EXCLUSIVE: Why You Shouldn’t Miss JM de Guzman And Rhian Ramos’ “Kung Paano Siya Nawala”
When its trailer was released late last month, Kung Paano Siya Nawala and its stars and co-executive producers JM de Guzman and Rhian Ramos were warmly received, with netizens expressing their high hopes for the film as well as their appreciation for its intent to offer a unique plot.
“I hope the locals won’t sleep on this gem.”
“When Shana said ‘kahit naman makalimutan mo 'yung tao 'yung pinaramdam niya sa'yo hindi mo naman makakalimutan 'yun diba?’ Grabe I felt that.”
“Wow, this looks good. Good chemistry of the leads + interesting storyline. I’ll definitely watch this one.”
It’s been a week since Kung Paano Siya Nawala was shown in over 100 cinemas nationwide, the buzz hasn’t died down yet, and for good reason. No, it’s not just the foreign-sounding “face blindness” angle that got people talking—the talent, passion, and rawness of its lead actors are also commendable.
JM and Rhian both agree that the movie has a story that, despite being extraordinary, one is likely to come across with. The plotline, while unique, also manages to explore that universal feeling of going through the rollercoaster journey of love. Love, as they know it, is vague and familiar at the same time. When the actors themselves were asked separately, “Paano siya nawala?,” it may or may not be coincidental that they gave the same answers.
“Ikaw kasi, e” she says, pointing to herself.
“Ako kasi, e,” he says.
It tackles a real neurological disorder.
“When I tell people the story, it always sounds like a foreign thing to them. They’re like, ‘Is face blindness a real thing in this world or is it made up?’ I say, ‘No no no, it’s real,’” shares Rhian, who plays the role of Shana, a free-spirited woman. It’s an interesting twist that instantly piques people’s interest and curiosity, but the film tackles more than just this rare condition called Prosopagnosia—and that’s how your curiosity will easily turn into an appreciation.
It tackles an extraordinary love story that everyone can relate to somehow.
At its core is a love story—the boy-meets-girl scenario we so love. But the movie digs deeper, revealing that side of a person that’s vulnerable, where one really opens up and exposes his or her biggest flaws and insecurities. The deepest, darkest secrets. You accept that the life your partner leads is imperfect. Still, despite all these deal breakers, you both try your best to pull through. Against all odds. No matter what it takes.
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Its plot is something the actors truly feel strongly about, resulting to more effective portrayals.
“Mas naging vulnerable ako sa pelikula na ‘to. Mas nag-require ng vulnerability,” JM describes his experience playing the character of Lio, who suffers from face blindness. “Akala ko talaga ako ‘yung pinaparinggan nu’ng script. ‘Yung mga unresolved issues niya, insecurities niya, pagiging seloso, medyo malapit sa’kin. It’s very familiar.”
Rhian feels the same way as well, admitting that she also couldn’t help but let some of her quirks in a relationship show. She confesses, “I think the only way that you can show that two people are intimate is if they bring out their flaws to one another. If they keep the flaws safe kasi, that’s not intimacy at all. This project really required me to put in whatever nasty, dirty side that I have. I have to put it there. All of my flaws are in her na.”
More than just encountering someone with a quirk, Kung Paano Siya Nawala is made to make you feel.
With numerous TV shows and films under their belt, JM and Rhian are no strangers to this type of genre. The experience of browsing through the script of this film, however, is different this time around. “Minsan, kapag nabasa mo ‘yung script, parang may mararamdaman ka after na gusto mo ‘yung gawin, parang may magnet. So ‘yung unang basa ko pa lang, ganu’n na agad ‘yung na-feel ko. I fell in love with the story and the character,” JM tells Metro.Style. Rhian, who first knew about the plot from director Joel Ruiz himself a couple of years ago, instantly said “yes” to the project. “I was so touched and inspired by it na I just really wanted to do it right away,” the 28-year-old actress says.
It offers a fresh pairing and shows the unmistakable chemistry between JM and Rhian.
Kung Paano Siya Nawala is not just JM and Rhian’s first film together, it’s also the first time they have worked with each other.
Rhian says it’s “a dream come true,” to have the opportunity to work with the That Thing Called Tadhana actor. It was a great experience for her. “I feel like our styles are different but complement each other,” Rhian shares. “I’m an actor who wants to get as much information as possible to make my decisions in a scene clearer. His style, he’s trying to do something to you and your emotions. There’s zero percent chance na you’re going to leave the scene unaffected.” JM, on the other hand, feels blessed to have worked with the actress as well. He says Rhian is one-of-a-kind, and he loves how passionate and positive she is.
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It shines the spotlight on the talent of JM and Rhian behind the camera.
As both JM and Rhian got more and more into the characters of Lio and Shana, the two of them are happy to have found a friend in each other. As co-executive producers of the film as well, the unrelenting passion they have for their craft is palpable.
Bringing all these to the table leaves the audience with a lot of lessons, whatever the state of their hearts may be. For JM, fully loving yourself is the film’s main message. Rhian, on the other hand, quipped that her main takeaway from Kung Paano Siya Nawala is about being braver in taking risks in life—especially if it’s for you and the person you truly love.
If you haven’t seen Kung Paano Siya Nawala yet, the tandem shares their favorite scenes that you should look forward to—the parts that, for them, are true eye-openers.
“It’s the scene at the bar where Lio realizes na it’s not just an attraction, he’s in love with her na. It’s a pivotal, oh-my-god-everything-just-changed kind of moment,” she says.
“For me, ‘yung una nilang meet-up. Du’n nag-start ang lahat, and feeling ko napaka-raw nu’n,” he says.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by NicePrint
Creative direction by Chookie Cruz
Makeup by Robbie Piñera (Rhian)
Hairstyling by Mycke Arcano (Rhian)
Grooming by Luis Bunag (JM)
Styling by Gelie Manansala (Rhian) and David Milan (JM)
Shot on location at The Concept Room Studio
Special thanks to Ms. Thess Gubi of Star Magic