Fan Casting a GMA Network Filipino Adaptation of Korean Drama “Penthouse”

Penthouse Philippines Cast

There’s been some tsismis about the potential of a Philippine adaptation of the blockbuster Korean drama series Penthouse. Everything from it becoming the second GMA Network-ABS-CBN collaboration to Marian Rivera and Heart Evangelista mending their relationship to prepare to star in it.

Being someone who watched and actually enjoyed the insanity that was SBS’ Penthouse, I did wonder who could potentially be cast in this Filipino version.

So I decided for this Filipino Friday, why not go ahead and conjure up my personal picks for a Filipino cast. (Also because I need scheduled posts for while I’m out of the country this month. Lol)

Just to say upfront, this is only casting. Nothing about how the series should actually play out or be written. Should it be a direct translation or actually be adapted to suit Filipino audiences. (Though the original Korean series certainly had all the hallmarks of a Filipino teleserye lol)

And I am also casting this as if it will be a solo GMA Network production. Since it was GMA who bought (and conceivably still have) the rights to the original series. So mostly Kapuso actors with other potential freelancers, etc.

So without further ado, he’s my fancast for #PenthousePH lol (Unpolished graphics included lol)


Penthouse Philippines Cast

For the leading ladies, I thought why not have GMA Network’s biggest leading ladies head up this surely big project. The murmurs of a Marian-Heart series definitely help to build buzz for a series like this. But the only thing that kind of throws a wrench in this plan is both Marian Rivera and Heart Evangelista have basically waved off of heavy drama projects. Both wanting to do maybe more lighthearted roles rather than the screaming and catfights typical of Filipino teleseryes and definitely of Penthouse.

That said, perhaps #PenthousePH could lean into its more campy and outrageous pedigree more. I don’t think anyone is looking for some Academy Award-winning philosophical drama with nuance or depth. People watched Penthouse (and arguably most Filipino teleseryes) to see the over-the-top antics and improbable plot twists.

So maybe that would entice Marian, Heart and a Carla Abellana to accept this project and just have fun with it.

Now, for who’s who. Let’s be blunt here. GMA Network calls Marian Rivera their “Primetime Queen” for a reason. So of course, they would want her to be the headlining star of this series. And Shim Su Ryeon is arguably the main heroine of Penthouse.

I’m pretty set on Heart Evangelista playing Oh Yoon Hee. So it comes down to which role goes to either Marian or Carla. Carla Abellana is definitely a talented actress. And her recent role on Stolen Life showed that she can do kontrabida well.

So I would be confident that she can play Cheon Seo Jin. However, Cheon Seo Jin was arguably the most popular and well-known character of Penthouse Some could argue that she was actually the real star.

I actually might be more confident in seeing Marian Rivera playing Seo Jin instead. She has that fierce aura about her and I think with a campy series like Penthouse, she could have a lot of fun just absolutely playing up Seo Jin’s over the top craziness.

Carla Abellana could then slip into Su Ryeon very easily. And this could also help to have a Marian vs Heart showdown (all in good fun of course) as Seo Jin and Yoon Hee.

But Heart-Marian-Carla?

A perfect trio.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

Now, my one thing about a Marian-Heart-Carla trio is that they seem too young to be parents to high school seniors. Though they’re similar in age to the Korean cast, it still seems a bit awkward. But at the same time, there is a huge level of disbelief suspension needed to watch this show. So their age wouldn’t really matter.

Still, if we were to maybe cast leading ladies who might be more logically parents to high school/college-aged kids, I can think of an amazing trio of actresses. And that would be Judy Ann Santos, Claudine Barretto and Gladys Reyes.

What better way to drum up a lot of buzz and even goodwill than by casting some Filipino TV drama icons. And I believe this would be the first time the three of them would be in a project together?

Again, it’s difficult to see who could play who. You have Gladys Reyes who of course can effortlessly play a kontrabida. But there’s also a fun novelty to have her not typecast here. And also have her basically be best friends with Judy Ann Santos’ character.

That and we would like to see Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto going head to head. Playing up their manufactured professional rivalry to full effect. I’m sure the three of them would love to get the chance to just have fun and go at each other with the series’ outrageous, over-the-top camp.

Again, like with Marian and Carla, I think Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto could swap between Su Ryeon and Seo Jin easily. But I think Judy Ann as Su Ryeon and Claudine as Seo Jin would be the best way to go.

