Mexican superstar Thalía was thrilled to meet Kapamilya actress Jessy Mendiola, who is taking on a role she first made popular in the early ’90s. Thalía, whose real name is Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda, met Mendiola for the first time through a video chat arranged by the current affairs program “Tapatan ni Tunying” in its episode aired Thursday.
Mendiola was introduced by ABS-CBN anchor Anthony Taberna as the program’s birthday gift to Thalia, who turned 42 last August 26. “Everyone still loves you here!” an overjoyed Mendiola told Thalía.
The Mexican singer-actress went on to congratulate Mendiola for being tapped to play “Maria Mercedes” in an upcoming ABS-CBN remake of the telenovela which starred Thalía.
Mendiola is the fourth Filipina actress to become a ‘successor’ to the international star, with actresses Marian Rivera and Carla Abellana playing the title characters in the GMA-7 remakes of “Marimar” and “Rosalinda,” respectively. Kapamilya star, Erich Gonzales, meanwhile, became “Maria la del Barrio” in the ABS-CBN adaptation of the hit soap.
Referring to the Philippine remakes of her series, Thalía said, “I’m so glad because it keeps them fresh, it keeps them updated and it keeps them current in terms of what it is right now, the soap opera world”.
The actress dubbed “Reyna ng Telenovela” recalled the massive success of the original shows, specifically the trilogy featuring her as a character named Maria, “Marimar”, “Maria Mercedes” and “Maria la del Barrio”. “I’d have to say we made history with [that trilogy]. The first trilogy in the history of soap operas”, she said.
Pertaining to “Maria Mercedes” in particular, Thalía continued, “It was surprising, at that time, the ratings that we made. It was historical. The ratings were unheard of at the time, and because of that soap opera, I traveled the world”.
The telenovela is said to be the first TV series to be shown in some 120 countries with corresponding translations per territory. For the Philippine remake of “Maria Mercedes”, Mendiola earlier said several changes were made to cater to its target audience’s taste.
“Maraming changes dito. Same pa rin ‘yung basic flow but maraming parang iniba ng konti para ma-adapt siya sa pagiging Pinoy”, she said. Joining Mendiola in the upcoming Kapamilya series are Jake Cuenca, Jason Abalos, Vina Morales, Dominic Ochoa, Nadia Montenegro and Vivian Velez. It is directed by Rechie del Carmen.