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Metro At 30: Nadine Lustre On Protecting Her Creative Energies

The actress and singer meant it when she said she just wants to be so into her creative equilibrium these days

In a sea of celebrities trying to keep up with the fast pace of social media and the entertainment industry, it's such a delight find someone who is not afraid to be authentically in touch with his or her creative side.

“For me, a beautiful, creative and organized space is very important because it brings out my creativity. Our stuff have been so messy and cluttered for so long that I feel like my creativity is suffering. I can’t think of new ideas,” Nadine Lustre says. “It is hard when you feel like you have no creative exhaust. It makes me feel dull as a person when I cannot do anything creative, or do things that make me happy... I decided to take a break and focus on taking care of my creative energies. I believe when you get to relax, your creativity just comes out naturally. I need that. I love that.”

The 25-year-old actress made headlines when she decided to let go of a project with Aga Muhlach, the Filipino remake of the hit Korean movie Miracle No. 7 which is set to be part of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2019. The role went to Bela Padilla.

“I already made two movies this year, and I feel like I really need this rest to stay in touch with my creative side,” she mentions.

White top and skirt by Neric Beltran


Nadine first entered the mainstream scene in 2009 as part of the sing-and-dance girl group under Viva Management called Pop Girls. Fast forward to 2014, Nadine Lustre hit it big with James Reid through the Wattpad novel-turned-movie Ang Diary ng Panget. The movie earned P120 million, a really huge milestone for a relatively new love team at the time. The duo followed it up with blockbuster hits Talk Back and You’re Dead and Para sa Hopeless Romantic. Soon, the two had easily become household names with their primetime teleseryes on ABS-CBN: On the Wings of Love and Till I Met You.

Nadine was indeed making huge waves in both television and big screen, as much as she was with her music. Her hit songs with James such as "Para-Paraan," "Bahala Na" and "Hanap-Hanap" were big chart-toppers. The love team’s collab song "Me and You" even won a Titanium Award internationally along with other K-Pop songs in the Australian music show SBS PopAsia. Soon, Nadine had had sold-out major concerts with her love team partner and boyfriend both locally and internationally.

Last year, James founded his independent record label Careless Music Manila, which effortlessly showcased the duo’s music-writing chops and talent in singing. "St4y Up," written by JaDine and performed by Nadine Lustre, was an instant sultry R&B favorite track. The song gave the multi-hyphenate star her Artist of the Year Award and Music Video of the Year Award at the MYX Music Awards 2019.

The actress had her taste of a little more mature role in films too, as she played the character of Joanne, one-half of the couple in the Antoinette Jadaone film Never Not Love You. The no-nonsense flick has become widely acclaimed, giving Nadine her string of major awards in one year, which is quite an accomplishment for a 25-year-old actress.

“These days, I always tell James that I am not rushing. I am not like the old Nadine anymore who was always in a hurry, needing to get all the projects. Now, I am okay if I don’t get as much projects. I am not worried if I am not as super visible anymore. I think this kind of feeling happens when you’re content, when you’re no longer looking for more. I am good. I am just at this phase right now when I am protective of my creative energies,” the actress says.

It is hard when you feel like you have no creative exhaust... I decided to take a break and focus on taking care of my creative energies. I believe when you get to relax, your creativity just comes out naturally

White top and skirt by Neric Beltran

Creative and happy

The actress and singer meant it when she said she just wants to be so into her creative equilibrium these days.

“I enjoy watching a lot of movies, especially old and classic ones. Some Like It Hot featuring Marilyn Monroe is one of my favorite old movies. I try to write as much as I can when I have a break, and I usually write about relationships,” Nadine tells Metro.Style. “I just browse on my iPad for ideas, I listen to music, or go out for inspiration. I like going to places that are creative, like art galleries, interior shops, or even furniture stores. Someday, I hope to create and direct a short film, but I don’t plan a little too much anymore. My mentality is I would cross the bridge when I get there.”

The young artist is working on new music these days with her crew. “I like hanging out with the Careless Music Manila team, who are all musicians and artists. I also love taking photos. I love doing all of those creative things. I feel like a relaxing time like that is very important to get in touch with your creative side, as opposed to just doing all these lineup of activities non-stop or even simultaneously. I believe that when you relax a little, slow down and listen to yourself, creativity comes out naturally. I enjoy writing songs, and I hope to write more songs.”

Although she is on a self-imposed break, the star is still creating something amazing for television. Nadine is currently part of the Filipino reality talent competition show Your Moment as a judge. Of the show, she says, “It is a really new concept, really creative and something to be proud of as a Filipino... We have collaborations with people from abroad. It is definitely exciting. I like doing something different, I am not into repetitive stuff.”

