“Ganito ang comeback.”
Actress Janella Salvador will be portraying superheroine Darna’s archenemy in the highly-anticipated television adaptation of Mars Ravelo’s popular comic book series.
ABS-CBN reported that the 23-year-old artist will play serpent queen Valentina and her human alter-ego, lawyer-vlogger Regina, in “Mars Ravelo’s Darna: The TV Series.”
Valentina is known for having venomous snakes on her head.
Her character is inspired by Medusa, a Greek snake-haired gorgon who is also described as a beautiful mortal.
Janella was handpicked by acclaimed filmmaker Chito Roño, the series’ director, from the talented artists who auditioned for the sought-after supervillain role.
“First of all, I am very, very honored to be chosen among the many actresses who auditioned for this role. I am sure they are equally as amazing and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chito Roño and ABS-CBN for giving me the opportunity to portray this iconic role,” she said in the “Valentina” reveal video.
“I promise to live up to everyone’s expectations but also make it my own,” Janella.
The actress said that Valentina is an empowered woman in the series.
“I like her because she’s smart, she’s an intellectual. Kaya na-in love ako sa role na ito because she actually does have a good heart, hindi lang nagagamit sa tamang paraan. So abangan niyo na lang kung paano ‘yon,” Janella shared in the video.
“Siguro aabangan niyo, mapapamahal din kayo kay Valentina. Hindi niyo ini-expect pero mapapamahal kayo sa kanya. Like I said, she has a good heart. Tama ‘yung pinaglalaban niya sa buhay. Pero siyempre, may pitik din tayo minsan. So abangan niyo ‘yon,” she added.
This is the first time that the actress will play an antagonist role in her career, which she admitted is “very exciting” for her.
Janella said that she has started taping for the series but has yet to train for her action scenes.
When the Kapamilya network announced the cast members of “Darna” last month, the actress who would portray the villainess was not yet revealed to the public.
Some Filipinos shared their own bets for the villainess role such as Ivana Alawi, Sofia Andres, Lovi Poe, Janine Gutierrez, Julia Barretto, Jessy Mendiola, Dimples Romana and Heaven Peralejo.
Janella will star in the series alongside titular lead Jane de Leon.
Zaijan Jaranilla, Joshua Garcia, Iza Calzado and Mark Manicad are also included in the cast.
Mark’s character is described as the “right hand of Regina/Valentina.”
Meanwhile, Twitter users were happy about Janella’s new role. This is also considered her first television project after taking a year-long hiatus.
“GANTOOO ANGGG COMEEEEBACKKK,” a fan exclaimed in response to the release of the actress’ photos for the “Valentina” reveal.
GANTOOO ANGGG COMEEEEBACKKK 🐍💗 https://t.co/xt2nNy0jds
— ☃️ (@_WINTTR) November 19, 2021
“THIS IS THE COMEBACK,” another online user said in awe.
“Congrats! Naiiyak ako [ang] gandang comeback [para] sa’yo huhuhu. JANELLA IS VALENTINA #TheValentinaReveal,” a different fan commented.
“Alam kong kayang-kaya mo ‘yan, Janella. So happy for your comeback. Galingan mo lalo. Rooting for you always. #TheValentinaReveal,” another Twitter user wrote with a raised hands emoji.
“She really is a great actress. This is a huge comeback for her. Pero sana ay hindi lamunin ni Valentina si Darna,” a different Filipino said.
Janella’s last television appearance was on the gothic drama “The Killer Bride” that ended in January 2020.
Reports said that this paved the way for Janella to be hailed as “Princess of Philippines Television” in the 2020 Box Office Entertainment Awards.
Janella took a hiatus from showbiz to give birth to her son, Jude Trevor, with boyfriend Markus Paterson in the United Kingdom in October 2020.
They returned to the Philippines last February.
A month before that, the actress shared an Instagram photo of her kissing a baby’s forehead amid pregnancy rumors.
It was later revealed that Janella had a secret maternity pictorial in August, as well as a surprise baby shower held for her by Liza Soberano, before they flew to the UK.