No shortage of strong women in showbiz
Pushing the boundaries of the so-called “work norm” — this has been the fight of two women I spoke with recently from Manila to Hollywood.
Let us start off with Nadine Lustre, who just wrapped up her virtual concert for the Pride month in partnership with BPO TaskUs. While she was preparing for the concert, we had our chance interview with Nadine. Her looks were trending as she sported some chic drag ensemble and performed with the country’s finest drag queens, who have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic as performance venues — which served as “safe spaces” to many Filipino queer folk — had halted operations.
This was Nadine’s way to show her support and admiration as she revealed to us how much of a big fan she is of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I admire them kasi hindi madali ang buhay nila eh,” she said, “but still they get to do all of these things that’s why I super look up to them.” The concert she just wrapped up to end Pride month was for the benefit of the Golden Gays Foundation.
Just like the community, Nadine resonated with their struggles of living free and pursuing one’s passion. She opened up about her burnout, which almost led to serious mental health issues.
“Mahirap kasi noong nag-start pa lang ako iyong mga movies naming, Diary ng Panget. Iyon talaga iyong mga time na hindi mo pa talaga kaya mag no sa mga tao,” she said. “So lahat ng i-offer sa iyo yes ka lang ng yes, pero hindi na ako magsisinungaling. Sabihin ko talaga sobrang napagod ako talaga and at some point, na-depress din ako kasi sabi ko sa sarili ko ano ba itong ginagawa ko? Kasi may mga bagay na ginawa ako na hindi ko gusto gawin... mga 2015 naalala ko nag-Korea kami noon kasama ko si Yassi Pressman, sabi ko talaga parang ayoko na umuwi.”
From thereon, Nadine built herself to be unapologetic and pursue her own passions.
“Marami akong time to reflect on myself,” she shared, “ang dami kong time para i-re-assess ko buhay ko ano ba talaga iyong gusto kong gawin at ayaw kong gawin... na realize ko alam mo na hindi na ako makikinig sa ibang tao, i-live ko iyong life ko.”
That mindset helped her a lot to break away from her “sugar-coated” image and become the Nadine we see her today. “Deadma na ako sa sasabihin ng tao kasi natutunan ko na yun before andaming tao na i-judge ka sa ginawa mo na hindi nila maintindihan,” she said, “at kung susunod lang ako sa gusto ng tao anong klaseng buhay yon di ba?”
As of now, the self-managed actress continues to focus on music, but just to put it out there, here are the roles that attract Nadine. “Gusto ko kasi talaga iyong film na psycho ako or killer ako,” she shared, “iyong something different naman, iyong hindi naman rom-com.”
It was late 2019 when Nadine chose to cut ties with her agency, Viva Entertainment. Though her tussle with the agency is far from over, she continues to book endorsements left and right. “I’m just so excited to work I don’t know what it is,” she said. “Mas naging workaholic ako ngayon and just creating and working with brands and showing our own vision.”
Another A-lister we spoke with was the darling Millie Bobby Brown, who was on set for the latest season of Stranger Things but promoting her latest film Godzilla Vs Kong, now streaming on HBO Go.
The 17-year-old busy bee may barely be legal, but she is using her platform with more than 46 million followers on Instagram alone, to fight the stigma and stereotypes given to women and young actors in Hollywood.
“Even if you’re not from this industry, every girl has had this experience, where you are treated a bit differently. And I think that having been in an industry that is so male-dominated… I’m a young girl, I’m not fully a woman yet, but I have been in situations where I’d question why I was asked that and he wasn’t?” she said. “Women have been playing that game and it’s not a game anymore, we have to stop.”
This is our fourth interview with the superstar and she just gets wiser, feistier and more influential each and every time.