GMA Network and Regal Entertainment have come together to make our late-night primetime viewing hotter and spicier with the non-conventional romance-drama series Lovers/Liars.
Inspired by Jose Javier Reyes' 90s hit movie Bayarang Puso (featuring Lorna Tolentino, Aga Muhlach, and Carmina Villaroel), the new version features three stories with intriguing secrets that will test the love and loyalty of the characters involved.
The 'Optimum Star' is back
The project serves as the grand TV comeback of the one and only "Optimum Star" Claudine Barretto, seven years since Pinoy teleserye fans last saw her in a primetime series.
In Lovers/Liars, Barretto plays the role of Via Laurente, a successful businesswoman who gets involved in an illicit affair with a younger man named Caloy (Yasser Marta). At a recently concluded media conference for the show, the actress teased that her new team-up with Marta will have intimate scenes that could make it even more thrilling for the viewers.
"Actually, na-excite ako kasi sa isang teleserye ko before, I was able to play a CEO pero walang illicit affair, walang ganun. Kaya ang difference nitong show is maraming secrets and lies, kaya mas na-excite ako kasi dito, mas matapang ako," she said.
Barretto recalled being offered a myriad of projects in the past years, but when she learned about the plot of Lovers/Liars, she knew it was something she couldn't say no to.
"Naisip ko na iba naman siya sa lahat ng mga teleserye na ginagawa ko," she said. "Kasi po ever since talaga, ang forte ko, teleserye. So it has to be kung ano 'yung range ko, kung ano 'yung mga pinagdadaanan ng mga babae na ka-age ko, 'yun 'yung gusto kong gawin ngayon, 'yung mga roles. Ibang-iba siya kasi matapang at saka maraming mga sikreto na hindi mo makikita sa regular talaga na teleserye. Iba na ang gusto ng audience ngayon. Iba 'yung gusto nilang makita."
Lovers/Liars is a reunion of some sort for her and Director Crisanto Aquino. The latter worked as the assistant director in the film Etiquette for Mistresses, where Barretto served as one of the lead stars. When asked how he feels now that he is reunited with the actress in his first primetime series in years, he said: "Surreal! I worked with Clau in Etiquette for Mistresses as assistant director of Chito S. Roño. Even before, kampante na ako sa kanya dahil may mga in-between talks na kami during shoot and break time. And now that I am her director, I feel blessed and honored to direct the Optimum Star."
Aquino had been working with GMA and Regal Entertainment on the drama anthology show Regal Studio Presents and the limited afternoon series Raya Sirena. Talking about the challenges he faced in Lovers/Liars and the pressure that comes with handling Barretto’s comeback project, he said, "I always do the same. I just tell a story using the lens of camera and visuals. The challenge now is pulling off all the production schedules since we are dealing with numerous shooting days. But since my team is efficient and reliable, that makes my job easier."
"For Claudine, I am more excited than pressured. I want to show to the Filipino audience what they missed about Claudine—her brilliant acting and in-depth characterization," he said.
In its first week, Lovers/Liars gave a glimpse of Barretto's character that gave the audience a good reason to stick to the series and get to know her more. What’s the story behind Via’s success? What was her relationship with her late husband Ramon like? Is she a good or a terror boss? What will trigger her to give in and fall for a younger man?
Barretto's co-stars in Lovers/Liars
Joining the scandalous love triangle is Shaira Diaz, who plays the role of Nika, a go-getter and overachiever who experiences workplace discrimination. According to the actress/host, her character has a romantic involvement with Caloy (Marta) in the past. What happens when Nika discovers Caloy’s affair with her boss Via?
Lovers/Liars also features a number of Regal babies and Sparkle artists who previously appeared in numerous episodes of Regal Studio Presents, including Rob Gomez, Lianne Valentin, Sarah Edwards, Jhai Ho, Christian Ty, Lorraine Wong, Rosh Barman, and Larkin Castor.
Polo Ravales plays the role of Ronnie, who has a secret romance with Joseph (portrayed by Gomez). Will their dynamics change once Joseph learns that he has a son with his ex-girlfriend Andeng (Michelle Vito)?
Lovers/Liars was created by Jose Javier Reyes and Noreen Capili under the direction of Crisanto Aquino. You can watch it from Mondays to Thursdays at 9:35 p.m. on GMA.