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FranSeth on “Dirty Linen” and Teaming Up for the First Time

Francine Diaz and Seth Fedelin talk about their love team and their latest revenge thriller series “Dirty Linen”

Through the star-studded series Dirty Linen, Francine Diaz and Seth Fedelin have finally found footing as a first-time official tandem. The two, who star in the revenge series as Nico and Chiara, take on a challenging ecosystem as their careers suddenly expanded from being Francine and Seth to becoming “FranSeth.” Full bloom is about to begin as the duo becomes a fan favorite.

Newly-minted, FranSeth now marks its first milestone, leading the series alongside Zanjoe Marudo and Janine Gutierrez. Starting off strong as couples on-screen, Francine and Seth challenge themselves to bring only the best to the table, especially with the opportunity and honor to work with no less than actors like Joel Torre, Janice De Belen, John Arcilla, Tessie Tomas, Epy Quizon, and Angel Aquino.

An "awkward" atmosphere

As he flips another chapter of his acting career, Seth finds it both a blessing and a challenge to team up with Francine. “Agad-agad kong tinanggap nu’ng sinabi nilang may gagawin [kami]. Sino ba naman ako para tumanggi?” the actor says.

With his stint in the famous series Kadenang Ginto and being hatched as one of the official members of the quartet “Gold Squad” with Andrea Brillantes, Kyle Echarri, and Francine Diaz, Seth may have found the unfolding of FranSeth uncomfortable at first.

Fresh from his first showbiz pairing with Andrea Brillantes in the teenage-oriented TV offering Lyric and Beat, Seth shares with Metro.Style, “Nu’ng nalaman ko na after Lyric and Beat mayro’n akong gagawin with Francine, hindi kami literal na nag-usap. Hindi namin pinag-usapan ’yun, so kapaan kami. Nag-usap lang kami [ni Francine] nu’ng in-announce nanu’ng mismong araw na in-announce sa public na may gagawin na bagong series.”

While Francine thinks that it is heaven-sent, the actress also sees Dirty Linen as a challenging project. “Last year ko lang po nalaman—actually—kay Direk Lauren [Dyogi] na mayro’n po akong gagawing show and hindi ko po alam pa nu’n kung sino ’yung mga makakasama ko,” she starts off. “I was very nervous kasi feeling ko, ang tagal kong hindi umarte and drama siya agad.”

Mabigat ’yung story ng Dirty Linen,” Francine continues. But the great feedback on the show motivates her to do better. Francine admitted she was nervous about her team-up with Seth, but was pleasantly surprised by how viewers embraced them. “Actually, nagulat din po kami kasi nu’ng una, we were expecting na mas i-ba-bash kami, ’cause we all know naman kung ano’ng pinanggalingan [namin]. Lagi naman din po namin ’tong sinasabi and we’re very honest about it—na awkward kami [ni Seth].”

Since Francine and Seth make a tandem now, a whole new niche awaits them as artists. “Hindi kami sanay na mayro’n kaming mga eksena na kilig-kilig and kami lang din dalawa. Iba rin po kasi ’yung characters namin dito sa Dirty LinenHindi na siya ’yung basta love team lang. Mayro’ng hugot ’yung characters namin and may mas malaking revelation in the end,” Francine explains.

Similarly, it was a struggle for Seth, too, to transition as Francine’s on-screen partner. He tells us, “Kasi nga, first time namin. Kasi dati, hindi naman kami nagkaka-eksena na kaming dalawa [lang], tapos wala kaming mga sweet moments sa eksena. Walang ganu’n! Apat kami, e. Gold Squad kami.” Being trimmed down to two, Seth brings to our attention that the adjustment period, to him, was no picnic. “Parang every time [na] gagawin namin ’yung eksena, natatawa kami,” he remembers.

On the other hand, Francine opens up to us: “Since it’s our first time na magkatrabaho as a love team, hindi pa namin mahanap po siguro ’yung tamang formula na mas maging komportable pa, but right now po, masasabi ko naman na kahit papa’no, pumupunta na kami du’n,” Francine replies, when asked about the current strength of her connection with Seth. “Mas nagiging smooth na kapag magkasama kami sa isang scene.”

