If there’s one cast member in the phenomenal drama Halik who has taken the role so seriously and with much passion and grit, it’s none other than the actress who plays the character we all love to hate.
And Yam Concepcion seemed exasperated about it.
“Napapagod ako sa kanya eh,” she admitted in an exclusive interview with Entertainment. ABS-CBN.com, referring to the nationally “reviled” Jade Bartolome. “‘Pag ‘yong mga mainit ulo eksena lang na lagi akong galit, naapektuhan ako kasi parang umiinit din ang ulo ko. Nadadala ko siya, naiirita ako. Siyempre, hindi naman ako ‘yong ‘pag i-cut mo bigla cut na talaga.”
But for this breakthrough vixen who first hogged the limelight a good seven years ago in the Erik Matti film “Rigodon,” Yam said she indeed has come a long away as an actress. Her performance in Halik offers proof, wherein she gave gargantuan effort and thus made her a better thespian.
“Mas sineryoso ko ‘yong mga character development na ‘yan,” Yam disclosed. “Ang laking bagay pala talaga na kailangan aralin mo ‘yong background ng tao, ‘yong edad, sa’n nanggaling, family… lahat. Lahat ng mga technicalities, kailangan inaaral talaga.”
And for this she gave due diligence, given that such roles of an unfaithful wife are a dime a dozen, Yam said she did a different attack or approach to the character. That is, making it as relatable as possible.
“Ang ginawa ko kasi kay Jade, hindi siya ‘yong typical kontrabida na palaging [pasugod] ‘yong mga galaw. She’s just a typical human being. Normal lang siya. Human siya na nakakainis,” Yam explained.
“Inaaral ko rin ‘yong how she reacts sa situations, saka ‘yong ginawa ko sa kanya ‘yong medyo may nakakatawang side din siya. Makikita mo nakakainis pero at the same time, matatawa ka sa mga pinaggagawa niya. She’s funny! But also, malalaman mo rin na may heart din siya. Kaya nakukuha din niya ‘yong sympathy ng tao,” she added.
Real, breathing character
For Jade, she said, it’s not the typical depiction but rather a real and breathing character, whose questionable deeds have their roots.
“She’s not ‘yong typical kontrabida na masama ka lang talaga, hindi ‘e,” Yam stressed. “Ginagawa niya lahat ng bagay dahil may dahilan siya, not because for no reason manggugulo lang siya. May pinanggagalingan ‘yon. Malalim.”
What’s even more surprising is that Yam gets to learn more about the character as the series dragged on, or to put it aptly, “Nag-grow din siya sa akin,” she said.
“Minsan (magugulat na lang ako), uy gan’to pala si Jade. So siyempre, idi-discuss ko ‘yon sa director namin na guma-guide din sa akin. May vision din siya sa template ni Jade ‘e.”
As a result, Yam would even innovate or contribute to the development of the character. She even elaborated on some traits and even her transformed look, dubbed Jade 2.0, which she conceived herself.
“‘Yong pagka-feisty niya. She’s so feisty! Ang kulit lang niya ‘e. ‘Yong mukha, ‘yong facial reactions niya, ‘yong galaw niya… Kasi hindi siya sosyal ‘e, jologs siya ‘e. So pinanindigan ko ‘yon, jologs ako. Prangka siya, prangka din [ako],” Yam noted. “Even for the look, ‘yong Jade 2.0? That was my idea also. The hair, ‘yong gitna ‘yong hati. Black ‘yong hair, short lang, red lips. I thought about that.”
Her believability and naturalness in her portrayals have earned praise, with Halik’s top exec, Direk Ruel S. Bayani, mentioning that she has been the show’s “revelation.”
“Alam mo, naiiyak ako d’yan. Kasi talagang ‘pag pinagpaguran mo ‘yong isang bagay at binigay mo ‘yong buong puso mo, iba ‘e,” Yam stressed. “‘Di ba ‘pag you worked so hard, hindi lang ‘yong basta bara-bara na mabilisan lang… ang dami mong na-invest d’yan ‘e, ‘yong emotion mo, ‘yong time mo… tapos nakita mong it worked out, parang: Wow! It’s like fulfilling a dream! [Being] acclaimed by Direk Ruel.”
But unknown to many, she could not have given the performance of her life on her own but with the help of those guided her through it all.
“With the help of Direk FM (Reyes), siya ‘yong tumulong sa’kin na i-build ‘yong character na ‘yon (which is) si Jade. Siyempre in the beginning, wala pa ‘kong malalim na understanding about Jade, her character. Habang tumatagal, ang dami kong revelations do’n sa character.”
It also certainly helped that she would also identify with the character, on certain aspects.
“Si Jade kasi totoo lang siya ‘e. Ako sa totoong buhay, totoo lang din ako. She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect too. I have my mistakes, I have my faults too and Jade also. Normal lang na tao, nagkakamali pero bumabangon ulit,” Yam said.
“Sa personality naman, baliw-baliwan din ako,” she emphasized.
“I would never do that”
But there are things that cross the line, things that Jade does Yam said she couldn’t do in real life.
“Siyempre, napakalayo naming dalawa ni Jade. Kasi number one, never naman ako kumabit ever. Sana naman ‘wag, ‘di ba? Mahirap magsalita nang tapos, but I would never [do that],” Yam stressed.
“(At) hindi ako eskandalosa. As in, hindi mo ako maririnig na sumisigaw or nagagalit. ‘Di ako gano’n! Shucks!” she emphatically added.
And for those who still can’t separate the character Jade from Yam, the actress has this to say:
“I’m a nice person. Pinalaki ako ng magulang ko na mabuti siguro ‘yong puso, I think that’s the most important,” Yam declared. “Kasi it’s not all about just the physical and what you see. It’s what’s inside. Siyempre, hindi pa nila ako nakakausap. What they see is just the physical, ‘yong image ko lang na nakikita nila sa TV. That’s why I wanna tell them that I’m a nice person! I’m a normal person. Tao lang din ako.”
Yet throughout her journey in the riveting teleserye, her takeaways from portraying Jade is more than just the craft, but the message the character tries to convey despite its debauched, dissipated nature.
“‘Pag nagkamali ka o may problema ka, that’s not the end of life. You just move on and you just fight! It’s not the end of life, there are more to that. Mas marami pa. Akala mo it’s the end of the world pero hindi.”