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Darling Dawn

Dawn Zulueta on network wars, working with Vic Sotto, and some things on her family life

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Dawn Zulueta hopes her and Vic Sotto’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) starrer, “Meant To Beh,” would serve to show that the industry can do without network wars.

Dawn Zulueta (Instagram) /mb.com.ph

Dawn Zulueta (Instagram)

The movie casts both Kapuso and Kapamilya stars as Gabbi Garcia, Ruru Madrid, Sue Ramirez, and JC Santos.

At a recent press conference, she expressed excitement working with actors of either allegiance.

“Everytime naman na gagawa akong pelikula, hindi ko iniisip na ‘Ikaw, tiga GMA ka,’ tinatanggal ko sa isip ko ’yan,” she said.

That said, the actress said she isn’t for network wars. She recalled a time when actors could cross over to “the other side” simply by securing permission to do so which was often given.

“During my time, kahit under contract ako sa VIVA, ’pag may magandang project sa akin si Mother Lily (Monteverde) like ipe-pair kami ni Richard (Gomez) sa pelikula, nagpapaalam ako,” she disclosed. “And pinapayagan naman ako kasi nagpapaalam naman ako ng maayos.”

She divulged having that kind of “liberty” actually helped her career-wise.

Dawn thinks all actors should have one common ground: Love for the craft.

“It makes it all the better na hindi pumapanig sa kahit anong network. As an actor, we are supposed to be welcoming in all,” she said. “I think it will help our careers if we are able to work outside of our home studio. Working with other stars has always been a plus factor.”

Other side

Dawn is known for heavy-drama outings that’s why many are surprised with her doing the light romantic-comedy “Meant To Beh.”

In it, she is Andrea married to Ron (Vic). The couple try to raise their cute little family and work out their marriage.

Admitting comedy is not her forte, Dawn said she nevertheless enjoys doing it.

“I enjoy discovering it because comedy is a genre na I don’t usually get to do. Lahat ng ideas ko about sa comedy nasa isip ko lang kasi never kong nagagawa kasi hindi naman ako nabibigyan ng opportunity… wala namang sitcom, walang pelikula,” she explained. “So ngayon na dumating ito (film), habang binabasa ko ang script, ini-magine ko talaga ’yung character ko as Andrea.”

It challenged her capabilities as actress.

“This one is specially challenging because it all depends on my timing which I learned when you work with your co-actors especially with Bossing (Vic),” she said.

Overall, Dawn said it all went smoothly thanks to director Chris Martinez.

“Ang sarap kapa-kapain ng comedy eh kasi habang ginagawa namin siyempre kailangan aralin bawat eksena,” she said. “Eh ako naman, I always seek the help of Direk Chris like ‘Okay na po ba ’to or you want me to do it differently.’ Dahil nga bago sa akin ito, hindi ako sanay gawin but I had so much fun.”

Friends for keeps

“Meant To Beh” marks the reunion of Vic and Dawn, this after two decades back in the “Okay Ka, Fairy Ko” days. The two have been very vocal about how glad they are working with each other anew.

Dawn said Vic is a good friend and working with him is a nice experience.

“Maraming positive (na bagay) talaga sa kanya. We’re always laughing. He is a good man, co-actor, producer. Wala na akong mahihiling pa. Walang nega (negative) as in!” she said

Having onscreen chemistry with Vic is easy for Dawn. In fact, he helped unleash her comedic side.

“Medyo gamay ko na ’yung gawi ni Bossing. With this particular project, I was able to merge the creation of my character with his style. So I think, nagawa naman namin ng maayos,” she said.

Mommy Dawn

Since her latest film is about keeping the family intact, we asked Dawn how she is as mother to her 12-year-old boy and eight-year-old daughter.

According to her, she is the type of mom who is disciplinarian yet fun to be with.

Dawn also teaches her kids to be responsible, instilling them the values of education and being grounded.

“I tell them na… ‘You have a responsibility in this family and that is to study hard and get good grades,’” she said to that effect.

“Even when it comes to travel, sinasabi ko na ‘You carry your own weight cause I’m not gonna carry your bag…’ Better think what things you’re going to pack and make sure you like it. ’Yung mga little things like that, it helps talaga. Most often I found myself being a disciplinarian mom because the kids are growing so I’m setting boundaries already,” she added.

Don’t get her wrong, she never beat up, not even spanked them. Part of her disciplinary actions is to let her kids face the wall for five minutes.

“I tell them ‘Think of what you did’ then when the five minutes is done, we talk about it, like, I ask them ‘Do you understand why I did it to you?’” she said. “It really works. Kaya ngayon kapag sinabi ko pa lang na face the wall, umiiyak na agad sila.”

If anything, Dawn said part of her job as a mother is to make sure she has enough time for her family despite being busy with showbiz.

For her, that time is essential as it creates lasting memories.

“It’s the time talaga that matters the most so we always create lasting memories with our children in every way we can,” she said. “It doesn’t need to be always up of town kayong pamilya. Sometimes spending time at home, I’m able to teach my son and daughter to have some fun and kami naman, we always play together.”

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