Joshua Garcia (left) and Charlie Dizon in “Viral Scandal”

Joshua Garcia admitted to feeling very nervous when he started working on the latest ABS-CBN teleserye, “Viral Scandal” with Charlie Dizon as his leading lady.

This was partly because for his first scene with Charlie, his character Kyle was supposed to save Rica (Charlie) from jumping off a cliff. “My body was really trembling while we were doing that scene,” recalled Joshua during the virtual grand launch of Viral Scandal. “It turned out to be fun, because our directors and the entire staff guided us. These days, I’m always excited to go to work.”

Secret to success

Now the challenge is how to match Charlie’s intensity as an actor, observed Joshua. “She is really good at what she does. However, things got less stressful when I decided to change my mindset about everything that’s work-related. I simply told myself, ‘Just do your job and you’ll be fine.’ I read my script well. I dissected my character and tried to know him better,” the actor shared with reporters.

“I watched a lot of Netflix movies with characters who are architects. I studied how they move and speak. I tried to learn terminologies that they often use when at work. I’m also working on my diction since I have a lot of lines in English.”

He further said: “I think the secret to making a successful show is how willing you are to support each other. That’s what I’m doing now. I try to support Charlie in all of our difficult scenes. So far, it’s working well.”

Charlie, who won best actress for “Fan Girl” in last year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, takes on the role of Rica, a teenager caught in a viral video. How Rica and her mom, Kakay, played by Dimples Romana, will deal with the scandal is the subject of the timely series.

Garcia as Kyle Constantino

Playing Rica was admittedly tough for Charlie, because “our life experiences aren’t the same. In the beginning, it was hard for me to express the right emotions, because I’ve never felt what Rica is experiencing,” she began.

“The first thing I did was to seek help from my acting coach, the one who guided me while I was doing Fan Girl. He helped me dissect my character. He taught me techniques on how to get back in the groove in case I get lost while playing Rica, who is really a complex character. I say this because the story tries to tackle several issues through Rica’s experiences. She’s a lot more complex than me as Charlie in real life,” she added.

Agreeing to do the project, which is codirected by Dado Lumibao and Froy Allan Leonardo, was easy for Charlie, “because I knew just by reading the script that a lot of people will be able to relate to the story. This series doesn’t just focus on one thing. This also touches on a lot of social issues as well as topics concerning the family. Even Rica’s love life and how she manages it are being tackled here.”

‘Not right to judge’

“I find what happened to Rica to be very unfair. You will never wish this for anyone, because it’s really bad. I just hope people will be more open-minded. They should first try to research what really happened. It’s not right to judge a person based on the limited amount of information you have that’s gone viral,” she pointed out.

Asked how she would react if ever she would become the subject of a viral video scandal, Charlie said: “I really hope this doesn’t happen to me because I really wouldn’t know how to react. I guess I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there.”

She said she believes social media has its pros and cons. “It’s a good thing to be active online, because that’s where I am able to get news and learn about the latest social issues. However, the downside is that it has become a venue for everyone to express their opinions, which aren’t always constructive. Because they’re too afraid to do it personally, people now use social media to lash out at others,” she explained.

Joshua, meanwhile, said he was grateful that most of the uploads about him that have gotten viral were positive and mostly highlighted his talent as an actor, especially the music video he shot with ex-girlfriend Julia Barretto for Moira Dela Torre’s single “Paubaya.”

Dizon as Rica Sicat

“To be honest, I’m really a shy guy. When people let me know they appreciate my work, this boosts my confidence. That’s how the viral postings about me impacted me personally. They make my heart swell. I hope only positive news about me would go viral from now on,” he said.

On whether he supports cancel culture, a phenomenon currently prevalent on social media, Joshua said: “[We should] be respectful and kind to others.”

Cancel culture or call-out culture is the act of excluding someone with a different opinion or belief from a particular social group. Those subject to this kind of ostracism are said to have been “canceled.”

Cancel culture

“How cancel culture is handled really depends on the people involved. Personally, I don’t do that, because I’m always respectful of other people’s opinions. Whatever…[their opinions] may be, how different they may be from mine, I still choose to respect the people who express them. While others are so passionate about defending what they believe in, I always choose to just be chill,” Joshua pointed out.

“Viral Scandal” also stars Dimples Romana, Jake Cuenca, Miko Raval, Jameson Blake, Markus Patterson, Ria Atayde, Maxene Magalona, Aljon Mendoza, Karina Bautista, Louise Abuel, Kaila Estrada, Vance Larena, Gian Magdangal, Arielle Roces and Aya Fernandez. Starting on Nov. 15, viewers can catch it on the Kapamilya Channel, TV5, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC and TFC IPTV. INQ

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