Darna and Valentina may be eternal enemies in the world of Philippine komiks, but it turns out that actresses who bring them to life for this generation have become the tightest of friends.
Dubbed “Darlentina” by their collective fandom, Jane de Leon and Janella Salvador revealed at the grand media conference for the series' impending finale that while they didn't immediately warm up to each other when they first met, they ended up forming a close bond especially as locked in taping carried on.
According to both actresses, they each made an effort to befriend each other since they were playing for the same team in the first place. Even if their characters are eternally clashing as gorgeous superhuman rivals in the Mars Ravelo classic, Darna's success is as much as Valentina's whenever the ratings come in.
“At the beginning, we weren't really talking,” de Leon came clean in a mix of Filipino and English. “But little by little, there was a conscious effort to make friends on both sides as we went along, like Janella would ask me at the end of the day if I'd like to join her in her hotel room to watch a movie, things like that.”
Primetime's super women were all the happier to share that the entire cast — comprised of Joshua Garcia, LA Lopez and Zyjian Jaranilla to name a few — also became a family during their time together, along with their noted directors Chito Roño with Avel Sunpongco and Benedict Mique.
Nevertheless, it's the onscreen impact of de Leon and Salvador that has garnered the most following from fans who ended up rooting for both of them even if one is the protagonist and the other the antagonist. They like to describe it as a surprising “chemistry” between the two who couldn't be more grateful to the fans for their support.
“The fans' support is so overwhelming. Who would have thought there would be a Darlentina and even a Janella fanbase,” de Leon gushed. “Grabe 'yung pagmamahal na binigay niyo sa aming dalawa ni Janella.”
The “frenemies” have even garnered the support of the LGBTQ community, which Salvador said has been “very heartwarming for them.”
With the demand for a follow up project for de Leon and Salvador reaching fever pitch as the countdown to Darna's finale already underway, both actresses agree they'd be very willing and happy to be reunited as soon as possible.
How about a girl love (GL) story — will they be amenable to do one?
“Of course, why not?” Salvador quickly replied.
“Yes, why not?” de Leon seconded, qualifying, “But the story must be good.”
This generation's Darna expressed she is aware that the LGBTQs are always longing for proper representations of their relationships on TV and the movies and she wholeheartedly jump at the chance help out.
“It'll be a new thing for us, for me and Jea since audiences are used to girl and guy love stories. But maybe, we can do something that doesn't just go into the GL theme completely but highlights friendship and women empowerment,” de Leon offered.
In the meantime, Darna's last two weeks of airing will witness the iconic Filipina superhero armed with the desire to shield Nueva Esperanza from further devastation and avenge Regina/Valentina's (Janella Salvador) death. She is therefore primed more than ever to face the biggest battles still awaiting her as “Mars Ravelo's Darna” concludes on February 10 across ABS-CBN's platforms.
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