Newbie Jane de Leon has big boots to fill having been chosen as the new Darna.
Well, the young actress promises to work hard. She thanks those who believe in her.
“MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO SA TIWALA! Pangako po na pagtratrabahuhan ko po ito at ibibigay ko ang lahat… #Narda #DARNA #SOON,” she posted on Instagram shortly after the announcement a few days ago.
Her colleagues couldn’t be any happier for Jane, foremostly Angel Locsin, who played Darna on a GMA TV series in 2005.
“Congratulations, Jane De Leon,” she wrote.
Angel was the first actress chosen to play the iconic superhero in its latest big screen adaptation, but decided to withdraw due to health problem. The 34-year-old was revealed to have suffered bulging disc injury, which limits her from doing strenuous activities.
Months later, Liza Soberano took Angel’s place.
Although people have had mixed reactions about her portraying the iconic superheroine, Liza said she’s determined to prove her naysayers wrong.
“If they don’t think I’m the right one to be Darna, then so be it. I respect that. But I still want to prove to everybody that I am the right one to be Darna — that I can do it, that I’m trying to do my best,” she said in a past interview.
Unfortunately, Liza also withdrew from the project due to medical reasons.
The young actress sustained finger injury, which she acquired during the taping of her ABS-CBN TV series “Bagani.”
In a statement sent to Bulletin Entertainment back then, ABS-CBN and Star Cinema announced their acceptance of Liza’s decision to withdraw from the “Darna” movie.
“Liza suffered a finger bone fracture while doing a fight scene on the set of “Bagani” last year. She is still undergoing treatment and recovering from the trauma. After consultation with her doctors, it was deemed best for Liza not to pursue the project as the injury shall hamper her from effectively doing the movie stunts require,” it read.
Now that Darna’s stone has been officially handed over to Jane, Liza gave her blessings by congratulating her.
“Congratulations (heart emoji),” she wrote, to which Jane replied: “Thank you so much Hope!”
Liza’s manager, Ogie Diaz, expressed his thought on the new Darna.
Reposting some of her photos, he wrote: “Ayun, meron na… Mabait din yang batang yan.”
Celebrities like Megan Young, Tim Yap, Jolina Magdangal, Iñigo Pascual, Michelle Vito, Richard Juan, Elisse Joson, Maymay Entrata, and Darren Espanto, among other, have also sent their congratulatory messages to the new Darna.
Jane was among 300 aspirants who auditioned for the role as revealed by ABS-CBN Films managing director Olivia Lamasan.
“’Yung Darna story natin ngayon is a genesis story, a coming of age. Ang requirement talaga is somebody na young and with an air of innocence but at the same time a strength of character,” the acclaimed director said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
According to Olivia, choosing Jane was a “unanimous decision” among the management.
“Natuwa nga ako na isa siya sa mga nag-audition. Sabi ko ay there’s something about her. Pati si Direk Lauren (Dyogi) said there’s something about her. Bilang filmmakers, may nakikita kami. Malakas ang instinct ng bata,” she said.
“Darna” director Jerrold Tarog (who took the job from Erik Matti after he bowed out of the project) believes there is something unique about the actress.
“Pinresent na si Jane sa amin a couple of years ago, and among all the 13 noon na Mr. M (Johnny Manahan) presented from Star Magic, natatandaan ng isang talent handler na ‘Inang. napansin mo na siya noon, itong batang ito pwedeng sumali ng beauty pageants.’ And then I saw her again in ‘Halik,’ sabi ko, ‘itong batang to, meron.’ There’s something about her,” he said.
No playdate for “Darna” has been announced as of press time.
12 things about Jane
• Full name: Jane Florence Benitez de Leon.
On her eponymous YouTube vlog created some eight months ago, she explained her name: “Galing siya sa grandmother ko, which is Jane… Florence, ’cause ’yung sister ng dad ko is Flor. Her name is Flor. Tapos ’yung dad ko naman is Ruel Florencio. So, naging Florence ako.”
She also talked about her nickname, Chynise.
“Nu’ng baby pa daw ako, para daw akong Chinese ’pag nagsasalita. Ang naka-isip naman nu’ng [Chynise], ’yung brother ko,” she said in the five-minute video.
• Birth date: November 22, 1998
• She has strict parents
“Strict ang parents ko, especially my daddy. Sobrang strict,” she said.
Jane has several older siblings.
“So I’m the youngest, ako ’yung bunso, so bantay sarado.”
• From Laguna to QC
Jane explained: “Nag-move ako dito sa QC, para near lang sa ABS-CBN. Para in case of emergency, like biglaang pagtawag for go-see or whatever work. Mabilis na lang.”
• She loves animals
Jane loves cats and dogs.
“May kalmot po ako diyan,” revealing her pet scratched her. “Mga panahon na ’yun, I was five years old.”
• Well, except lizards
“Kung tatanungin niyo ako kung saan ako natatakot, ayoko ng butiki. Cockroaches, I can live with that, okay lang… ’wag lang talaga butiki.”
• No to pink clothes
“Siguro when it comes to stuff or things, ayoko ng pink… kapag sinusuot ko na, like tops, ayoko ng pink,” she shared.
• No to soft drinks and juices
“Feeling ko, uuhawiin ako lalo,” she said.
• She wasn’t girly in the beginning
The actress revealed that when she was young, she always wants to play toys that are for young boys.
• She dreams of becoming a doctor soldier
• She likes horror movies
“Kapag horror movie, umiiyak ako, hindi ko alam kung bakit. Siguro mas na-a-appreciate ko ’yung story,” she shared. “So if ever makakasama niyo ako sa cinema tapos horror ’yung pinapanood natin, maririnig niyo ako sa tabi niyo na (sumisinghot), gumaganu’n. Kasi na-a-appreciate ko ’yung story talaga.”
• Movies and shows:
Jane appeared in the movies “Walwal” and “The Debutante.” On TV, she became part of “Ipaglaban Mo,” “La Luna Sangre” and most recently “Halik,” where she played Maggie Bartolome, the sister of Jericho Rosales’ character.
Jane used to be part of “It’s Showtime’s” girl group GirlTrends.