Let us now focus on Marian Rivera who is our third prediction—after Lovie Poe and Maja Salvador—as bound for super stardom.
Marian hails from Cavite, also the hometown of Filipina actresses Virigina Montes and Olivia Cenizal. The half Spanish and half Filipina has carved a name of her own though barely a year in movies and television. Marian was first featured in a commercial and catapulted to the glittery world of show business in a short somersault. She started with small parts in some television features, playing the mother of the Super Twins and wife of Ian Christopher.
She really struck gold when GMA ‘queen’ Angel Locsin moved over to the rival TV network ABS-CBN. Angel was actually the first choice to play the lead role in the Pinoy version of the Mexican telenovela Marimar but everything was overtaken by the controversial over-the-fence transfer, paving the way for GMA-7 to look for a replacement through a competitive audition. Invited to try their luck were Katrina Halili, Nadine Samonte, Jennylyn Mercado, Valerie Concepcion, Karylle and Marian. The much-coveted role fell on Marian’s lap.
Katrina was eventually assigned to play the role of Angelika. Katrina minced no words and did not deny she wanted the role of Marimar. Studio bigwigs, however, were unanimous in believing that Katrina fits into the role of Angelika, the contrabida who will make life miserable for Marimar.
Thus the loss of Angel Locsin is the gain of Marian Rivera. In retrospect (having seen a substantial portion of Marimar), I personally believe that Marian is the better choice for the role, considering that she is a new and fresh personality and the TV audience were excited to find out if she has the acting capacity to boot. Luckily, initial indications point to the fact that the telenovela fanatics reacted favorably to Marian’s handling of the coveted role.
The initial airing of Marimar on August 13 (a Monday) and its instantly high viewership rating proved that GMA was right after all.
But before this galvanized into reality, Marian had mixed emotions on the airing of Marimar since she knew Thalia, the original Marimar, was a phenomenal act to follow. She knew how people eagerly waited for that time slot in late afternoon to watch Thalia. She knew that people will expect too much from her. The pressure was that heavy but Marian put everything to the role, coupled with the hope she can make it.
Thalia is really a tough act to follow. When I returned to the country in 1995 after spending some years in Europe, I became a Thalia-Marimar fanatic too. I saw first hand how my neighbors became restless at around 6 o’clock every after-noon. They dropped everything and rushed to their living rooms, a boisterous chorus excitedly shouting: “Marimar na! Marimar na! I followed the rush and was soon quietly watching Marimar with my fanatic neighbors. I knew that Thalia will become a local imported superstar.
But to compare Marian Rivera to Thalia as Marimar is I think unfair. I know that no two persons will be able to act out exactly the same role. Of course, Marian has her way of interpreting Marimar. She must be short of some of Thalia’s gimmicks and eccentricities but that is Marian’s way. Let us consider that she is still new in the trade and she might look awkward to some people. Bear in mind what is obvious–that Marian is acting out Marimar the Pinay way or version.
Anyway, let us give her the chance to improve and prove herself. In no time, she will be good at it. She is improving in every episode, and before we know it, Marian Rivera will have a hard time disassociating herself from being Marimar.
The first airing of Marimar last August 13 got an impressive rating of 36.6% over the other show in the rival station. This prompted GMA President Atty. Felipe Gozon to declare Marian as the network’s next big star and a timely pretender to the throne that Angel Locsin abandoned. GMA bigwigs were soon proclaiming that there was never a mistake in casting Marian as Marimar.
Of course Marian admitted she was initially quiet nervous about the eventual outcome of the new series, considering that the original Marimar was a big success and this was what has been retained in the collective minds of local televiewers. She also confessed she was also apprehensive how the thousands of viewers would compare her to Angel Locsin. She did not asked for the role. She auditioned for it and successfully passed the acid test. It was not her aim to dislodge somebody but the GMA management had the final word as to who shall play the role. The teleserye is a big pressure for Marian, but she takes it as a challenge. Marian prepared herself for the big challenge by improving her dancing skills, watching the Marimar tape and studied closely how Thalia dances, moves and speaks. Marian studied her role and designed her own way of interpreting the role.
