the industry.
“They have this certain “veteran” energy where they don’t even have to say anything,” said Mikee on acting with veteran actors such as Miss Lotlot de Leon who plays as Ruru’s (Liam) mother in the series. “With just a gesture or the way they look at you in a scene, they are able to bring out emotions from you. So what you do is to just let the emotions flow.”
“And to feel that no matter the age difference, no matter the generation gap, it feels so good to be in a room wherein we all have the same level of love for what we do,” adds Bianca.
It’s this passion and drive that motivate the four leads to give their all for the remaining episodes of the show, and why we need to stay tuned for more! “This show is a game-changer—it’s unpredictable! Even us, when we read the script, we get surprised by the events that will happen. So, please look forward to all the revelations, and expect the unexpected,” ends Ruru.