“Syempre nung una, parang ah ok, ire-remake ang Mara Clara. Hindi naman ako magpapaka-lastik ano, andun yung ouch,” says award-winning actress Judy Ann Santos on a PEP Live interview aired on YouTube.
This was her statement following a question on how she and co-star Gladys Reyes felt when they were asked to shoot a turn-over scene of their iconic roles to Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes.
ICYDK, Mara Clara is a Filipino soap opera that first aired in 1992, top-billed by Judy Ann and Gladys, alongside a powerhouse cast including Wowie De Guzman and the late Rico Yan. The storyline centered on the characters of Mara, a good-natured daughter raised with a humble background, and Clara, the show’s main antagonist with an undesirable attitude. The two were switched at birth and have lived lives meant for the other.
The show was such a great hit that it lasted for five long years and catapulted its stars to superstardom.
A remake of the groundbreaking drama was aired in 2011, casting then-Goin’ Bulilit alums Kathryn and Julia as Mara and Clara, respectively.
While Judy Ann was happy with how the show turned out, she admits to having an initial push-back when the project was first brought up to them. “Syempre nung simula, meron kaming push and pull ni Gladys kasi buhay namin yung Mara Clara, eh. Alam namin kung paano siya nagsimula. Kami ang gumapang kay Mara at kay Clara. Tinrabaho namin si Mara at si Clara so para i-turn over siya, regardless kahit sino ha, kahit sino yung gumanap nun, it would still be the same feeling.”
She also said that her previous working relationship with Kathryn in Krystala largely helped in comforting her that the show would be in good hands, aside from the realization that it’s time for the new generation to witness Mara Clara’s tale.
She shares: “Andun yung realization na I guess it’s time already kasi bagong generation na. And there’s the acceptance na ang ganda din naman kasi ng Mara Clara kaya ipinaubaya na namin na i-remake kasi masyadong malakas yung effect nung Mara Clara sa mga tao.”
As for Gladys, no remake can take away the fact that they were the first ones to own and play the teleserye characters Filipinos have grown to love. She says, “We will always be the original Mara and the original Clara ‘di ba. Kumbaga whatever happens, syempre iba yung limang taon. Ibang version naman sina Kathryn and Julia and I must say nabigyan nila ng justice yung roles”.
Like Judy Ann and Gladys, Kathryn and Julia’s careers also took off after the remake. The two have become two of the most successful young actresses of their generation, eventually taking on bigger roles in films and teleseryes alike.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Female Network editors.