And in recent interviews with Boy Abunda, both Judy Ann and Claudine said they are definitely open to working on GMA.

However, there’s also a third option that could throw the rest of the cast out the window and have us start from scratch. I could see actresses like Sunshine Cruz or Angel Aquino in these roles as well. But as talented and amazing as they are, I don’t know that they’d get the same type of immediate buzz and hype as a Marian-Heart-Carla or Judy-Claudine-Gladys trio would get.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

Now how about their leading men?

I don’t think there’s anyone else who could play Joo Dan Tae than Dennis Trillo. He would absolutely deliver in the role. And the best part is that he has experience already with all three leading ladies in Marian, Heart and Carla. So that is perfect.

For Su Ryeon’s hero Logan Lee, I wasn’t as sure. But I think Benjamin Alves would be a good choice. I feel like his role in Herlene Budol’s Magandang Dilag is basically Logan Lee-lite already. So I guess that’s how he first came to mind for me here.

For Ha Yoon Cheol, I also had a hard time thinking of who could work. But Jericho Rosales suddenly came to mind. I think it’s probably the recent news of him and Heart meeting at some event and them being open to working together. A lot of people reacted very positively to those interactions. So I think it would be great here. Jericho is a freelancer (I think?) under Cornerstone. So being on GMA would be no problem. And he would be good being paired with Heart and either Carla or Marian as well.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

Jericho Rosales would be the same choice for Yoon Cheol with my 2nd group of leading ladies. But we would need two other actors for the other leading men. So I decided to go all in on the nostalgia by casting Diether Ocampo and Piolo Pascual. It’s a very Kapamilya-leaning group. But we want to go all out with this adaptation. And they are basically the fathers and mothers of Filipino soap operas. lol

Again, it’s possible to switch Diether and Piolo between Dan Tae and Logan. But I feel Diether would be a good Dan Tae. He has that charisma that will absolutely fuel the love-to-hate nature of Dan Tae. Piolo, meanwhile, though a bit older than I would think for a Logan Lee, would be good as the knight in shining armor here. And since Logan is a bit of a more limited role, Piolo accepting it might be more possible.

Again, we’re banking on nostalgia, so Diether, Piolo, Jericho, Judy Ann, Claudine and Gladys would be a crazily fun group to watch on primetime TV again.

Other wild card options for the leading men include Adrian Alandy who I think could be any of Dan Tae, Yoon Cheol or Logan Lee. And then there’s Tom Rodriguez. Though if we had to choose between Carla and Tom, I think Carla is the more valuable actor to get for this series. But then again, if you want even more buzz, having Carla and Tom in the same series would definitely generate a lot of it.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

Moving on to the next tier of our cast are the “teens”. The teens of the original Penthouse really got a big boost to their careers thanks to the series. For the Philippine adaptation, I think we should have a combo of both established young stars and up and comers.

Part of my choices here include no-brainers. Specifically actresses I immediately saw in the roles.

I don’t think there’s anyone at GMA who could be Bae Rona other than Jillian Ward. It’s almost like the role was made for her. The kind of inaapi heroine who has moments of fighting back and confidence, but always seems to get one-upped by the kontrabidas. Though ultimately, getting the last laugh of course. That’s basically Jillian Ward’s most popular roles in recent years.

For Yoo Jenny, I immediately thought of Cassy Legaspi. Again, also a role that seems perfectly tailored to her. Her real life personality just fits in this role so well. You can already see her as Jenny Yoo.

Now, from what little I’ve seen of Abot Kamay na Pangarap, Jillian Ward had great chemistry with Jeff Moses. So, I thought why not have them paired up here. However! Penthouse‘s endgame is Rona-Seokhoon. And for Seokhoon, I can’t see anyone in the role other than Michael Sager. Who I even think has a lot of similarities to Kim Yong Dae. And I also think he had a short stint on Aboy Kamay as one of the 24 love interests for Jillian Ward’s character lol

But then, thinking about Cassy Legaspi as Jenny. She and Michael Sager showed they have a lot of chemistry on Tahanang Pinakamasaya. And the little romance Jenny had in the original was with Minhyuk, who I don’t see Michael Sager in the role. But I could see Jeff Moses in it. So basically, I had two couples in mind. But I’ll have to switch partners here. Unless the show moves around the storylines of course lol It definitely doesn’t have to even have any romance if they don’t want to.

