MANILA, Philippines — After ABS-CBN announced on Wednesday, July 17, that it has found its new Darna in the person of young actress Jane de Leon, the network released a video of the announcement on Thursday, July 18, showing Jane stunned after being informed of the news.
In the video, De Leon was talking to ABS-CBN executives led by ABS-CBN managing director Olivia Lamasan and the network's CEO and president Carlo Katigbak.
When asked how committed she was to the role of Darna, Jane answered: "100% po talaga. I can surrender all for her, for that character po."
From more than 200+ who auditioned, it was revealed that the list of potential ladies suited for the role was narrowed to 7, according to director Jerrold Tarog.
So when Lamasan asked if she was ready to take on the responsibility, she was awestruck.
"Tinatanggap mo na ba ang bato? Kaya mo ba tanggapin?" Lamasan asked her. (Are you accepting the stone? Are you willing to accept it?) Jane said yes.
Tarog then teased De Leon, saying she fainted.
"Today is the beginning of the rest of your life," ABS-CBN chief content officer Charo Santos-Concio told her.
After composing herself, De Leon said that it was not yet sinking in that she got the role.
"Totoo po ba ito? (Is this real?)" she asked after.
On Twitter, Tarog shared that the decision to cast De Leon was unanimous.
"Glad it's finally out. The execs wanted a new face for Darna and I was all for it. Thus, open auditions—newbies, celebs, chinita, mestiza, morena, etc basta The short list was a good mix but ultimately it was about who could carry the role. @Imjanedeleon was an unanimous choice."
Glad it's finally out. The execs wanted a new face for Darna & I was all for it. Thus, open auditions—newbies, celebs, chinita, mestiza, morena, etc basta. The short list was a good mix but ultimately it was about who could carry the role. @Imjanedeleon was a unanimous choice. pic.twitter.com/6JY8sKcpgT — Jerrold Tarog (@JerroldTarog) July 18, 2019
Star Magic chairman and director Johnny Manahan also praised De Leon. According to Manahan, he made sure that she would go to the auditions and said he was proud that the new Darna was from Star Magic.
"Her quiet confidence and mastery in her performances have always led me to believe that she will go a long way. I'm happy that she will be able to showcase her skills to a wider audience through Darna."
View this post on Instagram The Chosen One is set to fly high very soon. Congratulations to the new Darna—our very own Jane de Leon! #TatakStarMagic A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Jul 18, 2019 at 12:12am PDT
Prior to bagging the role, De Leon was last seen in the TV show Halik, starring Jericho Rosales and Sam Milby. (READ: What you need to know about Jane de Leon, the new Darna)