By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ
MANILA, Philippines – An excited David Archuleta updated his fans on the first shooting day of his major acting project, the TV5 mini-series “Nandito Ako,” by posting a video blog on Jan. 16.
“I just finished… getting all the make up in here and the wardrobe all done for the mini-series ‘Nandito Ako’ here in the Philippines… This is my first time ever doing an acting experience other than being myself. This should be a lot of fun, I’m feeling a little bit of the nerves with a little bit of excitement together,” he said in a short video clip he posted on YouTube Monday afternoon.
“We’re just going over the lines not too long ago,” he also said.
Earlier, the “American Idol” Season 7 runner-up tweeted, “Monday morning here in Manila. Good morning! First day of shooting scenes for the mini-series today! Here we go.”
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Utah and newest TV5 contract artist will be in the country for three weeks to shoot for “Nandito Ako.”
Although this is Archuleta’s big acting debut, TV5 Entertainment head Perci Intalan has been impressed with the former’s initial performance.
“Just visited the set of Nandito Ako. @DavidArchie is a natural. This is looking very, very good indeed Direk @macalejandre ,” tweeted Intalan on Monday.
In a PEP Scoopbox update on the same day, the TV5 executive enthused, “We’re very happy with David Archuleta.”
“He is a really nice guy. We were so worried about pleasing him, but we‘ve been told that David is a pleaser. He was worried about pleasing us!” he was quoted to have said.
Even the production staff of the Kapatid network has been endeared to Archuleta, Intalan added.
“Wala [siyang] kaere-ere. Simple lang siya. Uupo lang siya riyan hangga’t ‘di namin pinakakawalan. Hindi nagde-demand. Ang bait! Ang problema lang ng staff sa kaniya ay nagno-nosebleed sila kaka-Ingles sa kaniya,” he laughingly told PEP.
The series’ director, Mac Alejandre, raved both about Archuleta’s take on the Ogie Alcasid classic, “Nandito Ako,” as well as his acting skills.
“Just listened to david’s’version of nandito ako. OMG ang ganda! And yes!!!!!!!! marunong syang umarte. Magugulat kayo. Ang saya ko. !!!! )))),” he tweeted also on Monday.
Dante Nico Garcia, who directed the teaser for “Nandito Ako,” marveled at Archuleta’s personality.
“The boy is so warm, humble and so well-mannered… It feels like directing my little brother,” he tweeted, Jan. 15.
Garcia likewise shared his “fun” and “memorable” shooting experience with Archuleta.
“First time to direct an international celebrity and I was able to make him laugh within the first… 5 minutes of the shoot… Then everything flowed smoothly. Despite the fact that his companion told me that it was his 1st time to… portray a character. Thank you Lord for sense of humor… Thank you Lord for the gift of laughter!” he related through several tweets.
The director revealed that in one of the scenes they did, Archuleta had to be slapped by one of his leading ladies, Eula Caballero. Although it was apparently an intense scene, Garcia commended Archuleta’s professionalism.
“[He was] laughing after every take & tells the girl that it is ok to hit him hard,” he told a Twitter user.
Garcia said that Archuleta had to be slapped around eight times.
“4 fakes for full-shot. 4 almost-real for close-up… I shot it in slow motion… So, yes, the hand has to land on the face to make it realistic,” he said in two separate tweets.
Meanwhile, Caballero admitted that she had difficulty slapping Archuleta.
“How could anyone slap an angel? ,” read a part of her reply to a Twitter user, Jan. 16.
Praise from co-stars
Caballero likewise finds Archuleta “soooooo professional.”
“You’ll know soon what makes me say this,” she hinted in one of her tweets last Jan. 14.
His other leading lady, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, commended his take on “Nandito Ako,” tweeting on Jan. 15 that he “sounds angelic and his filipino accent is almost perfect!”
The three had an acting workshop with veteran thespian-director Gina Alajar on Sunday.
Two of Archuleta’s other co-stars, Aiko Melendez and Ana Feleo, enthused about his kindness and humility.
“bait ni @DavidArchie always naka smile kahit me jetlag pa sya… You won’t hear him complain.:),” posted Melendez on Sunday.
Feleo also tweeted on Monday, “David is such a darling #followarchuleta.”