Mark Sicat Dela Cruz, the director of the series Heartful Cafe that premieres tonight on GMA, believes that chemistry between two actors, most especially in a romantic comedy, is a magical connection that makes the audience feel the characters’ emotions.
In Heartful Cafe, which sees the fresh pairing of singer-actress Julie Anne San Jose and actor-model David Licauco, Mark notices a believable attraction between the lead characters. And for him, it makes the series even more beautiful and exciting.
“This pairing is so special because they trust each other. Onscreen, they have each other’s back,” Mark shares with Manila Standard Entertainment in a virtual interview.
“It’s my first time to direct Julie and David, pero kinikilig ako. They have strong chemistry and I didn’t have any hard time making that appear on screen,” he adds.
The original series introduces Julie as Heart Fulgencio, an online romance novelist, and coffee enthusiast who owns a cozy and quaint cafe called The Heartful Cafe, and David as Ace Nobleza, a competitive and goal-driven businessman who takes an interest in Heart's cafe.
Set in a coffee shop located inside a university campus, The Heartful Cafe is more than just a stomping ground for coffee drinkers; rather, it’s a place where all the magic happens. Despite having experienced heartbreak herself, Heart enjoys playing cupid for her customers who seek help regarding matters of the heart. When her cafe turns into shambles, Ace Nobleza, a handsome co-investor comes into her life and rescues her.
“We are serving love in a cup,” Julie starts. “The story is very light. I believe that makes this program really relevant. Everyone needs something easy to watch right now.”
Julie shares that she is both excited and challenged to be acting again, "It's really good to be back doing a series, it’s exciting and challenging. I’m excited kasi ang ganda ng story ng Heartful Cafe, may new set of actors na makaka-work ako, and of course production team na bago rin. It’s also challenging because of our current situation na new normal. We have limitations and we have to follow safety protocols."
Apart from the romance and comedy elements of the series, David believes that viewers can also learn a thing or two about business management, “Not only 'yung mga tao matutuwa dahil romantic-comedy siya, it’s light, I think the audience will learn to be passionate when it comes to business, be goal-driven and hardworking kasi 'yung mga characters sa show ay talagang very focused sa ginagawa nila."
Adding flavor to the series are EA Guzman, Ayra Mariano, Victor Anastacio, Angel Guardian, Zonia Mejia, and Jamir Zabarte.
Heartful Cafe airs right after First Yaya, on GMA Network. It will also be simultaneously aired on GMA Heart of Asia.
Viewers abroad can also watch the series via GMA's flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV. For the program guide, visit www.gmapinoytv.com.