“Stop Being In Denial”—Movie Queen Bea Alonzo Talks About Moving On And Moving Forward
I caught up with Bea Alonzo in between her commitments. She was all dolled up in a silk scarf halter printed top and yellow-green skirt. Her hair was done in waves, with strands both polished and unkempt. Everyone around her was pre-occupied and busy going around.
But in this chair, Bea was unfazed. She looked perfect. At 30, she is at the point where she hasn’t exactly figured out everything in her life yet, but at the same time, she has also made it clear that with age comes maturity. She knows where she should be heading and what she should be doing. And that is reason enough to be happy, go with the flow, and bask in the unknown.
As she looked back on the adventure-filled 15 years she has spent in showbiz, Bea beams with pride at the mere thought of having a wealth of experiences and achievements to draw strength, courage, and inspiration from at different stages of her life.
“In each character I portrayed, there’s Bea in them,” she shares. “We have different parts of ourselves na hindi natin palagi nare-reveal to other people pero kapag na-magnify mo ’yung isang part na ’yun, it becomes a totally different person, a totally different character. That’s my process as an actress.”
“I create relatable roles and characters”
The trajectory of Bea’s acting career is unlike that of most of her colleagues. She didn’t start out as a child star and didn’t really have the chance to outgrow teenybopper roles. Except for a stint on teen-oriented TV series K2BU back in 2012, what can be truly considered as Bea’s acting debut was her portrayal of Katrina Argos, a lawyer, on the soap opera Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay; she was just 14 at the time.
What followed was a string of romance-based TV shows and films that eventually catapulted Bea into this generation’s Movie Queen, with iconic roles such as Basha from One More Chance and A Second Chance, Sari from The Mistress, and Bobbie from Four Sisters and a Wedding.
Her latest film under Star Cinema, Kasal, directed by Ruel S. Bayani, is a story of a girl named Lia who is torn between her past love, Wado (Derek Ramsay), who has resurfaced, and her current love, political candidate Philip (Paulo Avenino). The story progresses to reveal hard decisions and truths that her character has to deal with. Aside from the leading trio, the movie boasts of a stellar supporting cast, which includes veteran actors Cherie Gil, Christopher de Leon, and Ricky Davao.
Kasal, Star Cinema’s 25th anniversary offering, is a brave love story that tackles the conflict people can experience when dealing with truth, lies, betrayal, and change. These things may be suppressed or hidden, but eventually when we face them, it sets us free and lets us see the kind of people we really are.
Lia is gentle but when she’s wronged, she also (wo)mans up and faces the issue head-on. “When I get angry, mas nandu’n ako sa nagsa-silent treatment, but Lia’s a different kind. Kapag nagalit siya, talagang parang sumabog ’yung bulkan,” Bea shares. “So there’s a small part of that in me na kailangan lang i-magnify for the character to be organic.”
As Bea talked about this movie and her role, she presents a question, “Kapag nalaman mo ba ang lahat-lahat tungkol sa pagkatao ng tao na ’yun, are you still willing to love him unconditionally?” It was a rhetorical question, but one that she expounded on and answered herself.
“Alam mo ang tao, posibleng alam mo ngayon, alam mo na everything about this person, pero ’yung mga susunod na mangyayari, hindi mo alam eh. Because people change. You change. Your partner changes. Hanggang saan ba ang kaya mong tanggapin?,” she says, ending her statement with yet another rhetorical question.
Like Lia or Bea, a lot of people also find themselves asking rhetorical questions that eventually beg to be answered, hinting at one’s current state of mind and the state of one’s heart.
“I’m more open to the reality of life that people are not perfect”
Bea’s private life and love life were recently put under the spotlight, with Bea admitting that she is “technically single” at the moment; her relationship with her How to be Yours co-star Gerald Anderson seemingly on an indefinite pause. In an interview with ABS-CBN, where she was asked whether she and Gerald are still together, she replied, “Hindi sa ngayon.”
Bea has been through several relationships, so her view on love has changed over the years. She admits being more idealistic before. While she says that she will always be a hopeless romantic, she knows now more than ever that a relationship is a two-way street, allowing her to be more open to compromise and more understanding of people’s complexities. “It takes two to tango, hindi lang other person ’yung magpi-please sa’yo,” she says.
As they are two celebrities with huge followings, it’s unavoidable for the littlest detail in their relationship to be magnified, like how her supposedly unfollowing him on Instagram made headlines. Now, just as how plots in the movies she does have evolved with the changing times, she acknowledges that “iba na ang romance ngayon with social media and all.”
Change—the only thing constant in the world. Through the years, her coping mechanism for getting over pain has changed, and that’s largely dependent on where her life is at the time she was struggling. “We have different ways of coping. When I was younger, iba ’yung way ko of coping. Habang nagma-mature ako, iba na din ang way ko,” she shares. “There’s no perfect recipe on how to do it and every person is different so I can’t really say how exactly, pero para lang sa’kin, you just have to be true to yourself all the time and stop being in denial.” And the moment you stop being in denial is when you get a step closer to acceptance—acceptance of how things turned out and how things can be spun for the better.
“My characters are more empowered”
And so is Bea. “It’s very important to also evolve as an actress,” she points out. “...and to offer something new in every project that you do.” The empowered roles she plays is a reflection of how strong women are today. “Dati matiisin. Ngayon, mas hindi na takot to stand by what she believes in,” she says. “I’m happy that I got to see this difference, how it evolved.”
Having been in the industry for so long has given her the opportunity to work with seasoned actors, like ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio and Aga Muhlach who are her co-stars for her upcoming movies.
Now that Kasal is showing, she has wrapped up shooting for the upcoming horror film Eerie, directed by Mikhail Red, where the audience can see another side of Bea and another layer to her as a versatile actress as she portrays the role of a nun. She is soon turning her focus, too, on her new movie with Aga under the direction of Paul Soriano; she is set to leave next month to start filming for this.
“When I’m being offered a project, I make sure na ’pag binasa ko ang script, nakikita ko ang sarili ko doing the character or watching that specific film. That’s how I choose my projects,” Bea shares.
A jetsetter, Bea shares that she loves how traveling helps with her acting, saying, “What I love about traveling is every single city, I get to hear the history. Naisip ko, ever-changing 'yung world, but 'yung bawat tao, bawat reaction ng mga tao in the past, pare-pareho lang. We’re driven by jealousy, passion, and power. It’s the same. It’s all the same. So regardless kung nasaang era ka, people are just the same. It gives me a different kind of drive to actually choose projects that can become classics. Gusto ko ng ganu'ng klase ng pelikula."
“Kagaya ng getting into the character, it’s also a process to get out of the character. Hindi s’ya instant. May debriefing,” Bea explains. The same goes in real life. You fall in love. You get hurt. You try to understand what went wrong. You move on. You start over. It’s a never-ending learning experience.
It’s a process, and this bold, brave, and beautiful woman is going through it while making sure she gets the most out of it.
"We have different ways of coping... There’s no perfect recipe on how to do it and every person is different, so I can’t really say how exactly, pero para lang sa'kin, you just have to be true to yourself all the time and stop being in denial."
Brown vest by BCBG, brown skirt by Yas Ph, heels by Jacquemus / Trench coat by Burberry and booties by Balenciaga
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Shaira Luna
Creative direction by Chookie Cruz
Videography by Marnie Giron
Video editing by Jason Roque
Styling by Jowi Guzman and Miguel Cruz of StyleList, Inc.
Makeup by Ting Duque
Hairstyling by Ayu Hamasaki
Nails by IncocoPH
Shoot assistant: Judy Arias
Special thanks to Star Cinema