- Jane de Leon was emotional after knowing she won the role of Darna
- It was announced to her during her meeting with the ABS-CBN Executives
- She will now undergo training
Jane de Leon could not hold back her emotions when she was told she won the role of Darna for the upcoming movie adaptation of Mars Ravelo iconic superheroine during a meeting with ABS-CBN Executives.
Among over 200 auditionees from the country, she bagged the role via unanimous decision according to director Jerrold Tarog. He also added that the management wanted a new face to take on the task of reintroducing Darna to a new generation.
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In a video uploaded by Star Cinema on July 11, Thursday, she was first seen explaining how she would be committed to giving justice to Darna, saying she can “surrender all” for the iconic comics character.
“Iyong desire pati ‘yung heart ko po talaga ay nandoon po kay Darna,” she said.
In a meeting attended by ABS-CBN executives, Jane thought that it was just another callback.
And when ABS-CBN Films managing director Olivia Lamasan asked the question: “Are you ready for the responsibility, Jane? Tinatanggap mo na ba ang bato?”
The young actress was shocked for a while before she delivered her answer.
“Wait lang po… Yes po. Oh my God,” Jane said.
She then laid her head down on the table and cried tears of joy.
“Ayan hinimatay na si Darna. Sige compose yourself,” the director jested.
ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak was also confident that Jane could portray the iconic role.
“Congrats, kayang kaya mo ‘yan,” the ABS-CBN CEO congratulated Jane.
“Today is the beginning of the rest of your life,” she was told by ABS-CBN chief content officer Charo Santos-Concio, as she went around the room to thank everyone.
The 20-year-old actress is known for her supporting role in the hit primetime series Halik. She was also a former member of Girltrends, an all-girl dance group of It’s Showtime.
She replaced Liza Soberano who backed out from the role due to her finger injury.
Jane admitted that she used to admire the character of Darna during her grade school days. she would run around their house pretending to fly wearing a plastic winged headpiece she bought at a wet market.
The actress said that she first auditioned for the villain but changed it when she was told she was fit for the role of Darna.
And after passing several auditions, she finally met the ABS-CBN bosses.
“Una, confused ako at kinakabahan kung bakit nila ako pinatawag. Una kong naisip, ‘Is this real? Totoo ba ‘to?’ Sobrang speechless ako na parang nag-buffer ‘yung utak ko. Hindi pa nag-si-sink in sa’kin pero I’m so happy and excited,” she said.
She is now prepping up for the role and her fitness regime of choice was Muay Thai. She said that she needs to gain weight and tone up.
But beyond this being a win for her career, Jane shared that she wants to use this huge platform she earned to promote her advocacy of mental health awareness.
“Gusto kong matulungan yung mga kabataan at ‘yung ibang tao rin na nakaka-experience ng depression and anxiety,” she said.
She revealed that she suffered from both and explained that overcoming them was not as easy as it can be.
“It’s not that easy kasi kinakain ka talaga ng depression and anxiety,” she said. “But kailangan mo talaga siyang labanan.
“You need someone to talk to. Iyan yung pinaka-kailangan kasi syempre ‘yung iba, takot silang i-share. Pero you need someone to lean on lang talaga and to understand. Iyan yung pinaka-importante, yung hindi ka iju-judge.”
When asked whom she relates to more between Narda and Darna, she answered that Narda and herself are similar for they are both “fragile” beings.
“Si Darna kasi syempre strong siya. She’ll do anything to save the people. Pero si Narda kaya rin niyang magsakripisyo, especially para sa mga mahal niya sa buhay,” she said.
ABS-CBN Films consultant Malou Santos said that Jane was a perfect fit for the role as their goal was to choose someone young with an air of innocence and strength of character.