EXCLUSIVE: Kim Chiu, JM De Guzman, and Paulo Avelino Talk About Linlang, Life, and Love

EXCLUSIVE: Kim Chiu, JM De Guzman, and Paulo Avelino Talk About Linlang, Life, and Love


For Kim Chiu, JM De Guzman, and Paulo Avelino, making it in a world of deception and frenzy takes rumination and intention of one’s character and actions

From the one-word title itself, Linlang is already a call for drama. And if it is a show that calls the characters to be players who are also being played, then it takes a certain breed of actors who will dare give justice to the title and the roles. Their names? Kim Chiu. JM De Guzman. Paulo Avelino. 

Linlang Paulo Avelino Kim Chiu JM De Guzman Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape

RELATED: A Timeline of Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino’s Real Chemistry Off and On Screen

As Linlang unveils its unabridged version this time around, MEGA Entertainment sat down with the lead stars to talk about their real primetime comeback and the truths behind their craft. 

Linlang JM De Guzman Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape
Linlang Kim Chiu Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape
Linlang Paulo Avelino Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape

The passionate lawbreaker

If there was an abstract noun that could be ascribed to one Alexander Lualhati, it would be passion. Naturally, his perseverance to become an attorney and his drive to win in life and love would be meaningless without these seething desires. But for JM De Guzman, who took on this role, Alex was a foil to his identity. “Challenge ‘yung pagiging impulsive ni Alex. Sobrang opposite siya sa’kin. Kapag nagmahal siya, mali. Mali ‘yung dahilan.” 

In the show’s streamed version, Alex was indeed easy to despise for his motivations and actions. But there was so much more to him this time around, as his portrayer pointed out. “Makikita nila ‘yung side na pagiging husband [niya] kay Sylvia. ‘Yung love story nila mas buo,” he said. 

The Alex in JM

When an actor steps into a character, there perhaps is an inevitable attribution to oneself to fully know, understand, and be that identity. And although JM himself is easily far from the high-strung figure, a part of Alex is familiar to him and vice-versa. This is where his passion for his craft comes in. “Always keep yourself, your soul, hungry for learning. For life. For my craft. Kasi marami na ngang bago, mas magagaling, mas passionate. Mas gutom. So, I always remind myself to keep myself hungry and to keep learning more.” With a plethora of characters under his role roster, his grit as an actor leaves him wanting to play more parts—an individual with a split personality, or a character that calls for his physique to change in the span of playing him. 

Linlang Paulo Avelino Kim Chiu JM De Guzman Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape

After a number of years in the industry, JM is no stranger to criticism. But above and after everything, her discernment for his art remains. In playing Alex, he learned, “‘Yung mali, ‘di mo maitatama [ng] kahit anong aksyon o rason. Kahit may backup ‘yan [na] love, passion, or determination. Basta ‘pag mali, mali.” As himself, he concluded, “Marunong akong tumanggap ng kritisismo. I better myself sa mga [constructive] comments. Pero ‘yung mga gusto lang mang-down, marami na akong pinagdaanan sa buhay para magpaapekto sa kanila.”

The fierce fighter

Paulo Avelino Victor Lualhati Linlang

From falling victim to people’s schemes, to scheming his way out of being a victim, there is a reason why boxer Victor Lualahati chose the moniker “Bangis” inside the ring. He wouldn’t go down without a good fight. Unlike his half-brother Alex, Victor’s grit is quieter but not meant to be underestimated as less. This taciturn commitment is something Paulo Avelino is all too familiar with. “It’s his passion for his loved ones,” he spoke, describing the similarity of Victor and himself. “I think I’m kind of the same in real life.” 

Apart from his character’s identity as a husband and boxer, Paulo shared one more trait with Victor. He is a father. For him, this was a part that the audience must watch out for in Linlang this time around. “I’m excited for our viewers to experience the full version. There are a lot of father and daughter scenes that [we haven’t shown before.] There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil it for the viewers,” he commented with a smile. 

Acting as Paulo

KimPau Linlang Juliana Victor

Just like his role, Paulo had his own ups and downs in his journey. But for him, embracing the experiences and learning from them are the key to continuous maturity. “I embrace the rough roads. [They] definitely made me a better person and wiser in general.” 

Today, show business is welcoming a new breed of leading men and matinee idols. For the actor, it’s not about keeping up, but collaborating with the younger generation. It’s nice learning from the younger generation, [because] you always find something new. And at the same time, you get to share your knowledge. I would like to believe that the next generations are always going to be better than us, because we’re leaving something. Are we leaving a standard and a certain discipline to guide them? I have high hopes for the next generation to be better than our current one.”

The woman in control

Linlang Paulo Avelino Kim Chiu JM De Guzman Juliana Victor Alex Dreamscape Chinita Princess love

Juliana Lualhati is the woman who made all hell break loose, and rightfully so. As Kim Chiu stepped into the shoes of a cunning woman, she had people talking even in the first airing of Linlang. To say the least, Juliana shocked and angered the much affected viewers. But this time around, we’re called to trace her footsteps and understand her decisions. “Mas maiintidihan siya ng maraming tao. Mas maeexplain kung bakit nangyari sa kanya ‘yun, why she chose another man na mamahalin,” the actress expressed.

In her past projects, the actress‘ natural vivacious persona rubs off on her roles. But according to her, becoming Juliana meant a transformation—long curls and all. “Everyone knew me as the sweet, bubbly, family girl. Parang clean slate na walang dark roles. This was my first, and I was scared [of] how people will take it,” she admitted. 

A side of Juliana in Kim

KimPau Linlang

After Linlang, Kim still looks forward to working with her co-stars, specifically JM, Maricel, and her current co-star, Paulo. “With Ms. Maricel? Comedy naman, kasi sobrang funny siya. Mag-ina kami. Siguro riot ‘yun! With JM, I want to do something serious kasi parang ‘yung mga mata niya, nagsasalita talaga. Serious thriller movie. With Paulo, drama love story.”

In retrospect, Juliana’s daring attitude can be likened to Kim’s thrill for adventure and new experiences. And while she herself is still slowly processing this new interpretation of her courage, we will see it in her character on television. “Marami pang confrontation scenes, especially with Heaven (Peralejo). Hindi pa [sila] masyadong pinakita [before]. With JM also, and with Ms. Maricel.” 

Delving more into her adventurous side, the actress happily shared the things she wants to tick off of her bucket list. “I want to go to [the] Maldives, [and] to Antarctica! ‘Yung may ice bath. Gusto ko talaga adventure,” she firmly stated. As for her career? “I want to do more challenging roles, a movie na talagang tatatak sa maraming tao. I still want to do what I’m doing now.” 

Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Creative Direction MIA CASTRO

Fashion, Beauty, and Grooming Direction CHLARINE GIANAN

Grooming JETT TORREVILLAS (JM and Paulo)

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