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Fast friends

They snarl and pull each other’s hair on camera but in the dressing room, how Andrea Brillantes and Francine Diaz laugh.



They may be rivals on the ABS-CBN afternoon drama “Kadenang Ginto,” but Andrea Brillantes and Francine Diaz hit it off in real life.

Andrea Brillantes (left) and Francine Diaz

Andrea Brillantes (left) and Francine Diaz

Francine plays Cassie Mondragon on the series, while Andrea is antagonist Marga Bartolome.

“We’re always sweet to each other. We always talk about random stuff like the end of the world, anxiety, and pressure,” Andrea said in an interview.

As teens, Francine and Andrea already face a lot of pressure, so they confide to each other in dealing with their personal issues. Andrea entered showbiz at an early age, while Francine was just launched as budding actress on “Kadenang Ginto.”

“We’re still young and we’re exposed to a lot of people. So, sometimes we feel anxious if our acting doesn’t meet their expectation, like, what if we don’t get to give our all for the scene. If you’re not okay to other people, you get to wonder if all the things we do must please others. Because if not, we might get bashed online,” Andrea said.

Outside work, Francine and Andrea have the same passion for K-pop. They hang out together with other cast members in Korean restaurants and go on other “lakad.” They also bond with their onscreen moms Beauty Gonzales and Dimples Romana, who play Romina Andrada and Daniela Mondragon, respectively.

“We don’t treat each other as celebrities. We treat each other as family. We always help each other, Ate Dimples and Ate Beauty always help us with the heavy scenes,” Francine said.

Andrea added, “They’re like my sisters already. Whenever I have problems, I share it with them and they help me out. There was a time when we were in the van and there was a delay in our flight. We talked about horror stories and Ate Dimples said she loves all of us.”

People are used to seeing Andrea as a protagonist, so it was a big change for her to play a mean girl. Their performances are so effective that many memes have been created from their scenes.

Andrea (RIGHT) and Francine’s cat-fight scene on ‘Kadenang Ginto’

Andrea (RIGHT) and Francine’s cat-fight scene on ‘Kadenang Ginto’

“We really thought about it because I’m used to the one being antagonized and the kind one. I was also afraid being typecast if I accept this role because I really wanted to be a bida. But when I read the script, she’s not just a kontrabida. She has heart too and there’s a reason she became that way. I’m up for the challenge.”

Being in showbiz for a long time already, Andrea is used to criticisms and having her share of bashers for playing mean. She takes it positively, though, because it means she’s an effective kontrabida.”

“I don’t blame them because they see me acting mean on TV. I’m thankful there are many who understand I’m playing a mean character. I’m really far from Marga’s character. I know the truth. They also tell me not to be too affected. If they hate me, that just means I’m being effective in my role,” she said.

Francine, Andrea, and Kyle Echarri were a love triangle. But a new pairing is about to blossom with the arrival of former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Seth Fedelin.

‘Kadenang Ginto’ teen stars inside the ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ house

‘Kadenang Ginto’ teen stars inside the ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ house

“When he came, I also didn’t expect that we’ll become close right away. I was surprised because he really didn’t need much help. Seth and Mikoy are both funny. I was surprised that he’s really good already as a new actor. I told him that when he needs help, he can ask me,” Andrea said.

Whether they stick to love teams or not in the future, Andrea and Francine said they will do their best in every opportunity they get.

“Whatever is being offered to me, I’ll accept it. As of now, I like the Marga and Mikoy tandem. I also cannot tell about the future, I just really want to act,” Francine said.

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