The last time I looked, I saw Danita Paner in a flaming-red dress lurking at every corner of the big house, her eyes burning with hatred, and then quietly disappearing when she detected somebody approaching, only to lurk in the next corner.
The scene is from Paano ang Pangako? which The IdeaFirst Company of Perci Intalan and Jun Lana is producing for CignalTV Entertainment and TV5 as the continuing drama of the Christmas series Paano ang Pasko? Danita is playing Andi who has just mixed poison with the tinolang manok intended for Maricel Laxa playing the matriarch of a somewhat troubled family composed of three daughters (Beauty Gonzales, Julia Clarete and Devon Seron).
“My character Andi is the illegitimate only daughter of Tita Maricel’s late husband (Allan Paule),” said Danita. “She is mentally-disturbed, full of pain and bitterness, because she feels unloved. As a kid, she saw her late mom commit suicide in front of her. She is seeking revenge against Tita Maricel. Andi pretended to be the assistant in Beauty’s company. No, she’s not after money. Andi desperately needs to be loved. Her traumatic childhood experience has rendered her tri-polar (with three personalities).”
Fortunately, Maricel had run away so she wasn’t able to eat the poisoned tinolang manok. Clever writer. Otherwise, with Maricel’s character gone, the drama would have ended abruptly. So, abangan ang susunod na mga kabanata.
“I love being a villainess,” added Danita. “In the beginning of my career, I didn’t seem to know where I would fit in. As you know, my heart wasn’t in acting and it was only my mom (Daisy Romualdez) who was pushing me into it. I did several roles in some movies and TV shows (including her last, the Kapamilya soap Los Bastardos) but I didn’t feel that I was into it.”
Until the Paano ang Pangako? role came along. Thanks, according to Danita, to directors Eric Quizon and Ricky Davao for bringing out the best in her.
“Imagine,” gasped Danita, “it took me 10 years to find out in what genre I belong. Bagay sa akin ang kontrabida because daw of how I look. Now I know what path to take, especially that I’m sure na that I love acting pala. Na-develop through the years.”
Danita is convinced that she’s doing good because fans have been sending her “hate” tweets.
“I love it,” she noted. “The more they hate me, rather my character Andi, the more I am inspired.”
For the first time, Danita related that she exerted effort to immerse in a character.
“I tried method acting. During the month-long (October-November last year) lock-in shoot in Laguna, I isolated myself in my room and didn’t talk to people on the set. Neither did I talk to my mom and my friends. I wanted to create a world of sadness, something dark and depressing. After the shoot, I went home still in-character. Mabigat! It took a while before I was able to shake it off.”
During the lockdown, Danita didn’t stay idle.
“I was busy at home. I was WFH (Working From Home). Luckily, I got some social-media projects and I was able to make content for some brands, one of them called Organic Skin Japan, a local brand formulated in Japan using organic/clean products. And also, Aior got me as an ambassadress. I shoot at home. Malapit ko nang gawing studio ang buong bahay namin, hihihihi!!!”
A Viva contract artist, Danita has finished shooting a movie titled Parang Kayo Pero Hindi with Xian Lim and Kylie Verzosa, shot lock-in in Pangasinan and to be shown anytime soon.
What about her love life?
“I have none, peksman! You know, everytime I am in a relationship, I tend to lose myself, nawawala ako sa sarili, nakakalimutan ko kung sino ako. I get distracted. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by people with different energies so I get lost. But I have found myself, at last! I think I have become a better version of myself.”
Told that some of her boyfriends (one of them Kean Cipriano, married to Chynna Ortaleza) are married and have kids, Danita exclaimed, “Ha? Has it been that long? It’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.”
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