Following its half-year hiatus, GMA Network’s well-loved and top-rating drama series “Prima Donnas” finally airs its much-awaited fresh episodes beginning Monday (November 9) on the Afternoon Prime block.
Prior to the suspension of tapings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, viewers were on the edge of their seats with the riveting and shocking plot twists in the family drama.
Kendra’s (Aiko Melendez) dirty antics to earn Jaime (Wendell Ramos) and Lady Prima’s (Chanda Romero) trust continue to put the life of Lilian (Katrina Halili) in great danger. Out of desperation and without Jaime’s permission, Donna Marie (Jillian Ward), Donna Belle (Althea Ablan), and Donna Lyn (Sofia Pablo) sneak out to visit Lilian who has an important revelation to the three Donnas.
With the continuation of the original series, the cast members – excellent character actress Katrina Halili as Lilian Madreal; hunk celebrity dad Wendell Ramos as Jaime Claveria; veteran and award-winning actress Ms. Chanda Romero as Lady Primarosa Claveria; basketball legend and admired comedian and actor Benjie Paras as Agaton; versatile actor James Blanco as Ruben Escalante; fast-rising teen star Elijah Alejo as Brianna; and one of the industry’s formidable and multi-awarded actresses Ms. Aiko Melendez as Kendra Fajardo together with GMA’s brightest and sought-after teen stars Jillian Ward as Donna Marie; Althea Ablan as Donna Belle; Vince Crisostomo as Cedric Villarazon; Will Ashley as Nolan – expressed what they feel about their highly-anticipated brand-new episodes, experiences during their 21-day lock-in taping, and what’s in store for the Kapuso viewers as the story continues.
Katrina is elated for viewers to witness the continuation of the story and the fruits of their hard work, “Dahil maraming nabitin na eksena, lahat ng mga katanungan masasagot na sa nalalapit na fresh episodes. Lalo po itong pinaghandaan ng buong production.”
“I’m very grateful and excited dahil malapit nang mapanood ng viewers ang aming pinaghirapan. Taping under the new normal was such an experience and also very challenging for the whole team,” adds Wendell.
Meanwhile, Chanda expresses her admiration towards her co-stars’ professionalism, “As an actor, bumilib ako sa lahat ng members ng cast. We stopped taping months ago noong mag-lockdown dahil sa pandemic. Pero hawak pa rin nila ‘yung roles na ginagampanan nila. In fact, mas intense ang performance nila ngayon, mas may kulay ang characters.”
“Masaya kami sa lock-in taping. Ang nagustuhan ko lang ay very organized ang buong staff. Alaga kaming mga artista. Naging close kami lahat. The only challenge is being away from my family that long,” shares Benjie.
James, on the one hand, hints at the direction of his character, “Abangan nila ang papel ni Ruben sa buhay ni Lilian. Mabait ba o masama ang kanyang karakter.”
In addition, Elijah teases viewers on Kendra and Brianna’s wicked schemes against the Claverias, “Dapat po nilang abangan kung ano pa pong gagawin ng mag-inang Kendra at Brianna sa mga Claveria. Abangan din po nila si Brianna 2.0 dahil sigurado po akong kaiinisan po nila ulit ako.”
“Masaya na may nerbyos at kaba but confident na magugustuhan ng mga viewers ang aming pagbabalik kasi talagang pinaghirapan ng lahat. Mula sa crew, staff, artists at directors,” assures Aiko.
Jillian, in turn, hopes for the continuous support from their fans, “Super happy po and at the same time medyo anxious since eight months po kami nawala sa TV. Sana po ‘di pa rin bumibitaw ang viewers namin lalo na po at marami pang mas exciting na mangyayari.”
Althea also admits feeling tested with the circumstances upon returning to work, “Challenging po talaga ‘yung unang scene ko dahil matagal-tagal din napahinga ang character ko. Medyo kinakabahan po ako kung mapo-portray ko pa ba siya nang maayos o kung kilala ko pa ba ‘yung karakter ni Donnabelle.”
Meanwhile, Vince is delighted with the camaraderie formed between the team during their lock-in taping, “Mas naging close kami sa isa’t isa, mas nakilala ko pa sila individually, and nakakatuwa ‘yung nabuong samahan. But of course, with the added safety precautions na kailangan namin sundin para na rin sa ikabubuti ng lahat.”
“Excited dahil after ilang months may bagong episodes nang mapapanood ang mga sumusubaybay sa amin. Of course, masaya rin dahil makikita nila ‘yung effort and team work naming lahat,” adds Will.
Finally, the show’s esteemed director Gina Alajar describes how the team braced themselves for the new normal taping, “We had a series of meetings. Pinag-usapan namin kung ano-ano ang mga dapat namin gawin to take care of ourselves. We also talked with the actors and everyone concerned in the show of what’s going to happen kaya when the protocols and guidelines came out, we were kind of ready na.”