MANILA — Joshua Garcia and Janella Salvador agreed that their first-time co-starring stint via the upcoming thriller-romance "The Killer Bride" marks the formation of a new "love team."
The team-up is a case of "perfect timing" for Garcia, who pointed out that he and Salvador had been slated for a number of projects together as early as 2016, but none of them ever made it to the screen.
Among them was "Kung Kailangan Mo Ako," which was announced to include Salvador and her erstwhile onscreen partner Elmo Magalona. That ultimately aired as "The Good Son," sans "ElNella."
"Ako, matagal ko na siyang gusto makatrabaho. Nauudlot lang," Garcia said, referring to Salvador. "Ngayon, I'm very happy na makakatrabaho ko na siya. Matututo ako sa kanya, kung paano siya umarte."
Salvador added: "Ako rin, I'm happy to work with Josh. I want to work with different people. It's refreshing. And I think it's healthy, because we get to grow as actors and actresses."
The two spoke with ABS-CBN News on Friday during the media announcement of "The Killer Bride," which is scheduled for an August premiere under the direction of Dado Lumibao.
"Actually, challenging ang role na 'to for the both of us, kasi ang gusto ni direk, sensual — hindi sexual, ha! It's a bit more mature than kung ano 'yung mga nagagawa ko before," Salvador said.
Details of the story are so far under wraps, but Salvador offered that her character, Emma, claims to have been possessed by the ghost of Camilla, the titular character potrayed by Maja Salvador.
Garcia, meanwhile, plays Elias, who doubts Emma but finds himself drawn to the mysterious woman.
"'Yung challenge din doon 'yung may nararamdaman kami sa isa't-isa, pero kailangan hindi namin ipakita sa isa't-isa. Ano ba ang sikreto ng babae na 'to? May galit ako, pero may love pa rin para sa kanya," Garcia said.
That teleserye pairings often court a growing fanbase is not lost on Garcia and Salvador, both of whom come from popular love teams.
Salvador was for a time identified with the "ElNella" tandem, with her former boyfriend Magalona. Garcia's "JoshLia," with actress and "best friend" Julia Barretto, remains active with a fifth film together, "Block Z," set for release this year.
Despite having no major project together until "The Killer Bride," Garcia and Salvador have already been dubbed by a number of fans online as "JoshNella."
"We're happy, kasi may sumu-support, e. May makita ka lang kahit kaunting suporta... 'Pag artista ka kasi, 'pag nakita mong sumuporta sa 'yo, kahit gaano pa kakaunti 'yan, gaganahan ka talaga mag trabaho. Gagawin mo 'yun para sa kanila."
Salvador agreed, saying: "It makes it more exciting na 'pag lumabas na 'yung show, excited kami na mapakita kung ano 'yung pinag trabahuhan namin."
Asked whether they consider "JoshNella" as a new "love team," both answered in the affirmative.
Coincidentally, the introduction of "JoshNella" as part of the cast of "The Killer Bride" came amid the rumored separation of Garcia and Barretto. The latter two admitted earlier the same Friday that they had gone through a rough patch, and have since agreed to be "best friends."
Salvador happens to be a close friend of Barretto. The two were launched in the same Star Magic Circle batch in 2013.
Garcia and Salvador maintained that there is "no issue" surrounding their fresh pairing, in light of their shared relationship with Barretto.
In fact, they said, one of the reasons they are comfortable with each other is their previous bonding through Barretto.