Millennial Mitch happy to share the screen with legendary idol, young charmer

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Mitch Valdes (left) and Susan Roces

When Mitch Valdes announced on Facebook (complete with the hashtag #MillennialMitch) that she was raring to do more projects on the small and big screens (plus onstage and on the music scene), she never imagined she would be part of one of the biggest shows on television today.

“I feel fortunate to be in the cast of ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,’” she told the Inquirer. “When I committed to my first-ever teleserye, I never thought it would come in this magnitude of a show!”

It was a splashy, and fittingly grand, return to the medium for the actress who was part of such iconic programs as the gag fest “Champoy” and the sitcom “UFO: Urbana, Felisa and Others” in the 1980s.

“After just a short period of adjustment, I was fine,” she recalled. “I came from a bygone era where everything was shot in the comfort of a studio.”

These days, an action-packed series like “Ang Probinsyano” is done in the humid, helter-skelter streets of the city.

“Realism demands that we are immersed in the location of the story,” she conceded. “But I didn’t know I would have to live in a tent most of the time! Luckily, my Bedouin ancestry kicked in and everything went well.”

Working with lead star Coco Martin was an eye-opener for Mitch, who plays a cantankerous kapitana in the show.

Mitch Valdes (left) and Coco Martin

“Coco was a revelation,” she quipped. “From my senior-citizen perspective, he seems so young. But I can now understand the massive appeal. He is very gracious, charming and well-mannered. And, of course, he’s a good actor.”

The ABS-CBN series also allowed Mitch to reunite with longtime idol Susan Roces, she confessed on Facebook. “I have to be bad to Susan Roces. It will need good acting. In reality, I love her!” she confessed.

Mitch recounted: “I made a movie with Susan in 1984 (Manuel Conde Jr.’s “Hoy! Wala Kang Paki!”), with Nanette Inventor and the late Bert ‘Tawa’ Marcelo.”

She was a self-confessed fan even back then. “I couldn’t believe I was up close and personal with the Susan Roces, whose movies I had watched on television every afternoon during my high-school summer vacation.”

Some things never change, though.

“I still feel the same way. I have to remind myself to close my mouth and do the scene well and not drop the ball in the presence of a legend,” she admitted. “But Susan makes it so easy. She’s always cracking jokes, so I’ve found a kindred spirit.”

The Bedouin has stumbled on a new home in the tent.

“I’m really enjoying my time with my ‘tentmates,’” she remarked. “The food-sharing does not stop. Pretty soon, they’ll have to roll me to the set!”

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