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Maris and Anthony on Bidding Goodbye to SnoRene: “It’s Bittersweet”

“Can’t Buy Me Love” Stars Maris Racal and Anthony Jennings talked about their breakthrough love team and what they’re looking forward to as the series came to a close

Who would’ve thought that Snoop and Irene, the unlikely pair from Can’t Buy Me Love, will catapult to fame? The chemistry is just unmatched, and viewers couldn’t help but ship “SnoRene.” When the love team finally sailed, it raked in an impressive following, capturing the hearts of many and tagging them along on a rollercoaster journey.

It’s true, Snoop Manansala (Anthony Jennings) and Irene Tiu (Maris Racal) would go on cat-and-dog fights every now and then, but that’s the very charm of this dynamic duo. The enemies-turned-lovers are only proof that no matter one’s status and personality in life, if love intervenes, anything is possible.

Anthony’s character Snoop hails from humble origins. He has a few antics up his sleeve, and is a happy-go-lucky guy who’s just as street-smart as his friend Bingo Rivera (Donnny Pangilinan). Living in poverty, Snoop sure knows how to go about life and its ups and downs, bouncing back from rock bottom if need be.

On the other hand, Irene—Caroline Tiu’s (Belle Mariano) half-sister—played by Maris, is one to complain about the littlest “problems” that life throws at her. She is straightforward to the bones, and does things her own way, even sometimes at the expense of others. She doesn’t give in easily, and grumbles at the slightest inconvenience.

At first, Anthony wasn’t sure of their characters’ trajectory. He can only think of their individual chops, but little did he know that SnoRene would inflate into a well-loved tandem. “Nu’ng medyo tumagal na na nakikita na namin na ’yung numbers [naumaangat after nu’ng sa poop scene, du’n na namin na-realize naah, baka mayru’n kaming something,’” he told Metro.Style.

Maris, similarly, didn’t once think that SnoRene will fare beyond her expectation. “Pagka-start ng show, we were told na mayru’n palang makaka-love interest ’yung characters namin. Ako, akala ko talaga, ‘my God, this is my kontrabida era.’ ‘Villain era ’to!’ Pero sobrang opposite pala ng mangyayari kasi all of us didn’t expect [na sisikat ang SnoRene].”

“I think because ’yung mga scenes namin ay super close sa reality—kung pa’no nagkakamabutihan ’yung mga tao. And I think ang daming Pinoy na naka-relate sa kung anuman ’yung mga eksena namin, ’yung rapport namin, especially the humor of the scene—’yung mga jokes, punchlines,” she explained. 

“Situational-wise and humor-wise, sobrang majority ng Filipinos, nakaka-relate. So ayun, maybe that’s why [SnoRene became popular].”

Anthony, meanwhile, thought highly of Snoop and Irene. According to him, their characters’ traits are perhaps one of the reasons why people loved to consume their on-screen partnership.

“Well, si Snoop kasi, siguro lahat naman ng alam ’yan, makaka-relate sa kaniyalalo na ’yung mga taga-Binondo,” he told us. “Simple lang naman, e. Siguro ’yun nga, si Snoop kasi, parang normal na mamamayan, nagtatrabaho. Feeling ko, mabilis naka-pick up ’yung tao sa kaniya. And si Irene naman, sa kaniya, ganu’n din. Maarte siya, e.”

Maris definitely attests to what Anthony claimed. She is confident that Irene would tug at the heartstrings, because she is real, raw, and flawed like most of us. 

Para makaapak sa shoes ni Irene, minahal ko muna siya at parang inintindi ko bakit siya ganu’n. Anong reason, bakit siya maarte? Bakit siya maarte, bakit siya masungit?” Maris recalled. “She was kind of very selfish at first. Ta’s lagi niyang iniisip ’yung sarili niya before anybody else. So inintindi ko [kung] bakit, kung ano’ng pinanggalingan nu’n.”

“Very sarcastic kasi ’yung role niya—’yung character niya. Tapos kahit sino ka man, kaya ka niyang i-joke. “Kahit emergency na, kahit seryoso, kaya niyang mag-joke. That’s me!”

Anthony, in the same vein, was able to establish a connection with his character. “Ako din, kinalakihan ko din ’yung [kinalakihan ni Snoop]. Alam ko ’yung pinagdaanan ng ganu’ng klaseng tao.”

When asked what their most difficult scenes are, however, Snoop replied: “Well, lahat naman ng ginawa naming eksena, naging mahirap naman, e. The way na parang pa’no namin siya ginawa, feeling ko, ’yun ’yung masayang part.”

Maris butted in, “May mga times din na hindi kami happy, na parang may mga scenes napuwede pa ’yun, e.’ Puwede pang pagandahin. But move on to the next na lang na eksena para matapos.”

Looking back on their scenes together, Maris and Anthony disclosed that most of their famous quips and lines like the iconic “mama mo” is actually just made-up and wasn’t originally served on the script. After all, improvising helped them elevate the kilig atmosphere.

“Well, with the help of the story and the script, [we were able to pull it off]. Du’n naman kasi kami nagbe-base talaga,” Maris stated. “You know, nag-a-add lang ’yung flavor namin.”

With their positive attitude and professionalism, Maris and Anthony (who many ship as “MaThon” now) also had a good collaborative experience even off-camera. Anthony praises Maris for her talent, and he emphasized that he truly had a great time with the actress.

“’Yung pagka-professional ni Maris [ang nagustuhan ko sa kaniya]. Magaling talaga si Maris. Ang galing niyang magsalitakung pa’no siya sa interviews,” he declared.

Maris, on the other end, felt the same. In her words: “Masaya siyang katrabaho kasi masunurin siya. Hindi naman masunurin. I think the perfect word would be ‘collaborative.’ ‘Yung work is work [para kay Anthony]. And alam niya ”yung mga kailangan sa scene, kailangan sa work.”

As to what they will miss most about the hit teleserye, Maris responded emotionally. To her, there are two things that she will never forget about the show.

“It’s a very bittersweet moment but more of, you know, mas happy ako,” she started off. “Ang ganda ng ending and also, it’s a show that allowed everyone [to] shine. “Lahat ng characters, minahal at kinainisan ng mga tao, because they were that invested.”

“Hats off to the writers and the team behind Can’t Buy Me Love, kasi lahat ng character—even up to the minsan lang lumabashinahanap pa rin.”

While it hasn’t fully sunk in yet, the ending of Can’t Buy Me Love left Maris and Anthony in a bittersweet situation. 

Anthony is looking forward to making more projects with Maris, and Maris eyes hanging out with her fellow castmates even after CBML. “Iba talaga ”yung sa bonding namin ng Tiu family. Kahit na napaka-vile at problematic at toxic ng family namin, us behind the scenes are the total opposite of that,” Maris concluded, saying that it is the people from CBML that she will always remember dearly.

“I’m happy ’cause I was blessed with an extra family. They’re home, when I think about it. So sila ’yung pinaka mami-miss ko.”

Interview and lead photos by Mika Yusay

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