Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jodi Sta. Maria-Lacson

Original draft of an article I wrote for the Manila Bulletin in 2007.

The occasionally badly drawn girl is one fine actress

SHE’S not bad. She’s just drawn that way—sometimes.

In at least two top-rated teleseryes in Kampanerang Kuba and Walang Kapalit, Jodi Sta. Maria-Lacson’s characters made life extremely difficult for lead stars Anne Curtis and Claudine Barretto. She was so effective in playing contravida that many fans of the shows found it hard to distinguish the actress from the character she’s playing.

“Maraming nainis because of my characters and I kinda expected that reaction when the roles were offered to me,” she admits. “But I wanted to try something different and they were such good roles so I just couldn’t pass up the opportunities.”

A member of ABS-CBN’s elite Star Magic stable of homegrown talents, the 25-year old actress has always taken the road less traveled as far as her choices of projects are concerned. A common trait that her characters, good or bad, shared, is that they were almost always headstrong, dating back to the tomboyish George in Tabing Ilog, her first major weekly drama series.

But far from the complexity of the characters she played, the real Jodi couldn’t be any more different. “Supersimple” is the word she uses to describe herself. “I’m not much into shoes, perfumes and clothes and I only buy when I need to. I wear what is usually asked of me during tapings and photo shoots. Kahit ano, basta okay naman, I’ll wear it. But after that, I just wear what’s comfortable like jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and slippers. I do have a few stilettos, though but that’s about it.”

Marriage and motherhood hasn’t changed her simple ways as well. “I don’t ask my husband to buy me fancy gifts,” she reveals. “For anniversaries and special occasions, we just go out and have dinner.”

Jodi admit's she is not big on cosmetics either as she looks naturally beautiful even without make-up. So when she was asked to endorse a new skin whitening regimen from Hype Skin Care, she was quite hesitant.

“I never tried any whitening product before as although hindi naman talaga ako maputi, I’m happy naman with my morena and tan complexion and I also have some concerns about possible allergic reactions,” she notes. “But Hype convinced me to first try their products out and I like that the results were visible after two to three weeks.”

It also doesn’t hurt Hype Gluta-C Whitening Soap and Hype Duo Lotion and Soap are in Jodi’s words “not sticky and easily absorbed by the skin.” These products which also contain Vitamin C and the powerful Glutathione anti-oxidant has maximum whitening and anti-aging properties while at the same time also providing adequate sun protection and much-needed moisturizing.

Small wonder why Jodi looks radiant and stress-free even as she now has her hands full despite her busy schedule that now includes a couple of modest business ventures. “We’re opening a salon soon,” she enthuses. “And I’ll soon be launching my own line of condiments. Oyster sauce, fish sauce, mayonnaise, hot sauce, tomato sauce, vinegar, name it, we hope to have it.”

Jodi is also excited about two independent films she recently completed. “One is called Maling Akala and it’s directed by Pablo Biglang-Awa and Ronnie Velasco. It’s about a girl who was abandoned by her boyfriend after he got her pregnant. When she went to the province, she met this very kind guy who took care of her and even pretended to be her husband. But there’s a twist to the story kasi the guy is not really who she thinks he is.”

“The other indie film is Nars by Adolfo Alex, Jr. and it also stars Jennilyn Mercado, Jon Avila and Coco Martin. It’s the story of our nurses, especially those who decide to stay here.”

Jodi admits that money is never an issue when it comes to her craft. “I’ve always loved performing,” she declares. “When I was a kid, I wanted to join Little Miss Philippines, madalas naming pag-awayan ng mommy ko yan. I was always active in extra curricular activities in school. I joined dance contests, singing contests, cheering competitions.”

That’s why doing indie films and even theater was a no-brainer for her. “You don’t get paid a lot for doing indies but I did it just the same because I want to experience working with people who are very passionate about their craft. Theater is a little different in the sense that you don’t get a second take if you forget your lines. In the case of Beauty and the Beast that I did for Repertory, we were rehearsing everyday.”

Jodi loves the business so much that she’s not averse to doing anything that would showcase her talents. “If I get an offer to perform in a play for Teatro Pilipino and the role is good, I don’t see why not?” she nods. “When I was in the US for a while, I got bored and felt worthless. I didn’t want to watch TFC because I’d cry and get depressed when I see my colleagues.”

Yes, performing becomes Jodi Sta. Maria-Lacson. And if the thought of seeing her play another menacing character would make many people’s blood boiling hot again, well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

“I’m supposed to play another contravida role in an upcoming teleserye but my producers decided that I lie low doing these roles for now,” she says. “Masyadong tumatak yung Walang Kapalit sa isip ng tao.”

Like I said, she’s just drawn that way.

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