“Today is the beginning of the rest of your life.”
That’s what ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio told actress Jane de Leon after she and other executives broke the news that she would be the new Darna in an upcoming film based on the classic Filipino comic book.
A video of the exact moment the 20-year-old actress received the good news was posted by ABS-CBN’s film production company Star Cinema yesterday and is now the 18th trending video on Philippine YouTube.
In it, de Leon is inside a conference room with the film’s director Jerrold Tarog and ABS-CBN executives.
They built-up tension before the big reveal by asking de Leon how committed she is to the project and saying that 227 women auditioned for the role.
“Really 100 percent,” de Leon said in Filipino about her commitment. “I can surrender all for her, for that character.”
“My desire and my heart are really with Darna,” she continued.
ABS-CBN Managing Director Olivia Lamasan was the bearer of good news.
“Finally, we made a decision to give it to somebody,” she said. “So are you ready for the responsibility, Jane?”
De Leon, who up until now had only played supporting roles in film and television, was shocked and momentarily speechless. She even put her head down on the table and hid her face, unable to believe what just happened.
“Darna fainted,” one of the executives off-cam joked.
After composing herself, she hugged everyone in the room one by one as each executive congratulated her and gave tips.
“It hasn’t sunken in,” de Leon said towards the end of the video. “Is this real?”
Darna is an iconic Filipino superhero created by writer Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo in the 1950s. She’s like the Philippines’ version of Wonder Woman and playing the character in film or television is a big break for young actresses.
News that de Leon bagged the role came out on Wednesday and was met with a very positive response. That day, the search terms “Jane de Leon” and “Darna” were the top trending topics on Philippine Twitter.
“Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never seen anything this young lady has done, but I’ll be sure to watch her as Darna!!! Congratulations, Jane de Leon,” veteran theater actress Lea Salonga posted.
Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never seen anything this young lady has done, but I’ll be sure to watch her as Darna!!! Congratulations, Jane de Leon! https://t.co/lUW3g5QwCu
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) July 17, 2019
Writer Noreen Capili revealed that she actually developed a show with ABS-CBN three years ago that would have starred de Leon but the project fell through. According to her, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“So now that she’s the new Darna — I am just so happy for Jane de Leon. The reason why that project didn’t push through was because she’s bound for bigger things. For [a] greater role. Congratulations, Jane!” she said.
So now that she’s the new Darna — I am just so happy for Jane de Leon. The reason why that project didn’t push through was because she’s bound for bigger tnings. For greater role. Congratulations, Jane!
— Noreen Capili (@noringai) July 17, 2019
And a star is born.
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