EXCLUSIVE: Zanjoe Marudo & Maja Salvador Take Their Relationship To The Next Level
To Love Some Buddy lead stars Zanjoe Marudo and Maja Salvador talk about the link between friendship and romantic relationship in this Metro.Style exclusive digital cover feature. | On Zanjoe: Button-down by Burton Menswear and trousers by Zara | On Maja: Men's blazer by Marks & Spencer and pants by Una Rosa
The movie seems to be tailor-made for their personalities. Zanjoe Marudo and Maja Salvador are known for translating their refreshing authenticity off-cam to their onscreen personas, and their first big screen project together, To Love Some Buddy, proves they have chemistry.
In the kilig-laden movie written by Jason Paul Laxamana, Maja is Faith, a hardworking marketing professional who has an unlucky streak in romance. She reaches out to and reunites with her college classmate Julius (Zanjoe), an aspiring musician who also has his share of hits and misses when it comes to his own relationship status.
The characters become the best of friends and their feelings for each other start to develop into something deeper. They try to take their friendship into a romantic relationship, but their friendship is tested by the expectations and problems that come with being in a relationship. They try to resolve these issues while trying to strengthen their commitment to each other and, at the same time, grow themselves.
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More than friends
Is it possible to fall in love with your best friend?
It is, yes, but the more apt question to ask is: is that a good thing?
Maja says it can happen, but there are factors that will affect it. “Ako, laging depende. I think it depends on the situation. It depends on the person. It does not even have to have anything to do sa itsura ng tao, it’s the personality. With my guy friends Rayver (Cruz) and Enchong (Dee), hindi naman ako na-fall, ewan ko lang sila," she laughs. Zanjoe agrees in jest, saying, “Para sa akin, oo, lalo na kung maganda o gwapo 'yung best friend!”
The jokes set the tone for the banter that would come later on at the photo shoot, showing how comfortable and close the two have become. Maja reveals that Zanjoe has become a friend, who would even message to ask how she is specially when she's traveling. She also raves about how nice the Playhouse actor is. She shares with Metro.Style, “You know that he has two other projects going on at the time, pero hindi mo mararamdaman na pagod siya. He will take time to sit with you and ask how you are doing. He treats everyone on the set the same, with respect and kindness. I have this way of sensing if a person is a good person, and naramdaman ko iyan sa kanya.”
Maja: "I think Zanjoe is my male version!"
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On Zanjoe: Blazer by Zara and jeans by Topman
Zanjoe: "Nag-enjoy akong ka-trabaho siya"
Zanjoe says he has always wanted to work with Maja, seeing how she makes a mark with every character she plays. “I was already thinking of ways on how we can work together. Buti na lang nag-match 'yung schedule namin, and I think the characters in the script are perfect for us. Shooting the movie was so easy, because nag-complement kami agad as best friends,” he tells Metro.Style. To which, Maja adds, “I think Zanjoe is my male version!”
Because of the working relationship they have established, the shooting days went by so fast—too fast, in Zanjoe’s opinion: “Nakakabitin! We finished early, and I felt that sana mas matagal pa kami nagkasama. Nag-enjoy akong ka-trabaho siya.”
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On Maja: Pants by Una Rosa
Drawing the line
On the topic of falling for a friend, Zanjoe explains, “I think it would be good for a relationship to start with friendship first, where the other person knows kung ano ang hindi maganda sa iyo and alam mo din lahat [ng tungkol] sa kanya. Maganda din 'yung hindi minamadali na dalhin sa next level. But there are times when you just can’t help but fall in love with someone right away."
He has friends who are girls, and he is thankful for them. He says, “Minsan kasi may mga bagay na hindi mo mai-kwento sa mga friends mo na guys kasi kakantyawan ka nila. I can open up to my friends who are girls and ask for their opinion on girl things.”
But here's the challenge Zanjoe experiences with his gal pals: “Lagi nalalagyan ng malisya,” he sighs and shakes his head. “I don’t know why, maybe it’s my height or how I look, but whenever my guy friends have their photos taken with their friends who are girls, wala lang. Kapag ako, nalalagyan ng malisya. This is why I am not ‘touchy’ with my friends.”
Maja: "[Falling in love with your best friend] depends on the situation. It depends on the person."
On Zanjoe: Shirt, jacket, and jeans all by Topman | On Maja: Jacket by Guess
Maja, on the other hand, opens up to her guy friends specially when she needs their opinions on relationships. She reveals it was actually a male friend who supported her during one of the toughest times in her life. “Lloydie (John Lloyd Cruz) constantly called me when I was going through a breakup. He checked up on me every day, to make sure I was okay because I was on the receiving end of so much negativity. Nag-o-offer pa siya pumunta sa set kung may nang-aaway sa akin,” she grins. The type of friendship they had is low-key, she explains, but it is definitely a solid one and one she deeply appreciates.
The thing that sets a best friend apart from casual friends is that next-level emotional connection. “Ang best friend mo, maiiyakan mo. This is a big thing [for me], because I am not very showy with my emotions, even with my family," Zanjoe admits. "A best friend is someone who will listen and not judge you, that is why you feel comfortable sharing everything. This is also one reason why you can fall for a friend, wala kasi kayong tinatago sa isa’t-isa.”
Zanjoe: "I think it would be good for a relationship to start with friendship first"
To Love Some Buddy, a Black Sheep production, is out in cinemas starting October 31, 2018.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Creative Director: Chookie Cruz
Styled by Miguel Cruz for StyleList, Inc. (Maja) and Perry Tabora, assisted by Kris Deleon (Zanjoe)
Makeup for Maja: Denise Go-Ochoa
Hairstyling for Maja: RJ dela Cruz
Grooming for Zanjoe: Jay Herrera
Video producer: Joan Ko
Videography by Berwin Coroza
Shoot assistant: Cara Tirona
Shot on location at Philippine School of Interior Design's Juxtapose exhibit at Santolan Town Plaza
Special thanks to Black Sheep PH and Tray Bien PH