She adds, “Even in movies, I like making movies with different, unique stories every time. I wanna do some action roles someday, or even a psycho character. I want to challenge myself. ”

Someday, I hope to create and direct a short film, but I don’t plan a little too much anymore. My mentality is I would cross the bridge when I get there

When asked what milestone she is most proud of when it comes to her career, the actress expressed her love for her movie Ulan.

“I am proudest of my movie Ulan. It is a very creative and profound movie. It is done beautifully. It has a unique story. I know that it is definitely not for everyone. It is very unconventional and I took that risk when I did it. I know that everyone is so anal about movies having to sell big time, but I am not like that. I love taking risks and doing unusual scripts. What’s more important for me is I believe in the material and I had fun doing the movie. For me, these movies are gonna go in my books. As much as possible, I want my movies to be unique and different each time, and not the same story over and over again. I want people to remember me as a versatile, creative artist. I don’t like being inside a box, that’s why I want to explore more.”

Fashionably present

Doing TV shows and films and creating music may be Nadine’s expertise, still, you can’t help but notice that the girl has a cool sense of fashion, too. 

“I love anything creative and visual. I love dreamy things,” Nadine shares. “Lately, I’ve been wearing a lot of baggy pants. I like wearing big shirts and big pants. I like it when my style is a little boyish yet sexy. My style keeps on evolving. My last shoot with Metro magazine, I was all about athleisure—sneakers and sports bra. Now, I am slowly returning to kitten heels, mini skirts and halter tops. It is like athleisure meets Y2K fashion. I dress up depends on my mood, or even based on the music I am listening to. I am so into Chanel vintage stuff too these days, like these accessories from the 1970s, and I love the 90s fashion, like Aaliyah’s hip-hop style.”

The artist also shared her top three favorite fashion moments that she believes truly embody her sense of style: “My outfit during the premiere night of Indak, the oversized blazer and pants, matched with Off White boxers. That’s very androgynous, tomboyish but sexy. My second fave is my ABS-CBN Ball 2018 look. It was very risqué as I wanted to look like a villain. Balls always expect something feminine so I I wanted to break it with that Garimon Roferos creation, and with my lip ring. And my Ulan premiere night, the Steph Tan pink ensemble with furry details which is very Y2K fashion. Those three looks describe my fashion moods: either tomboyish yet sexy, risqué or feminine Y2K fashion.”

She got her early fashion inspiration from reading magazines as a kid. “I love reading fashion magazines when I was little, and I would always dream of having a photo shoot with a fashion magazine. So when it happened for the first time, I was so thrilled, “ the Metro cover girl reveals. “My favorite cover with Metro magazine is the Gucci one, with this white crazy setup. I don’t usually wear prints but that one was really good. Very eclectic, Morrocan-themed. Each of my shoots with Metro has been memorable as each one is different. Metro magazine has been so supportive with everything I have done—from my movies, my makeup collaborations, Careless music. With them, it is not like working at all. It’s like bonding with a family. I love being around that creative and beautiful environment.”

Nadine causally shared she is digging Kim Kardashian’s style these days, too. “I love Kim’s Yeezy style, all these neutral colors and designs by Kanye (West). I still love Bella Hadid and Rihanna, but Kim Kardashian’s style these days made me take out all the colorful outfits in my closet. As I’ve said, I’ve been doing a lot of de-cluttering and organizing in my life, and I am redecorating at home. This phase is all about organizing and cleaning my slate as 2019 is all about many changes for me. I’ve reconnected with my old friends again, I am seeing my brother and family a lot. This is my time to finally listen to what I really want, putting myself back to what I want.”

2019 is all about laying the pavement for me, prepping my path, fixing everything. So by 2020, I’ll just be cruising in that path and enjoy my life more

Silver top by Neric Beltran and black trousers by Daryl Maat

Produced by Kat Cruz-Villanueva, Ceia Ylagan, and Judy Arias

Photography by Seven Barretto

Video by Chapters by Mayad

Styling by Eldzs Mejia

Makeup by Jelly Eugenio

Hairstyling by Jay Wee

Sittings editors: Geolette Esguerra, Grace Libero-Cruz, and Kate Paras-Santiago

Production design by Kathy Sy King of Event Styles

Styling assistants: Carl Alberto, Gabby Gamboa, Nix Bueno, Aubrey Cazzandra

Shot on location at Privato Hotel Quezon City

Special thanks to Gabriel Perez of Privato Hotel Quezon City; C&L Decor, Shop Rent Gala, 4th Wall, and 18th Floristry