Barbie Forteza, David Licauco  light up ‘Maging Sino Ka Man’

GMA’s hit stars Barbie Forteza and David Licauco of Maria Clara at Ibarra fame will bring back their sizzling chemistry to the television in Maging Sino Ka Man, the series adaptation of the ‘90s blockbuster hit of the same title and which catapulted Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla to new heights in their career back in the day.

The highly anticipated romantic-action series will premiere 11 September and will run from Mondays to Fridays at 8 p.m. on GMA Telebabad and at 9:40 p.m. on GTV. It is directed by Enzo Williams (Ang Probinsyano).

The Kapuso Primetime Princess and Pambansang Ginoo will play Monique and Carding, two very different people who fall in love with each other. It’s a rich girl-poor boy love story jampacked with action thrills and romance.

The series also features Juancho Triviño as Gilbert Arnaiz, Faith Da Silva as Cleo Ramirez, Mikoy Morales (2023 Cinemalaya Best Actor) as Gordon a.k.a. Libag and Rain Matienzo as Tetay.

Also part of the roster of its exciting cast are E.R. Ejercito as Boss Frank, Jeric Raval as Alex, Jean Saburit as Shonda, Juan Rodrigo as Miguel, Antonio Aquitania as Jonas, Jean Garcia as Belinda Salazar, Al Tantay as Osmundo and Tonton Gutierrez as George.

At the most recent grand media conference, Williams described his experience directing the series as “not that hard.”

“It’s not that challenging kasi ang galing nilang dalawa, to be honest. Working with Barbie, working with David — andiyan na ang chemistry nila eh, parang kaunting guidance na lang. So it’s not that hard,” he said.

The director also expressed admiration for Forteza. “Barbie, I think she’s one of the best actresses I worked with.”

This will definitely further amp the excitement among Forteza’s cult following as she will also play a male character in Maging Sino Ka Man.

In the story, she also plays a dude named Dino as her disguise. For this, the actress studied Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, where Swank won an Oscar for her sensitive and complex role as a transman. This shows how serious Forteza is in her work for the series.

Meanwhile, Licauco at the presscon admitted some challenges in his role as Carding, specifically the way the character talks as exemplified by Padilla in the hit movie: crass, crude and a thug.

“As you know from the movie, mabilis magsalita si Carding. Matigas. As you can hear now, medyo mabagal talaga ako magsalita. I think iyon ang pinaka-challenging for me. But, of course, with the help of my director, I think…hopefully, nabigyan ko naman ng justice iyong character,” he replied to the question posted by a media member.

Forteza also revealed that the series was created precisely for her and Licauco.

“Personally, umeere pa lang Maria Clara at Ibarra, kumbaga napansin kami ng mga boss,” she said.  “And they were already thinking of a follow-up project na para sa amin bilang artista. Sobrang fulfilling iyon, syempre. And kami (she and Licauco) naman po, in return, gagawin naman po ang best namin para mapaganda rin ang seryeng ito.”

The creative team behind this 2023 remake of Maging Sino Ka Man is composed of creative director Aloy Adlawan; senior writers Benjamin Benson Logronio and John Kenneth de Leon; head writer Mark Duane Angos; brainstormer Louize Andrei Al-Shehri.

Maging Sino Ka Man is made possible under the supervision of GMA senior vice president for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable; vice president for Drama Cheryl Ching-Sy; assistant vice president for Drama Helen Rose S. Sese; senior program manager Camille D. Hermoso; and executive producer Darling Pulido-Torres.