Since I watched Diary ng Panget, I’ve been a fan of James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Sure, the material left a lot to be desired, cinematically, as with Talk Back and You’re Dead, but there was a certain chemistry to these two young up and comers that just drew me to them.
I was glad when they finally moved to the Kapamilya network because I didn’t think their potential was being truly explored with GMA. Viva was giving them the right projects but in terms of exposure, they never really got that break on television to become household names, which was a shame. True enough, as soon as they inked a deal as Kapamilya stars, they were given a 10 episode Wansapanataym project My App boyfie, another Wattpad adaptation. Under Direk Jojo Saguin, television audiences saw the spark that drew thousands to become fans of this tandem. They were given a Maalaala Mo Kaya episode, which considering MMK standards was pretty light, but they pulled it off. Another movie collaboration between Star Cinema and Viva came, Para sa Hopeless Romantic, which was still Wattpad but was leaps and bounds better substantially than their first projects, and they were challenged with more dramatics for Nadine and more Tagalog for James. It was a challenge that for me, they succeeded to conquer.
But their revelation was really their first full length teleserye with Dreamscape and ABS-CBN, On the Wings of Love under the direction of Direk Antoinette Jadaone (That Thing Called Tadhana) and again Direk Jojo Saguin, which premiered last August 10, which was the first time the two were given all original material that banked on their strengths as a loveteam and as individual actors. 40 episodes in, viewers can hardly find any trace of the awkward actors that started out with an experimental project in 2013, as they deliver each night’s episodes like pros. Each night, they charm their way into their audiences hearts, making them feel love, despair, pain, hope and triumph as only James Reid and Nadine Lustre could. I truly believe in the magic of these two.
You don’t really need to count reasons why you love an actor/actress but because there are so many, I choose to do so to share why I am fangirling this hard over this duo. Feel free to judge me.
- They’re focused and professional. These two have been through failure and they both understand the value of this opportunity for their future and for their families. They share a common goal, which is to succeed so they do everything they can to make sure they don’t shortchange the fans. In every interview with people they have worked with, from directors to choreographers to the staff — they all have high praises for Jaye and Naddie (hehe feeling close) because they come to set on time, they do the legwork on their roles, they care about the outcome and they are not afraid of hard work to ensure that they give their 110 percent each and every time. As a result, they have improved tremendously in a short amount of time. Case in point, compare their acting from DNP when they were just newbies to an episode of On the Wings of Love — this all happened in a span of less than two years. You see it, in them, the drive, even when they hardly get any rest and they’re eyebags are getting bigger, you know that they would crawl through hot coal before letting anyone down. That’s work ethic for you.
- They are natural talents. Some people bank on talent as their passport to success but James and Nadine go the extra mile. They admit when they need to work on something and just do it. They learn from listening, watching, asking, and exploring. A potent combination for people who are already blessed with talent to begin with. That’s why I know they’ll go even further. Plus, they’re awesome even individually. As a matter of act, both have been nominated for the MTV EMA 2015 for Best Southeast Asian Act, so their music is being recognized internationally as well. See?
- They are passionate about their work. Jaye and Naddie love music and performing. They love it. Even behind the scenes, fans can see them huddled together discussing music or sharing earphones (an OJD moment) for most fangirls). When they talk about music, they light up. When they talk about work, you can sense their happiness. And all this passion translates to their output. They are awesome. And that’s why fans love them.
- They support each other. They are a team. Direk Tonette Jadaone, in an interview lauded these two because they work really well as a unit, discussing what they need to do and making sure that they get their fair share of the limelight with each scene. Walang sapawan. They don’t compete with each other, they work together.
- They’re good friends. Good friends, just friends. Some of the things that every JaDine has heard since the beginning. But based on accounts of people who know them personally, they really do care for each other and have each others’ backs when push comes to a shove. They take care of each other and gel well together because they have developed a solid foundation for their relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I ship them in reel and for real, but they have said they don’t want to complicate things while they are still working together so I’m willing to wait to see what happens down the line several years later. But for now, I’m happy that they’re friends and that they have someone to share this wild journey with. I’m glad to see their BTS banter and all the smiles on set just because they’re having fun.
- They’re honest and genuine. They have never led fans to believe they are anything more than friends unlike other showbiz couples who exaggerate or downplay their relationship for the sake of promotion. James and Nadine are smart enough to respect the fans’ intelligence and understanding about the status of their relationship.
- They are magic. One thing about JaDine is that they have explosive chemistry. I mean it. Sparks fly each time they stare into each others’ eyes or whenever they smile at each other. I think because they are really close friends, their relationship and comfort with each other translates to their performances. Because they trust each other so much, they feel comfortable unleashing all of these emotions on screen. Be still our JaDine hearts.
- They are feisty. Just recently, perhaps owing to their newfound stardom, some bashers have been taking the hate to a whole new level, criticizing James for being seen in bars, parties with other girls while Nadine been constantly tagged as a lookalike to many stars. Its quite funny because for the longest time, they have simply kept mum about the issues but these past few weeks, it seemed like the issues got to be too much. James through his IG finally stood up for himself, posting that he has never pretended to be anyone else. In another one, he flat out said that people should stop wanting him to live their fantasies and that he is going to live is life the way he chooses. Some fans were offended but I for one, wanted to applaud him. James is right. He has never once shirked on his professional responsibilities and he has never pretended to be anyone other than himself in his personal life. He should be free to do what he wants, especially since he hasn’t been seen doing anything other than dating or partying. For those who say that he’s not a good role model because he likes to go out to clubs, and dates girls, I have a different opinion. James has been pretty tame compared to other young stars who get into drunken brawls or ruin their careers by doing drugs. He is a good son and brother, and a good friend and I believe he can’t be all that if he wasn’t a good person. As for Naddie being attacked on her own IG about masterminding the hate behind James, she also burned the so-called fan by saying that she has stuck by her Partner in Crime through thick and thin and that people should think twice before accusing her. Naddie is very smart and she chooses her battles wisely and this was a battle that needed to be fought and she did it like the Lionhearted woman that she is. See, celebrities are people too and they do have a boiling point. I love how they are fighting back in the most diplomatic way possible. If I were a celebrity and issues were rehashed about me for years, I may not have been as patient as these two. As I see it, haters bash JaDine because they can’t be faulted professionally. In terms of basis for the bashing, too weak of an argument to merit an intellectual response. But that’s just me.
- They love their fans. They understand their fans and what their efforts have meant to their success. They deliver on every commitment and work their assess off to make sure their fans get their money’s worth. They respect their fans by being honest. They thank the fans every opportunity they get. They bond with them, they hang out. They’re humble, and if they don’t lose this humility, and continue with this trajectory, I see acting awards and even more recognition in the future. I’m a firm believer of karma. I don’t believe they would be getting all this success without reason and they won’t be loved as much if they didn’t show it first. This is the reason James won PBB in 2010 and its the same reason the Naddicts has stuck with Nadine all these years.
All in all, OJD (Obsessive Jadine Disorder) is very real. And I’m a willing victim. Here’s to many more years with tis affliction. And more success to these two. My OTP (one true pairing) for sure.