Friday, May 11, 2007

When Angel Became Darna

Darna, Mars Ravelo’s original Filipino heroine, has undoubtedly become a Philippine icon. She’s flying to new heights after changing the world of television, breaking record audience share and maintaining a 40 percent rating.

Now the Pinay heroine, who was conceived 55 years ago, is out to conquer other lands.

Other actresses have donned the shiny red suit – Rio Locsin, Sharon Cuneta and Vilma Santos. But it was Angel Locsin’s portrayal that endeared millions of current fans.

“I still have a lot to learn,” Locsin said when she started the project. She said she had to keep watch of her ego to maintain her humility.

More than the privilege that came with the role was the challenge to give justice to it and please Darna’s legions of fans.

Locsin had to learn wushu, kung-fu and other fighting techniques even as she mastered the art of flying and display Darna’s superpowers.

“The efforts that I put into Darna are twice as much what I did for Mulawin,” she said.

No less has been required from the other members of the cast.

Alessandra de Rossi, who convincingly portrays Darna’s archenemy, Valentina, underwent rigorous physical training. Although already used to wearing a harness, she admitted to having difficulty balancing her weight with her costume and matching whip.

Other characters who figure in Narda/Darna’s life are Efren (Dennis Trillo), Dr.
Zombie (Christopher de Leon), Prospera (Sandy Andolong), Mambabarang (Eddie Garcia), Sulfura (Carmina Villaroel), Molecula (Christine Reyes) and Braguda (Celia Rodriguez).

Mars Ravelo's Darna: Revealed

The secret identity of Mars Ravelo's Darna has been revealed. The actress who plays her is no stranger to working in costume. After eight months as Alwina, Angel Locsin dons the slightly-more-revealing Darna outfit.

In a brief interview done while shooting publicity photos, Angel said that she was “thankful for being chosen as the modern Darna. This is my dream role, now it is a reality. I am very much thankful for that. I am honored because Darna is a legend. I am thankful to the production, management and the crew.”

She also talked a little about how the role needed more training since being Darna entails extensive fight scenes. They sneak in hour-long sessions of martial arts like karate, wushu, and Mongolian ken. The cast also goes through advanced lessons and training to prepare for some difficult flight scenes.

On top of all this, Angel trains in the flight harness to get a feel of tumbling through the sky. The harness, while sometimes uncomfortable, also helps her to feel safer.

Angel continues to adjust to baring more flesh than she is used to. “Di nga ako sumusuot ng two piece sa beach e. (I don’t even wear a two-piece on the beach.)” is how she explains it. So to have to wear one constantly on the set and in front of the whole production crew is something that Angel is still getting used to. She assures fans though, that she is being a professional about it and wont let anyone down.

When asked how she relates to a mythical superhero like Mars Ravelo’s Darna, Angel says that when it comes to loved ones, she will fight to the finish if anyone ever says something bad about them. And that she would do anything in her power to save them.

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