But let’s be real. All networks like having a younger loveteam in every single one of their teleseryes. It helps get the fans excited. And primes that loveteam for future build up.

So I would expect #PenthousePH to do a lot more with the teen group. And play up potential romances as much as possible.

Again, GMA could easily switch around couplings and what not. They ruined the Philippine adaptation of Start Up that way. Lol

Anyway. For the other major teen roles, I easily see Kyline Alcantara as Seok Kyung. I think she is being paired up with or is a third wheel to Michael Sager in another Korean adaptation coming soon. But they’ll have to switch up to play twins here on Penthouse later on. Lol

Finally, for Ha Eun Byeol, it’s definitely a difficult role with the character’s mental health struggles and sometimes very over the top moments. This one I wasn’t too sure of as not one single young actress immediately came to mind like it did for the other teen roles. But with Voltes V getting a rerun on GMA now, Ysabel Ortega stood out and I thought, “Sure, she could do well in the role.” She might be a bit older than the rest of the “teen” cast. But that shouldn’t matter.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

After a while, I got kinda bored with my casting session. I actually planned to find a cast for the entire Penthouse cast of characters. But I’ll stop here with the other two couples of Hera Palace Philippines and the dead Min Seol Ah.

First for Min Seol Ah, since it’s basically only a guest role, I thought why not Bianca Umali. I’m sure GMA could also fill the role with maybe a newbie or something. But if we want this adaptation to have all big stars, then Bianca Umali fits the bill. And I think she’d pair well with a Marian Rivera as her mother. Though I’m not so sure with a Judy Ann Santos.

Next, for our money and power-hungry couple, I had no idea at first. But then I thought these actors should be talented in both comedy and drama. Many times, Lee Kyu Jin and Go Sang Ah were the most comic relief of the characters. So that’s when Paolo Contis and Alessandra de Rossi immediately popped into my head.

Now, I definitely think Alessandra de Rossi is far more deserving of a lead role than this simple supporting role. And she’s quite picky with what roles she accepts these days. (And deservedly so! She’s earned that right!) But I think she would easily become the scene stealer of this adaptation as Sang Ah. It’s also a limited role as well, relatively speaking. So maybe she would be open to it.

Then thinking about who could play Kyu Jin, probably one of the more unlikeable characters of the series, I think plenty of people would agree Paolo Contis fits that bill. I personally have no negative opinion of him, but I can understand how others might. But if we’re to talk about who can handle the characters, Paolo Contis can easily play up the spazzy, sleazy Kyu Jin.

And speaking of Tahanang Pinakamasaya, I think Isko Moreno would be a good choice for Kyu Jin too. But then we’d need another actress for Sang Ah.

Chariz Solomon would be a great Sang Ah too if we stick to the TP family.

Finally, for Shin Eun Kyung and Park Ho San, my choices will differ depending on who our lead cast will be.

For the Heart-Marian-Carla trio, I think Gladys Reyes would be perfect as Eun Kyung. Eun Kyung ended up being one of the most well-rounded characters in Penthouse. And I think Gladys would easily deliver with everything the character asks of her. To play Eun Kyung’s gangster husband, we won’t go far. Her husband Christopher Roxas would be fine in the role.

Penthouse Philippines Cast

The other option would pair with the Gladys-Judy Ann-Claudine trio. And I think Eugene Domingo would easily fit as Eun Kyung just like Gladys would and for the same reasons. Drama, comedy; she can handle it all. And to pair with her as Ho San, I think Mon Confiado would be a great choice. That initially sketchy character who turns out to be a loving father, but still a criminal.

So, overall, I think a Filipino adaptation of Penthouse would be fun. IF DONE RIGHT. More often than not, Filipino adaptations of foreign series fall flat with only a few exceptions.

But what works in Penthouse‘s favor is that it is really just a typical Filipino teleserye. Outrageous and repetitive plots. Campy and over-the-top acting. Quotable one-liners. But still addictive and fun.

Will #PenthousePH happen? I have no idea. And I’m honestly not that eager to see it become a reality. But for the sake of a Scheduled Post and a quick one-hour of Googling, here we are. lol

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