They've been ~together~ for so long that even Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla can't remember exactly how many movies they've done. The answer: seven. We've seen the pair (who call each other "bal," short for "kambal") grow up on screen on the afternoon teen show Growing Up and the romance series Princess And I, and in movies such as She's Dating The Gangster and Barcelona. We sat down to talk with them after a very busy press day, and quickly realized just how comfortable—and happy—they are with each other.
Since their new film, The Hows of Us, tackles how relationships eventually fall apart (and sometimes end) after the "honeymoon" phase, we talked about the previous generation's notion that ~millennials~ have a hard time making relationships last.
"Totoo naman siya," Daniel says, "siguro because of this cyber world na nandito tayo ngayon, ang dali mag-communicate kahit kanino. Unlike their time, like [in] the 1970s, love was really genuine. Partnership talaga. Kaya ngayon, I think ang daming ways of communication, kahit kanino eh. Kaya ang dami din nangyayari."
The pair have previously worked on light kilig movies (Crazy Beautiful You) and heavy drama (Can't Help Falling In Love). The Hows of Us, according to Kathryn, is a combination of both genres. "Andito yung drama and nandito yung rom-com na na-miss nila samin. Mahirap 'yon especially for Direk Cathy [Garcia-Molina], kung paano i-balance yung dalawa."
"Ang layo talaga ni George sa pagkatao ko—which is good, kasi 'yon naman yung gusto namin every time we do a project. Para hindi nila kami makita as Kathryn and Daniel on-screen." —Kathryn
This balance, not too dramatic and not too light, is what the viewers should look forward to when they go see the film. "Hindi mo alam kung ano yung mararamdaman mo, kung paano ikukwento," Kathryn adds.
We're always curious about artists and their connection to the different characters they portray. In The Hows of Us, Kathryn plays George, a go-getter who plans to become a doctor, while Daniel takes on the role of Primo, a happy-go-lucky lead singer of a band. Do they have any similarities to Primo and George?
Kathryn is quick to answer: "Ako kay George, malayo. Kaya ako nahirapan, kasi ang layo talaga ni George sa pagkatao ko—which is good, kasi 'yon naman yung gusto namin every time we do a project. Para hindi nila kami makita as Kathryn and Daniel on-screen."
"Well, may mga similarities kami like love for music, siguro yung pagiging passionate, pero siyempre may iba pa rin siyang tono sa akin," Daniel shares, "si Primo iba diskarte niya, lighter siya, mas chill. Pero 'yon yung kailangan, I think, kasi the movie is about growth: growth as individuals and also as a couple. Growth din ng love—it's like the next level of the relationship."
"Lahat mahirap, walang madali sa paggawa ng isang pelikula." —Daniel
The film is more than just two hours of kilig. Daniel adds that it's also about the realizations that couples face in a relationship: blessings that they sometimes take for granted and forget to be thankful for.
The hardest part about filming this movie? All of it. To them, there were no simple scenes. "Lahat mahirap, walang madali sa paggawa ng isang pelikula. Lalo na kung gusto mong gandahan," Daniel stresses. Kathryn nods in agreement. "Yung buong shooting from start to finish, nahirapan kami, especially ako." Since their characters were a lot different from their own personalities, they had a hard time internalizing, especially at the beginning—before the story became clear to them.
At the mention of Amsterdam, the couple starts gushing. It's clear that they're smitten with the city. Daniel even goes as far as saying, "Dapat taga-doon ako." While they initially wished for the shoot to be held in New Zealand, Amsterdam was amazing. "Na-in love kami," says Kath. (Fun tidbit: for future movies, Kath wants to shoot in a farm where there are horses!)
Since they've both been in the industry for many years now, some things have changed compared to when they worked on their first film together. Kathryn thinks for a moment before saying, "Siguro mas hands-on ngayon. Mas hindi kami concerned sa ibang bagay before pero parang ngayon…" Daniel (as expected of someone who's known her closely for five years) finishes her sentence with, "...May personal touch na. Kasi ngayon mas may idea ka na sa nangyayari kaysa before. Siyempre estudyante ka pa rin. Pero at the same time, may nabibigay ka na sa pag-arte. Sa blocking, pwede ka na mag-suggest kung may nafe-feel kang ganto or ganyan. Pwede mo na itanong eh. 'Baka pwede ganito Direk, baka pwede ganito gawin natin.' So gan'un, mas may personal touch na siya."
It was impossible for that video of Daniel whispering that he had to ~poop~ not to come up during the conversation. The pair start laughing, and Kath even exclaims, "Lahat tinatanong 'yan!" We wanted to know how long it took for the two of them to be that comfortable with each other.
Not that long, apparently. "First time namin nagkakilala, gan'un niya ako kausapin," Daniel shares. "'Di naman, first time kami nakapag-usap ng dalawa [lang] kami. 'Yon yung sinabi niya sakin. So hindi na siya bago."
It's normal for them. Kath laughs and says, "Oh yeah, I forgot! Yes, umuutot siya sa harap ko, so parang normal na, ano ba yan, napoo-poopoo siya. Shi-nare niya lang." DJ chimes in, "Shi-nare ko lang ng may konting impormasyon. Konti lang."
After seven successful movies, solo projects are inevitable. Kathryn will be working on a new film with Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez, while Daniel will be busy with his upcoming concert, which is scheduled for October.
"Mag-iiba lang, nakakapanibago. Every time pupunta ako ng set, or sa shooting, or sa tent, nandun si Kathryn." —Daniel
Daniel has a lot of feelings about this. "Halo siya, halong excitement. Kasi siyempre, ever since, kami naman ni Kathryn magkasama. Ako ha, sa span ng pag-arte ko at sa mga movies ko, lagi na lang si Kathryn kasama ko. Siyempre magiging bago yung timpla 'pag wala na si Kathryn. Sa movie ha, hindi naman sa [totoong buhay]. Mag-iiba lang, nakakapanibago. Every time pupunta ako ng set, or sa shooting, or sa tent, nandun si Kathryn di ba. 'Yon siyempre [in the future] pagdating mo, wala na."
"Yeah, 'yon din iniisip ko," Kathryn says sadly, "let's not talk about it."
Daniel laughs. "Siyempre sad din. Pero at the same time, excited din sa mga pwede mangyari, kung ano pang bago mong mai-offer."
As the conversation came to an end, we had to ask: what's next for them as a love team?
"'Wag na yung as a love team," Daniel protests. "Itanong [mo] na lang, 'what's next for us bilang isang couple?'" We hold our breaths and Kathryn gives him a look, waiting for him to announce...something.
A seconds pass by, he finally says, "Wala naman, just working."
Everyone laughs, including Kathryn: "Akala ko may ibang sagot!"
After years of speculation, the couple (finally) confirmed that they are, indeed, in a relationship, during their press con for The Hows of Us (and we couldn't be happier for them!). Maybe this time Daniel couldn't say what's next for him and Kathryn as a couple, but we'll be waiting to find out.
The Hows of Us opens in cinemas nationwide on August 29.
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