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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 6, 2022




                            LIANNE VALENTIN being interviewed by this writer

LIANNE VALENTIN is one of today’s most hated women on local TV for her contravida role as Stella, the scheming other woman of Zoren Legaspi who makes life a living hell for his wife, Maricel Laxa, in GMA Afternoon Prime’s hit soap, “Apoy sa Langit”. 

We first got to interview Lianne when she was only 10 years old as one of the hosts of the award-winning GMA-7 children’s show, “Tropang Potchi”.  

Her full name is Maria Leonor Valentino and she’s turning 21 years old on August 16. 

She started with TV commercials and also did a lot of soaps as a child star, like “Sinner or Saint”, “Time of My Life” and “Sandakot na Luha”. 

How does she feel that viewers hate her as Stella? 

“Yes, galit sila, naiinis sa akin, kabit daw ako ng bayan, but it only means effective ako in my role,” she says in a special face-to-face presscon arranged by her manager, Manny Valera. 

“But I’m just very grateful na sa’kin napunta ang role na ito. When I auditioned for the role, hindi ko alam si Direk Laurice Guillen pala ang in charge. 

"Sobra ang kaba ko kasi ang anak niyang si Ana Feleo ang teacher namin sa acting workshops. So ginalingan ko dahil ayokong mapahiya.”  

Many young actresses auditioned and she was so surprised when informed that she bagged the role. Zoren said that during their script reading, he got turned off when he was asking her something and she didn’t reply. 

“E kasi hiyang-hiya ako sa kanya. First time ko to work with him and I will play his young lover. E, alam ko, pamilyadong tao siya. 

"Then nung first taping day, I noticed hindi niya ako kinakausap. And when we were doing a scene, nanginginig talaga ako sa kaba and he told me, gusto mong mag-backout? Sabi ko, ayoko. 

"Natatakot lang po talaga ako. So he talked to me at nagkaintindihan kami.” 

Lianne is the eldest of three kids. How does her family react to her role? 

“My mom is very supportive. When she learned I’d audition, she said, sure ka ba? This is a very complex role. I said, kakayanin ko. 

"But when she finally saw my bedscenes with Kuya Zoren, napasigaw siya ng ‘Anak!’ Nagulat daw siya kasi hindi niya ine-expect na ganun ka-daring.”

One of their scenes, the “under the table” scene where she and Zoren is doing something fishy, went viral and got millions of views on the net. 

“Actually, as written in the script, simple lang yung eksena. Naging hot lang dahil sa mga adlib ni Kuya Zoren. 

"Sabi niya, lagyan natin ng konting spice, so ako naman, I go with the flow. E, nagklik, lalo yung sabi niyang may gout siya. Adlib lang niya yun, e.” 

Has she seen Carmina Villaroel since then? 

“Nagkita kami sa swab test sa GMA pero nahihiya ako. Binati ko yung daughter nila, si Cassy. Sabi ni Kuya Zoren, di raw pinapanood ng family niya yung bedscenes namin, e.”   

How about her boyfriend? 

“Wala akong boyfriend. May mga nanliligaw pero ayoko muna. 

"Ang tagal kong hinintay ang ganitong big break sa career ko so I won’t just let it slip away. Focused muna ako totally sa trabaho.” 

She credits Direk Laurice for helping her develop her character. 

“She said ibang klaseng contravida si Stella kasi she’s young and her lover is much older. So bawal sa akin yung puro galit, puro sigaw. 

"Sabi ni Direk, dapat, when given other villain roles,iba-ibahin ko yung flavors. 

"Dito, yung emotional scenes ni Stella, she shows she does her nasty acts dahil sa pagmamahal niya kay Kuya Zoren as Cesar, so biktima rin siya, ng pag-ibig. Sabi niya dapat si Stella, hindi sobrang sama, dapat tao pa rin ang dating niya.”  

She says Laurice is not just a director but also an acting coach on the set. “Sa start pa lang in the script reading, she already gave her inputs about our characters. On the set, she shares with us what she visualizes for our scenes and how they will go on screen.”

How is it working with Maricel Laxa and Mikee Quintos in “Apoy sa Langit”? 

“Si Mikee, nakasama ko na sa ‘Pepito Manaloto’ so friends na kami and we’re happy to be reunited here. Si Maricel Laxa, she’s very bubbly, masarap kasama kasi parang nanay namin siya talaga.”  

If ever she’d get offers in the movies to go sexy, would she accept it? 

“Okay lang pero may boundaries. Siempre, iba yung sexy sa TV kaysa sa movies. I cannot go very far. I’m willing to do love scenes and show some skin, but no frontal.

"I really want to do a movie after ‘Apoy sa Langit’ kasi the role of Stella, tumatak talaga sa tao and is a tough act to follow. So gusto ko sanang masundan naman ng movie na iba naman ang role ko.”  

“Apoy sa Langit” is such a big hit that the show has just been extended for three more weeks. 

“Yes, lock in taping kami uli for additional episodes. Buti na lang tumama sa vacation namin ngayon sa school.”   

Yes, despite her busy schedule, Lianne has not neglected her studies. 

She’ll be an incoming third year student at the ISHRM School System at Bacoor, Cavite taking up business management, major in human resources. 

Good luck, Lianne, with your studies and your career!!!!