It is obvious that Marian is undergoing a great change as a person in the manner of dressing, including her gesture and the way she talks. The general observation is that Marian is full of sensuality, even in the way she smiles.
With innocent giggles, Marian admitted Dindong Dantes being a perfect gentle-man made her comfortable. Dindong is such a nice person giving her pointers on how to relax and be natural. On the other hand, Dindong does not hide his admiration for his co-star, admitting that he likes her beautiful expressive eyes and her voluptuous boobs. They are simply attractive to him. Their being together in the series– taping for three days a week– made them comfortable with each other, so close that people around them are suspecting something more than being co-stars is brewing. Pranksters among press people created ripples knowing that Karylle is Dingdong’s current girlfriend. Rumors have it that Dingdong and Karylle are having lovers’ quarrel resulting from some intriguing articles about Marian and Dingdong singing songs together. Karylle denied being affected by unfounded rumors as she is aware everything is part of the promotion for Marimar. Karylle shrugs off whatever tsismis is circulating, herself a movie star trusting Dingdong will not allow anything to come between them. Marian is amused at all these rumors because it means that what she and Dingdong are doing is effective. Marian is steadfast in her decision that she is not allowing herself to be that serious with any man since she is at present occupied making a name in the celluloid world. At the moment, a popular actor is seriously courting Marian but she is fast to deny any liason with the guy nor any man for that matter. She is burdened with much work, taping and promoting her new teleserye even as she has to deal with commercial commitments and several product endorsements, as well as pictorial sessions for several magazines, personal appearances including mall tours
Her career is the lady’s top priority. Nothing can go distract her from this. She has worked so hard for this opportunity and she will not allow it to go to waste. And because of so much work, Marian is now tagged as “Ang Babaeng Walang Pahinga”.
Sunday is the only rest day Marian clings to so she can spend time for her loving ‘lola’ in Cavite. Marian knows that not everybody gets the kind of blessings she is enjoying now and she will not put it to waste.
As it is, Marian is pampered with so much attention at the GMA compound and she promises to do everything in her capacity to please all the people behind the tremendous publicity and promotions coming her way. Marimar is big success at GMA – 7. Now, how true is it that ABS-CBN is planning to do a remake of another Mexican telenovela of Thalia, Rosalinda?! Rumors say the once Kapuso Angel Locsin will take the lead in Rosalinda in the Kapamilya compound.
Now, everything seemed to prove that Marimar has made things easier for Marian Rivera to make her indelible stamp in local showbiz. But in showbiz, a saying goes like this: A star is as good as his/her last movie or in Marian’s case, her last telenobela.
Now that I had written what I feel for the three aspiring stars, bear with me as I make wishes for Marian, Maja and Lovi.
I pray that Lovi Poe makes it simply because at one time we were textmates and I found her nice and warm. There seemed to be something like mutual respect between us although we have never actually met in person. Still I wish her all the luck as she I think is a nice girl aside from having the guts and capacity to make it to the top.
I give the same points and importance to Maja Salvador because she is the daughter of Ross Rival and the niece of Ka Ipe Salvador whom I consider my friends in show business. Her performance in My Kuya’s Wedding showed and proved she got promise as a good actress.
Marian Rivera is a refreshing aura, not only beautiful and sexy but a girl who remembers and give importance to her lola, which I suspect is no longer the attitude of the younger generation today. That to me is admirable, unique, one of a kind. She is of top quality as far as I am concerned. That gives promise to and a reason for me to root for her.
Whoever makes it to top is the ‘fight’ among these three talented and beautiful people. Let us sit down and watch them grow into top caliber actresses with several acting trophies to their credits in the days to come.