Jodi Sta. Maria as Dra. Jill Ilustre in the The Broken Marriage Vow

The Broken Marriage Vow is the Pinoy remake of the Brit show Doctor Foster

AN act of betrayal sets the stage for the new drama series The Broken Marriage Vow, which premieres on Jan. 24 on various platforms.

Directed by Concepcion Macatuno and Andoy Ranay, ABS-CBN’s The Broken Marriage Vow is the Philippine adaptation of the original BBC series Doctor Foster (2015), about a woman who has an almost perfect life as a happily married woman, mother, and trusted medical practitioner, until her husband begins acting suspicious, then she uncovers secrets of her husband’s affair.

The original BBC series has already been adapted in France, Russia, India, South Korea, and currently in Turkey. The Philippine adaptation was first announced in April 2021.

In the local version, Jodi Sta. Maria stars as Dra. Jill Ilustre, a headstrong woman who refuses to play the victim following her husband’s betrayal.

“Dra. Jill Ilustre is a woman whose top priority is her family. She’s a loving mother, an attentive wife, a compassionate person who really cares for her patients. Her personality is anchored on love, which is what makes her character relatable,” Ms. Sta. Maria said at an online press conference on Jan. 14.

Zanjoe Marudo plays Dra. Jill’s husband, David Ilustre, whose affair with a younger woman, Lexy (played by Sue Ramirez) destroys his family.

When Mr. Marudo was offered the role, he immediately knew that he would be playing a character that would trigger strong emotions from the audience.

“When we were shooting, I polished my approach. I set a goal to somehow make the audience understand why he acted that way,” Mr. Marudo said Filipino, in a separate online press conference on Jan. 11.

Both lead actors saw the BBC series and Korean adaptation, The Life of the Married (2020) as references for their characters. They then approached their characters in the context of a Filipino couple and family.

Pinanood ko siya para hindi ko ulitin kung ano ’yung ginawa nila. Ang gusto kong ipakita at iparamdam sa tao [ay] kung paano maging tatay at asawa [in the Philippine context] (I watched the adaptations so I would not repeat what they had done. What I want to show people is how to be a father and husband),” Mr. Marudo said.

“When something is so close to home, I have a tendency to react as myself. But I am not acting as Jodi. I can just use that experience and react the way [Dra.] Jill would react in a certain situation,” Ms. Sta. Maria said.

She acknowledged co-star Angeli Bayani for introducing her to the Meisner acting technique, developed by American theater practitioner Sanford Meisner, which focuses on using the immediate environment for stimulus to react to a situation.

“The challenge for us as actors is to put an interesting twist, add another layer to the character,” Ms. Sta. Maria said.

Rattled by David’s betrayal, Jill behaves in destructive ways and becomes obsessed with revenge, affecting people around her including her son Gio (played by Zaijian Jaranilla).

“You are just suddenly hijacked by your emotions. And when you are too emotional about something, you cannot think logically. And out of hurt and pain, nakakagawa siya ng mga bagay na hindi mo iisispin na magagawa ng katulad niya (she can do things that you would not think that someone like her could do),” Ms. Sta. Maria said of her character’s decisions.

While filming the upcoming series, Ms. Sta. Maria said she learned that “our lives are moving in the direction of our decisions” and people around us.

“There is always life after a heartbreak,” she said.

Also in the cast of The Broken Marriage Vow are Jane Oineza, Angeli Bayani, Bianca Manalo, Ketchup Eusebio, Rachel Alejandro, Art Acuña, Empress Schuck, Joem Bascon, Brent Manalo, Malou Crisologo, Franco Laurel, Sandino Martin, Lao Rodriguez, Jet Gaitan, Jie Anne Armero, Migs Almendras, Avery Clyde, JB Agustin, Susan Africa and Ronnie Lazaro.

The entire series was shot in Baguio City.

The Broken Marriage Vow will be aired on Jan. 22 on iWantTFC and Viu, two days before TV broadcast premiere on Jan. 24, 8:40 p.m. on the Kapamilya Channel, TV5, A2Z, and on Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, and TFC.  — Michelle Anne P. Soliman