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JaDine gives an out-of-the-box performance as adult characters facing the realities of life and dealing with reckless, intense love

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The Vilma Santos-Christopher de Leon love team is considered one of the best in the history of Philippine cinema. Their onscreen chemistry was so powerful they went on to co-star in more than 20 films across three decades.

James Reid and Nadine Lustre (mb.com.ph)

James Reid and Nadine Lustre

For some time now, many believe the tandem of James Reid and Nadine Lustre or JaDine are following in the Vi-Boyet footsteps. Like them, JaDine is doing adult genre of films in their 20s versus the usual teeny-boppers roles.

JaDine stars in the movie “Never Not Love You,” their first film together in two years that sees the relationship of the characters they play torn apart when their dreams take different paths.

Describing it as “the next level,” JaDine is confident their fans would support the bold career decision.

“I’m sure they (fans) don’t want to see the typical rom-com in us. They want something different, something more dangerous, I guess,” James said.

Nadine added that growing in the business means exploring new roles. So, they want something more realistic.

“’Pag sinabi naman pong mature roles not necessarily na daring eh. Kumbaga mas matapang lang kasi we want to try new things. Something that will push us to the limits,” she said.

‘Organic film’

Many of the scenes from “Never Not Love You” were shot in London.

Antoinette Jadaone (mb.com.ph)

Antoinette Jadaone

“It was a different experience (shooting there). But it’s definitely harder po kasi kokonti lang kaming nandoon (sa London) so nagmu-multi-tasking ‘yung mga crew unlike dito (sa Pilipinas) na mas malaki ‘yung production,” Nadine shared, adding some professional actors from London did cameo roles in the film.

Nadine revealed the plot of the film wasn’t complete yet when they accepted the project.

“Actually binuo po ‘yung storya habang nagshu-shoot mismo,” she declared. “Ang nangyari parang hindi namin alam lahat ang kalalabasan ng shooting kasi naka-base ‘yung eksena na susunod du’n sa matatapos namin na scene.”

That’s how director Antoinette Jadaone wanted it, she noted

Nadine said the film is daring when it comes to the language they used and the characters themselves.

“It’s not daring in the sense na, like, we are showing skin,” James explained.

“I guess matapang (ang term na tamang gamitin),” Nadine added.

Believe it or not, the real-life couple found that the hardest part for them was to act like they are having their first kiss in one of the scenes.

“Before kasi nu’ng hindi pa kami, parang may konting hiya kami (sa isa’t-isa). But now, parang we’re so used it na. So parang ang hirap i-portray na we are in the stage of getting to know each other,” she explained. “Actually, parang may mannerism ako na na-point out ni direk kasi very touch ako sa kanya, eh supposedly hind dapat ganoon kasi bagong magkilala pa lang kami (sa eksena).”

The two relate to their respective roles. Like Joanne (name of character Nadine plays), the actress is a dream-chaser. James, on the other hand, is a man who likes to live in the present—just like Gio.

“Ako po kasi very focused po ako sa mga goals at sa mga pangarap ko. Like Joanne, mataas din po ang pangarap ko at gagawin ko po ang lahat para matupad ‘yun,” she said.

“Gio is the type of guy who just goes with the flow. He wants to live in the moment and so as I,” he shared. “Parang right now, hindi ako nagpa-plano for the future because I just want to savor the moment.”

Asked what lessons millennial fans could get from the story, James said: “Sometimes love will not push you together, it will cause you apart.”

Nadine added: “Somehow kasi ang millennials parang madami silang hugot palagi tungkol sa love. (Itong film) magbibigay siya ng pointers na parang you have to make the right choice (in life). Na hindi lang love ang nagpapatakbo sa buhay.”

More, James has good words for director Antoinette Jadaone, saying “she definitelyis a collaborator.”

“She’s very young so we get along really well and she likes to collaborate with the artists. So she’s always asking like ‘What do you think about the character.’ So much of the scenes are really impromptu,” he said.

“Never Not Love You” opens in cinemas on March 31 from Viva Films.

Going strong

James and Nadine have just celebrated their 2nd anniversary as a couple.

A scene from ‘Never Not Love You’ (mb.com.ph)

A scene from ‘Never Not Love You’

“I’d experienced a different kind of love with Nadine. Compared sa past relationships ko, this one is more sure and I grew up a lot with her,” James admitted when asked how being in a relationship changed him.

Addressing the same question, the 22-year-old actress shared it changed her for the better.

“Being with James has changed me a lot and I could really say na it changes for the better. Ang love po kasi para sa akin maganda po ang naidudulot nito. I became a better person,” she said.

The two believe starting out as friends really served as a strong foundation to their relationship.

“I think, ang maganda po sa relationship namin is we’re very open minded. We’re open to experience new things together. We embrace what’s happening now and kung ano ‘yung mga bago (bagay sa paligid). I guess, mas fearless kami ngayon,” Nadine said.

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