Real-life couple Gabbi and Khalil avoid letting relationship get in the way of work
Just because they’re dating in real life doesn’t really mean that Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos can just depend on their natural chemistry at work.
“In front of the cameras, we’re actors first before partners. You still have to do character work. We can’t wing it or rely on rapport … It doesn’t work that way. We still have to put in the effort,” Gabbi told the Inquirer in a virtual conference for GMA 7’s new weekly telemovie anthology “Regal Studio Presents.”
She and Khalil will headline the episode, “One Million Likes, Magjo-jowa na Ako,” which was directed by Easy Ferrer and will premiere on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Khalil said he and Gabbi make sure they don’t let their “relationship get in the way” with what they need to deliver.
“We’re also blessed to have people reminding us that we’re actors on the set,” he said, adding that being a reel- and real-life couple does have its share of advantages and disadvantages.
“It can be a disadvantage if you’re not focused and serious about your craft,” he pointed out. “But what I love about my dynamics with Gabbi is that we always do our homework, we study our material and take every role—big or small and whatever genre—seriously.”
More natural now
The Kapuso stars have previously starred in the movie, “LSS,” and is set to do the upcoming mystery-romance series “Love You, Stranger.” And now that they have had more opportunities to work together as a love team, Gabbi and Khalil’s creative process has grown more “natural.”
“The first few days of ‘LSS’ were kind of fumbly. May kapaan. But this time, it’s better. We discuss our characters, we throw our lines before the take. We become different people on cam,” Gabbi said.
“Our first projects together had a gulat factor. But now that we know each other better, we’re also more aware of one another’s work ethic. Mas gamay na namin. We always have fun and there are no hiccups,” Khalil added. In “One Million Likes,” Gabbi plays Ana Marie, an online tutor who posts an April Fool’s Day joke about finding a lover if her status receives a million likes. True enough, the post gained traction on social media and piques the attention of Alden (Khalil), who follows through on Ana’s dare.
“My character is torpe and uses social media to express himself more easily. He finds it tough to mingle with people in public spaces, so he relies on social media,” said Khalil, who relates to his character to some extent.
“I don’t talk much, I’m naturally shy and introverted. I used to lack social skills and found it hard to approach or introduce myself to other people. But when I ended up in show biz, I had to learn to be better at it because it’s now part of my life,” he added.
Viewers will also find the story familiar, Khalil said, especially now that the internet has become part of people’s lives. “Our characters meet online and the people will see how their relationship evolves. They will find it relatable because everyone’s on the internet and some use it to find love.”
“I love the story because it’s just fun and light, which is something we need these days. We hope to lighten up people’s moods and bring them cheer,” Gabbi said. “We’re just excited to be back working again.”