Francine Diaz Talks About Rejection And Redemption
Francine Diaz sure knows how to switch the negativity off by numbing it down with a good dose of acceptance, starting anew, and a mentorship that matters
From a string of television commercials to a slew of teleserye classics, it is indeed incontestable that Francine Diaz’s star power is of leading-lady stature. Following her highly-watched and hit series Kadenang Ginto (2018) where she portrayed her well-received and breakthrough role as Cassie Mondragon, she slingshotted to fame and was dubbed as a promising drama actress of her generation.
Although she may be a newly-minted name in the show business sphere, Francine’s acting plate is a crystal-clear proof of what a talented woman she is, having starred in several small and big screen showcases such as Silly Red Shoes (2019); All Nighter (2020); Huwag Kang Mangamba (2021); Tenement 66 (2021); and Bola Bola (2022). She had an eventful 2022, and she will also start 2023 on a high note with a starring role in the upcoming series Dirty Linen, which she co-stars in with Janine Gutierrez, Zanjoe Marudo, and Seth Fedelin.
While she may seem so much like an average coming-of-age lass with her fresh cherubic face and princess-perfect aura, Francine is also sculpted to fit other molds and spatial forms, outgrowing the prim-and-proper prototypes that female protagonists follow. Her role, Joy, in Huwag Kang Mangamba, for one, is something that the young star renders offbeat.
“At the time, sobrang fresh ko [mula] kay Cassie ng Kadenang Ginto na sobrang sweet [ng character]—hindi siya lumalaban, wala siyang sinasabi kahit nasasaktan na siya o kung anumang ginagawa sa kaniya,” Francine starts off, as if describing herself. “And then suddenly,” she shifts, “bigla kong pinortray si Joy na nagre-rebelde, tapos umiinom siya, at ’yon—medyo hindi siya masunurin sa magulang niya.”
Prior to her jump-off point and despite her swift landing to stardom, Francine’s due takeoff is just the tip of the iceberg. When she was just starting out in showbiz, Francine had to cast all her courage to make it to the scene. She recalls being rejected. “I think I was 12 or 13 at the time,” she narrates to Metro.Style, “tapos mayro’n akong isang show na pinuntahan para mag-audition, tapos wala kaming pamasahe nu’n.”
“Nangutang lang kami, and then tiniis ko ’yung gutom ko nu’n. Pumila ako nang mahaba. Pagdating ko du’n sa room para i-act out ’yung nasa script, hindi ko siya maintindihan; hindi ko siya magawa nang maayos.” She recalls getting called out and scolded by the director.
“Tama naman siya! Tama naman siya,” banters Francine, who laughed off the blunt experience. True enough, her thrust into the industry was a tough chance to come by, but her ability to translate pain into power allowed a trail between her and the barriers to entry to entertainment. Of course, she had to climb, but soon after, she was waltzing her way to success.
“Later on, na-realize ko na hindi pala lahat ng rejection dapat mong i-take,” she posits, believing in the science of bright sides. “Actually, sila ’yung parang stairs na tutulong sa’yo para umangat ka, para i-improve mo ’yung sarili mo, and ginamit ko ’yun para i-improve ’yung sarili ko sa pag-acting,” shares Francine, who now fetches strength from her family in the network: Star Magic.
As a celebrity, Francine is prone to judgment—a default setting that any prospering actor is subject to. It is sweet luck, though, that the tides are low with her artist management agency. “Whenever I get the chance na makausap sila, nakakakuha ako ng insights from them na nakakatulong sa’kin. I can be myself [around them], tapos hindi ako na-ja-judge,” she shares.
“Sa showbiz industry, kailangan mo talaga ng pamilya na tatanggapin ka, and for me, ’yung Star Magic ’yung pamilya na kinakapitan ko sa mundo na ’to,” says Francine, whose career sprouted during her formative days. “Siguro eight ako or nine nu’ng una akong pumasok sa ABS-CBN and then, du’n ko naisip na parang, ‘Ito na ’yung start ng career ko—start ng magagandang bagay for me.’” Her prophecy is a real plot. Francine has nailed it.
Photography by Dookie Ducay
Creative direction by Eldzs Mejia
Art direction by Raff Colmenar
Sittings editor: Grace Libero-Cruz
Makeup by RB Chanco
Styling by Myrrh Lao To, assisted by Mack Bersalona, Josh Galang, and Mai Chua
Interviewer: Grace Diez
Shoot coordination: Red Dimaandal and Kate Paras-Santiago