Secrets About the Making of “She’s Dating the Gangster” That You Probably Didn’t Know About

Want to know why “She’s Dating the Gangster” is Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s favorite KathNiel movie? Let Star Cinema’s YouTube channel loop you in with the first season of its new online show “Secret Movie Files,” where one of the country’s most popular love teams and director Cathy Garcia-Molina spill behind-the-scenes trivia fans should know about.

Star Cinema has dropped three episodes so far, with four more to be released on August 22 and 29. Cinematographer Dan Villegas, associate producer Leo Garcia, and production design head Shari Montiague also share never-before-seen photos and dish more secrets about KathNiel’s first movie with Direk Cathy.

“Secret Movie Files,” made exclusively for YouTube, and the free streaming of “She’s Dating the Gangster” are part of ABS-CBN’s growing “Kapamilya YOUniverse,” which promises to stream the best in entertainment, music, film, and news on YouTube.

Here are some of the secrets revealed in KathNiel’s “Secret Movie Files” episodes so far:

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1. Daniel did many firsts in the movie, including dancing on-screen and driving a car with manual transmission

For a scene where Kenji (Daniel) and Athena (Kathryn) travel to Bicol, Daniel had to learn to drive “on the spot” a 90s model car with manual transmission and was tutored by the movie’s production manager.

Fans also know that Daniel rarely dances, whether on stage or on-screen. In fact, it took a lot of convincing to get Daniel to dance in two scenes in “Gangster” that even Direk Cathy and the rest of the cast had to dance so Daniel could overcome his unease.

“Gangster” is also the first movie where Daniel wears shorts and goes topless for the first time – which will be discussed in later episodes.

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2. Direk Cathy personally attached the wigs of Kathryn and Daniel while shooting

“Gangster” owns the distinction of being the KathNiel movie that used the most number of wigs. Even their co-star, Igi Boy Flores, had to wear one to fit the whole 90s aesthetic.

Direk Cathy was so hands-on when it came to Kathryn’s and Daniel’s hair that she personally attached the wigs to their heads and would not allow anyone to tamper with how she styled them.

“Nababansagan akong ‘yan daw ang trademark ko, ang wigs. Hindi ko sinasadyang magka-trademark, sadyang hindi ko lang kinakayang tingnan ang artista na parang sila pa rin ‘yun sa totoong buhay. I always want to see the characters more than the artistas,” Direk Cathy shares.

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3. Citing her lack of experience in love, Kathryn said she had a hard time getting into her character in one pivotal scene

Direk Cathy shares that while Kathryn is usually good at crying on-screen, the actress had a tough time portraying the agony and desperation of someone who is in love but can’t live a normal life due to her illness.

The scene she’s referring to is the one where Athena tearfully asks Kenji to stop their pretend relationship because she has already caught feelings for him.

“For some reason hirap na hirap ako sa scene na ‘yan. ‘Yan ang pinaka-challenging sa akin. Kung hindi mo pa napagdaanan parang hindi mo pa alam ang emotion na totoo. Ilang taon lang ako niyan. Anong alam ko sa love, sa pain, at that time?” says Kathryn.

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4. The production design team had a hard time looking for beepers that actually worked

Beepers play a significant role in the movie because they literally spark the romance between Kenji and Athena.

“Gangster’s” production design team had to look literally anywhere – from online marketplaces to stores in Raon, Quiapo – for a beeper that was functional. In the end, Direk Cathy chose a bright yellow beeper for Athena that would go along with the movie’s colorful outfits and Direk Cathy’s vision of building a world that is “full of love.”

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5. Several stars had volunteered to do cameos even before filming began

Many of the stars who did cameos in the movie had asked Direk Cathy and the production team to give them a bit of screen time.

“Bago pa mag-start ang movie, nagsasabi na sila na ‘pa-cameo naman diyan.’ So may listahan talaga kami ng mga kinokontak ‘pag may pasok na role… Advantage ‘yun ‘pag maraming gustong katrabaho ‘yung direktor mo pati ang barkada ng KathNiel,” associate producer Leo Garcia reveals.

Some of the stars who appeared in the movie are Khalil Ramos, Elisse Joson, Ian Veneracion, Jojit Lorenzo, Janus del Prado, Rayver Cruz, Ginger Conejero, Pooh, Joem Bascon, Ketchup Eusebio, Joross Gamboa, and JM De Guzman. In fact, “That Thing Called Tadhana” was made possible because JM and Dan Villegas, also the boyfriend of Antoinette Jadaone, had met on set.

“Doon ko sinabi sa kanya, ‘Uy may sinusulat si Tonet. Ikaw ang iniisip niya habang sinusulat niya. Isasali sana namin sa Cinema One, indie. ‘Yun eventually ang naging ‘That Thing Called Tadhana.’ Dahil sa set ng ‘Gangster’ ‘yun,’” Direk Dan shares.

That’s just three episodes’ worth of trivia and secrets! Watch out for the remaining four episodes of “Secret Movie Files” season one – “Fave Book Moments that Made it to the Big Screen” and “Shooting the Most Emotional Scenes with Kathniel and CharDawn” on August 22, and “90s Fashion Fast Talk: Japorms vs Not Japorms” and “Did You Know? (Untold Secrets)” on August 29.

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