Kaye Abad (MNS Photo)

Kaye Abad (MNS Photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — Known for her sweet image for the better part of her 20-year career, Kaye Abad has yet to get used to her latest TV role — a vengeful and abusive step mom.

As Stella in the ABS-CBN primetime series “Annaliza,” the 31-year-old actress is seen as the “kontrabida” bent on depriving her step-daughter, Annaliza (Andrea Brillantes), of the love of her real parents.

Speaking at the sidelines of the filming for the series Wednesday, Abad said getting into character has been physically challenging.

She explained that her face isn’t traditionally what the audience may consider tough-looking, or one that is suited for a “kontrabida” character.

“Mahirap na pag-a-adjust, kasi una, prinoblema namin ‘yung features ko, kasi droopy ‘yung eyes ko. Prinoblema nila kung paano patatapangin ‘yung mata ko, tapos malumanay ako magsalita, so kailangan ko talaga ibahin,” she said.

Another challenging aspect of the character, Abad shared, is its emotional demands, relative to her protagonist roles in her earlier film and TV projects.

Driven by revenge on Lazaro (Patrick Garcia), the man who denied fathering her child, Abad as Stella pours her long-kept rage on his wife, Isabel (Denise Laurel), and Annaliza, his long-lost daughter.

“Nakakapagod, kasi from ‘yung loving mother from ‘Angelito’ tapos biglang nananakit,” Abad said, referring to her role in the 2012 series “Angelito: Ang Bagong Yugto.”

“Nakakapagod palang maging kontrabida kaysa makapagpa-iyak, kasi pag palaging galit ka, lahat ng muscles mo, tensyon, lagi kang gigil, lagi kang galit. Sa pagkatapos ng eksena, pagod na pagod ako lagi,” she said.

Strong viewership

With the growing tension between Isabel and Stella in its recent episodes, “Annaliza” early this month reached its all-time highest nationwide rating since it premiered in late May.

According to data from multi-national market research group Kantar Media, the drama series on July 4 drew a nationwide viewership of 20.5%, which is 9 percentage-points ahead of it competing program’s rating in both rural and urban households.

Bringing up the strong audience share of “Annaliza” during its timeslot, Abad said she intends maximize her recent successes in her career, and shrugged off talks of settling down.

The actress is known to be in a relationship with actor-singer and “The Voice of the Philippines” artist Guji Lorenzana.

“Mabilis mag-desisyon na mag-asawa, pero ‘yung mga opportunities na ganito, bihira lang ‘yan. So ‘wag muna, nag-e-enjoy pa ako. Focus muna sa career, kasi pag umalis ka, maraming pwede pumalit, mahirap na, so okay na muna, ito na muna,” she said.

Asked for her message to the avid supporters of “Annaliza,” Abad said, “Dahil [sa suporta niyo], nawawala ‘yung pagod na nararamdaman namin pag nagtatrabaho kami… Patuloy naming pinaghihirapan ang show na ito para sa inyo.” (MNS)