Starting off strong

Despite the duo’s awkward beginning, a shared bond allowed the two young talents to break their barriers. In terms of outliving each other’s tension, in fact, Seth takes his co-star as “mabait,” totoo,” and “sobrang kulit na nakakatawa” whenever he is with her. “Kapag off-cam,” he chimes in, “masaya kami, kulitan kami, tawanan kami, kuwentuhan kami. Sabay kaming kumakain minsan.”

According to Seth, working with Francine appeals to him in such a way that striking up a conversation with her is a cumbersome task no more. “Tipikal na magkaibigan—open kami kung ano’ng mga nangyari sa araw namin. Usap lang kami. Ni-ra-run namin ’yung mga lines namin, then naghahanap kami ng mga p’wedeng way kung pa’no ma-e-execute ’yun nang maganda.” From the get-go, Seth trusts that the need to maintain a positive attitude is also a powerful spice to any concoction.

Kapaan kami, then tulungan kami ni Francine. Hanggang ngayon, pinag-aaralan pa rin namin ’yung mga kiliti [namin] as an actor. ’Yun ’yung mga inaaral pa namin ngayon dahil dalawa lang kami dito, so kami ’yung pair dito. Kami ’yung magka-partner.” When Francine asked her at the start if they could pull off the project, Seth actually pushed the actress. “Kaya natin ’to, patunayan natin!”

A self-confessed serial overthinker, Francine tends to overanalyze things whenever she is shooting a scene with Seth. “Ano ba dapat? Dapat ba, mag-hug tayo sa eksena na ’to? What should we do? Kailangan ba, eye-to-eye tayo lagihindi ko ba tatanggalin ’yung tingin ko sa’yo?” she enacts, sampling an instance where she sweats every detail. “Sobrang hirap kasi hindi kami sanay na ginagawa ko ’yung kilig eksena with him and ’di rin siya sanay na sa’kin niya ginagawa ’yung mga kilig na da moves niya.”

Kapag on the set, talagang gagawin namin kung ano’ng pinapagawa,” Francine says. Helming the show with Seth, Zanjoe Marudo and Janine Gutierrez, Francine is hopeful that their partnership will see progress as they tackle their respective roles. “Ibibigay namin ’yung best namin kasi gusto naming mabigyan ng justice siyempre ’yung story,” she avows. “Grabe rin ’yung pinanggalingan ng love team namin, ekung pa’no kami nabuo.”

While Francine sometimes feels that she carries the weight of the world, Seth is the cosmic force that shields her from that impact. “Si Seth po kasi, he’s a very funny guy,” Francine giggles. “Friends kami and mas napag-uusapan namin nang maigi ’yung mga bawat detalye ng eksena. ’Pag alam niyang kinakabahan na ’ko sa isang eksena namin, siya ’yung parang nagsasabi parati na, ‘Kaya ’yan. Kumalma ka lang. I got you!’”

FranSeth was a pairing once dreamt up by the fans, but look where they are today—loving each other’s existence. “Nakakatulong po kasi funny siya, e, so parang nawawala ’yung kaba ko and ’yung pag-o-overthink ko sa mga eksena namin,” Francine shares with us, saying that Seth is the comic relief that cheers her up. “Sobrang laking tulong niya kapag nagpapatawa siya.

Together, there is a unanimous understanding and equilibrium that balances Francine and Seth. To Francine, Seth is the ever-funny, lighthearted young lad who finds joy in every jitter; to Seth, happiness is hardcore whenever he is around the actress. “Hindi siya mahirap [ka-trabaho] dahil nga magkaibigan kami ni Francine. Sobrang cooperative namin sa isa’t-isa,” Seth adds. “’Pag walang camera, masaya! Masaya siya, masaya [siyang kasama].”

Top-billed by Kapamilya talents Janine Gutierrez (Alexa Salvacion/Mila Dela Cruz), Zanjoe Marudo (Aidan Fiero), Francine Diaz (Chiara Fiero), and Seth Fedelin (Nico Sinag), Dirty Linen follows the story of the Fiero family, whose secrets are linked to the death of a laundrywoman (Dolly de Leon) who served in their household. 

Produced by Dreamscape Entertainment, Dirty Linen screens on primetime and can be watched through these channels: Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC, and TFC. Directed by Onat Diaz and Andoy Ranay, ABS-CBN’s new “dirty” series tackles society’s injustices, the ills that plague Filipino families, political antics, an array of familial issues, and friendships.

Get a glimpse of FranSeth’s scenes in the revenge series:

Lead photos from @dreamscapeph