Hope for the future

Cherie Gil plays the formidable Luciana Marchesa in Dolce Amore. Cherie came up in the industry playing kontrabidas in movies and TV shows, but she promises to bring something exciting and new to this show with the help of its directors, particularly Cathy Garcia-Molina.
According to Liza Soberano, one of the things she likes most about her new teleserye Dolce Amore is that it gives her the chance to work with a lot of veteran actors. One such veteran is none other than Cherie Gil, who plays Luciana Marchesa, the mother of Liza’s character Serena.

Dolce Amore marks Cherie’s second time to work with Enrique Gil, Liza’s perennial onscreen partner. In 2013, Cherie played his mother in the teleserye Muling Buksan ang Puso, but she had never even heard of Liza prior to accepting the role of Luciana.

When Cherie talked to reporters at the grand presscon of Dolce Amore, she revealed that she did some digging on the fast-rising young ingenue she was set to work with on the show. Fortunately, Cherie liked what her research turned up.

“Liza was a fresh name to me,” Cherie said by way of explanation during the presscon’s Q&A, when asked why she felt the need to bone up on all things Liza before reporting for work. “So when I finally met Liza, I told her, ‘I had to Google you and I saw that you’re astoundingly beautiful.’ I didn’t realize that she became sikat practically overnight pala!”

Cherie then turned to Enrique and said, jokingly, “You, Quen ha, you’re keeping secrets from me, ha. You knew Liza na pala even during the Muling Buksan ng Puso days. You were my son in that show, you used to tell me everything.”

According to my sources, Enrique smiled sheepishly and said, “Ah, yeah,” to which Cherie replied, “Well, at least now I know.” True, even if Enrique failed to help his former onscreen mother out, Cherie is now practically an expert on Miss Liza. Not only did Cherie do research, but she also got to spend some time with Liza when the Dolce Amore team flew to Italy last year to do some filming.

If you read my writeup on Liza, you know that she felt the need to step up her game when she started working with Cherie, who found herself impressed by the young actress’s work ethic. “We had a lot of fun. I have to say, Liza worked very hard on her Italian, and she felt a little embarrassed having to repeat some of her lines when we would do scenes together. I told her, ‘You’re doing fine.’ In fact, we’d wake up at five in the morning just to drive to the set, and in the bus we’d still be practicing our lines. Masipag si Liza,” Cherie enthuses.

Liza's fans should feel very proud of their girl right now. Cherie has been in the industry for decades. As such, she has seen many young actresses like Liza come and go, rise and fall. The fact that she sees fit to compliment her onscreen daughter like that bodes well for Liza's career. Veterans like Cherie don't just say nice things to be nice, you know what I mean? They usually only offer praise if they think it's well-deserved.

As taken as Cherie is with Liza in real life, her character Luciana is very hard on her daughter Serena, which may cause some to view her as the kontrabida on Dolce Amore. But Cherie says that’s not entirely true. According to her, Cathy Garcia-Molina (who helmed the first five episodes) made sure to keep Cherie in check, so to speak. Cherie is used to playing kontrabidas, so sometimes she can't help but fall back on old habits, especially when she's in costume. That's why she relies on Direk Cathy to remind her to change it up from time to time, since Luciana isn't meant to be a villain in the stereotypical sense.

“Yun ang maganda kay Cathy, she makes me alalay,” Cherie says. “I play a strict mother. There’s no real villain in this story, just as in real life, there is always a tendency to do certain things for a reason.”

Those reasons will become clearer as the show goes on. Besides, those who feel that Luciana is being much too hard on Serena can just take comfort in the fact that Cherie absolutely adores Liza in real life. But my real hope—pun intended—for Liza’s future is that acting opposite someone of Cherie’s caliber will help the 18-year-old come into her own and become the actress I know she can be.

Based on the screenshots below, it looks like there's a real possibility that that will happen.

Serena (Liza) takes a stand...
...but her mother Luciana (Cherie) isn't having any of it.
So Serena makes a bold choice...
...and runs away. Whew!
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Photo of Cherie Gil by Allan Sancon for Jules Explains it All.


The old Julian can't come to the phone right now.

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