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Tugging at the heartstrings

Ken Chan to warm hearts via new soap

By Neil Ramos

With soap operas, it’s al­most always about eliciting emotional response from a giv­en audience and nothing does it better than employing the usual api-apihan characters.

ken chan

It is in this manner that “My Special Tatay,” GMA7’s new­est teleserye on the Afternoon Prime block, could be classified well, wholly traditional.

Nothing wrong with that, of course; it is, after all, a propos to demand.

“My Special Tatay” has Ken Chan playing the role of Boyet, a man with Mild Au­tism Spectrum Disorder. His life turns upside down when he finds out that he fathered a child.

Note the network had previ­ously aired a similar series in 2015 called “Little Nanay” fea­turing Kris Bernal.

In it, Bernal, played the role

of a girl with intellectual dis­ability who gets pregnant.

But if “My Special Tatay” director, Lord Alvin “LA” Ma­dridejos, is to be believed, there is marked difference: the severity of the lead char­acter’s conditions.

Severe kasi ‘yung sa char­acter ni Kris noon, while itong kay Ken naman, mild lang,” he explained.

Therein, he said, lay the challenge.

“Unlike other soap operas kung saan puwedeng umiyak lang ‘yung character depende sa eksena, dito hindi ganun, may mga limitations dahil nga sa condition ng character ni Ken,” he said, noting how they would often try different ap­proaches in shooting scenes for the character.

“It’s time-consuming,” he added. “Napakahirap actually, lalo na kay Ken. Pero kailan­gan eh. Siyempre ayaw na­man namin ng basta-basta na lang.”

To make sure they are do­ing it right, show producers employed a real-life psychia­trist as consultant to ensure proper representation of Boyet.

“Kailangan akma sa con­dition niya ang maipalabas namin, mahirap na,” Madride­jos said.

Indeed.

In any case, Chan is happy to have landed a significant role that could rival his most successful TV foray, “Destiny Rose.”

He said, “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa GMA dahil ipinag­katiwala sa akin ang proyek­tong ito. Sobra po akong ex­cited dahil nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na gampanan ang isa na namang napaka­gandang karakter.”

Chan is pressured to do good in his performance as Boyet.

“Dahil kailangan nating ipaintindi sa viewers kung ano ba talaga ang pinag­daraanan ng mga taong may intellec­tual disability eh,” he said.

Aside from acting work­shops, the tal­ented Kapuso ac­tor together with the production and creative teams of the soap underwent im­mersion to experi­ence and understand better the condition of people with mild intellectual disability.

“My Special Tatay” starts airing today on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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