Acclaimed filmmaker Chito Roño grew up reading “Darna” komiks together with his grandmother, which was why he immediately grabbed the opportunity to direct the series once it was offered to him.
“Fan talaga ako ng Darna. Maliit pa lang ako nababasa ko na sa komiks. Sa pelikula pa lang nagbabasa na ako. So, parang naging part ng buhay ko. Lahat kami nagbabasa ng komiks bago pa isinapelikula ni Vilma. Kami ng lola ko, laging magkatabi habang nagbabasa ng komiks,” Roño recalled during the face-to-face grand mediacon for “Mars Ravelo’s Darna: The TV Series” earlier this month.
(I am really a fan of Darna. I was still a little boy then when I read it as komiks. Even when it was already turned into a movie, I still read it. So, it can be said that it has been a part of my life. All of us read the komiks even before the film versions starring Vilma Santos were made. I and my grandmother were always next to each other when we read the komiks.)
Aside from Darna, he also read other Mars Ravelo komiks characters.
“That’s why when it was offered to me, I got excited like a kid again. And then sabi ko, ‘sige na nga, gawin ko na’ (I said alright, I will do it),” he said. “So, I dared myself to do it. Kumbaga, kabataan ko pa pangarap ko na gawin ang Darna.” (We can say that since my childhood, it has always been my dream to helm Darna.)
With Jane de Leon taking on the iconic character, Roño saw the hardships that his lead star went through.
“Jane worked very hard for this series,” Roño said. “Ang problema kay Jane (The problem with Jane is), she had to balance between Narda and being Darna. Talagang mahirap (It’s really hard).”
He also pointed out that aside from playing Narda and Darna, de Leon also had to do a younger version of Narda. This means de Leon really had to play multiple roles.
“It is really a challenge for her as an actress and I think she did very well,” Roño noted.
What impressed Roño even more was that de Leon did what he asked her to do – to cut her hair.
“Kasi I’ve encountered actresses na ‘di puputulan ang buhok. In the old days, noong may prangkisa pa tayo, hindi mo puwedeng putulan ang buhok kasi may commercial, may image si Mr. M,” he recalled.
(It is because I’ve encountered actresses before who will not cut their hair. In the old days, when we still had a franchise, you cannot cut a star’s hair because they have commercials, or an image has to be maintained.)
“I am very pleased [that] not only [is] she focused, not only [does] she [concentrate], but she has done very well as an actress,” he said of de Leon.
“Darna” which also stars Iza Calzado, Joshua Garcia and Janella Salvador, among many others, premiered last week. JB