By Karen Valeza-Tungol
Xian Lim and Louise de los Reyes have not worked together before “Hanggang Kailan.” Still, in the movie, they prove to have onscreen chemistry.
What was their first impression of each other?
“We had to shoot right away. At first, I was shy to approach her because she didn’t talk that much initially. As I got to know her, I realized she’s actually open to everyone,” Xian said at a press conference.
The two were able to create a bond while filming and they helped each other with their roles. They filmed in Japan, where they shot some scenes showing the Saga Ba.
“He’s refreshing to work with. It was just sudden when the project was offered to me. We didn’t have much time getting to know each other, except for the trip to Japan. That was when we got to talk to each other. He’s such a gentleman. He guided me in the scenes in Japan. He’s also collaborative as an artist. He has his own inputs,” Louise said.
Xian’s girlfriend is Kim, while Louise has a non-showbiz boyfriend. But working with each other while having their respective relationships never became a problem.
“It stays in a professional level. We became close to each other and we like to joke around,” Xian said.
Louise added, “We respect each other’s partners in real life.”
The pair did some love scenes, which they said are relevant in the story.
“It’s needed in the journey of the two characters,” Xian said. “We talked about it. We sat through it. We discussed how we are going to do the scene.”
In the movie, Xian (Donnie) and Louise (Kath) are lovers heading for breakup. They went on a trip that might eventually be their last.
“Donnie represents men who love and also fell out of love. In this story, we’ll see the choices that Donnie makes in his life. You’ll get to the point if you’re still doing the right thing in the relationship, like until when are we going to love each other,” he said.
Talking about her role, Louise shared, “Kath is a free-spirited person. I think that’s what attracts Donnie. I admire her for how she loves Donnie and her struggles and how she gets to the point when she realizes it’s too much already.”
Louise shared that she can relate to her character as she herself also experienced being in a complicated relationship.
“I personally went through it. You cannot blame the person or you’ll never know what she is going through. During that time, I thought it was worth it and it’s going somewhere. But at the same time, I was self-deteriorating. It’s not going anywhere. One day I just realized that there’s much better person for me,” she said.
On the horizon
Xian, a Viva artist, has been more active now doing movies than teleseryes. Aside from acting, he would like to explore being a TV host as he has had several experiences hosting beauty pageants.
“I always include that in my prayers. Hopefully, someday I can get that opportunity of hosting, just like my idol Luis Manzano,” he said.
While juggling his acting projects, Xian plays basketball for Mandaluyong El Tigre in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball.
“It’s a dream come true for me. That was initially the reason I returned to the Philippines. For so many years, I really dreamed of becoming a basketball player. So, when I got the opportunity abd got into Maharlika, I really couldn’t believe it. It was a big achievement for me. Even if many say that I won’t make it, it’s just really working hard and dedication that you can achieve your dreams.
“Ever since, I just always wait for projects to come. When the opportunity to become a basketball player came, I grabbed it.”
Xian also ticks off another item from his bucket list by participating in the production of Viva Films’ “Hanggang Kailan,” which opens in cinemas on Feb. 6.
“It’s something that I really wanted to do. Reading the script, I fell in love with the story right away. So I asked if can be part of the creative process. Can I explore and have my inputs? So this is one step closer to my dreams. It feels good to be part of the process,” he said.