Since first airing in April, the romantic drama series “Init sa Magdamag” has consistently made waves in social media, not only for the superb acting of its star-studded cast but also for its bold depiction of the sensitive yet prevailing realities of physical and marital abuse.
With the last four episodes of the series not letting up on showing just how damaging – not just physically but psychologically – this evil is, the lead cast members agree the explicit scenes they portray are necessary to drive home the point that nothing can ever justify the act.
“Sobrang risky nito [to do],” said JM de Guzman, who plays Peterson in the toprater, via virtual interview. Maraming walang boses na suffering from this. For me, para iportray yung ganung ka-sensitive na issue, malaking reponsibilidad as an actor. Hindi talaga rason na tama na manakit ng asawa kung sakaling may pagdududa ka. May thin line po doon pero pinagtulungan namin na dapat hindi talaga siya dapat ginagawa sa babae.”
On the other hand, Yam Concepcion said she understands to an extent what women like her character Rita go through as a battered wife.
“I think napakatapang ng show namin. I’m very grateful na naging parte ako ng ganitong klaseng teleserye kasi na-e-empower ang mga kababaihan. I’m not in the position to speak on behalf of battered wives because never ko naman siyang naranasan, and hindi namin alam kung ano ba talaga yung nararamdaman nila, pero [just to act it out], napakasakit at napakahirap nun. These women really have to stand up for yourself. Know your worth as a woman and a person,” she avered.
For Gerald Anderson, who portrays Tupe, he is likewise grateful to be part of a project that has a clear cause and compelling advocacy.
“Proud ako just to be part of that awareness via a whole story na nakakapagbigay ng inspiration at lakas ng loob sa mga kababaihan sa ganoong situation,” Anderson said.
“Noong una, yung sobrang pagmamahal ni Rita kay Peterson, kahit anong gawin sa kanya parang tinatanggap niya at bumabalik pa rin siya sa kanya. But the character of Rita now is becoming stronger. She stands up for herself and she found self-respect.
“Kaya sobrang relatable sa maraming babae yung show namin dahil yun yung nangyayari sa kanila sa totoong buhay. May mga nagtetext sa akin na natutuwa sila kay Rita ngayon kasi malakas na ang loob nila, fighter na sila, kaya may impact talaga [ang show] sa tao.”
In this final stretch, Init sa Magdamag will see Tupe and Rita vowing to make Peterson pay for all his sins, following his arrest for attempted murder and the death of another essential character, Miguel Salcedo (Joey Marquez).
“Ang bibigat ng eksena. Never ko pa nagawa yung ganitong character kaya as much as possible we did everything from the heart; we wanted it to be real and that’s what they will see hanggang sa pagtatapos ng Init sa Magdamag,” Concepcion promised.
Undoubtedly a daunting role to deliver, the lead actress admitted how challenging the entire series has been.
“Of course, napapagod ka din,” she acknowledged. “I lean on tiwala sa sarili, dasal, tulungan sa set and in trusting our director. [No matter how difficult it gets], you have no choice but to go on because it’s your job, and has such an important message to bring,” she ended.