Janice bares her dark sideBy Allan Policarpio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Janice de Belen has never been busier since her teenage years.
The actress-host, now 42, is enjoying a career resurgence of sorts.
Aside from her regular hosting jobs for “Showbiz Inside Report” and “Spoon,” Janice was recently cast in ABS-CBN’s newest teleserye, “Ina, Kapatid, Anak,” which also stars Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, Maja Salvador and Enchong Dee. She’s also in the coming horror flick “Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles.”
After starring in the drama series “Budoy” last year, Janice landed roles in the films “Mga Mumunting Lihim,” “The Healing” and “Pridyider”—a spin-off from one of the episodes that featured her in the first “Shake, Rattle and Roll” movie.
“I think the last time I was this busy was when I was 16!” Janice said during a recent photo shoot for the teleserye “Ina.” “I’m very thankful, but I’m still shocked right now. Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Di nga?’”
Asked if she felt that she wasn’t given enough opportunities when she was a GMA 7 talent, Janice said: “I owe [the network] a debt of gratitude because, at the time when I needed a job after my separation [from John Estrada], they gave me one.”
The flurry of projects that came her way, Janice mused, “was just probably a matter of chance.”
“Ina” has Janice playing a villain—a refreshing change from the typical mother roles she’s been portraying lately. “I want more spice! Playing a villain is usually more fun,” she said.
The challenge, Janice pointed out, was to bring out her dark side.
Does she think of a “certain someone” when trying to sink into her feisty role?
Janice brushed off the question with a laugh, saying: “I don’t think about certain people … But no matter how sweet you are, you’ll always have a dark side.”
What ticks her off, however, is arrogance. “I can’t stand arrogant people, and there are a lot of them in this industry,” she said. “I’m also really transparent. I won’t look at you in the eye if I don’t like you.”
Her role in “Ina” also puts her in a rather amusing situation, since she plays the wife of Ariel Rivera, husband of her sister Gelli. “Weird ’yung feeling! But as an actress, you have to get past that,” she said.
She’s often asked whether her kids—Inah, Moira, Kayla and Yuan—are interested in following in her footsteps. Like most show biz parents, Janice won’t object if any of her children would want to join show biz—provided, of course, that education comes first.
“When you’re in show biz, you’ll be interviewed and meet a lot of people. I don’t want my kids to just stand there because they don’t know what they’re talking about,” she said. “You have to have an education.”
She regretted not being able to finish college after prioritizing her family and career.
Janice, who finished a culinary arts course at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, stressed the wisdom of having a fallback in case her kids’ future show biz careers don’t take off.
“The turnover in show biz is so fast,” she said. “[My kids] might not be as lucky as I am. I just want them to be able to say that they are capable of doing other things in life.”
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.