Teen actress Therese Malvar reveals award-winning secret
“My audience never sees the real me,” teen actress Therese Malvar said of the characters she portrayed in all of the seven films she had been part of.
The street urchin Jinky, her role in the Ralston Jover drama “Hamog,” is no exception.
“I make a character sketch on the back of the last page of my script,” said Therese, as she explained to the Inquirer the process she goes through in terms of character research and development. “Jinky is strong-willed and wise beyond her years. I created her with the help of my director and [cast mates]. She has her own backstory. We’ve provided details on how she justifies the actions she makes.”
Therese also interacted with children of the same background.
“I had a daylong immersion session with the kids living under the Guadalupe bridge. During the shoot, we were with real street children, too. In fact, I met a girl whom I used as ‘peg’ for Jinky. I tried to get that strength and confidence from her. I also tried to know her story. I learned that most of them have homes but just chose to live on the streets because they feel unwanted by their own parents,” the actress explained.
“I’m thankful that I’m always offered challenging roles. Yes, they are difficult to portray but they can be addicting, especially when my directors tell me that I am able to do them correctly,” she pointed out.
To make sure each character was unique, Therese said: “I develop this one thing, a mannerism, for each character. When Jinky feels tense, she fiddles with her dirty nails. My mom said she had never seen me do that in real life, but I can’t help doing it when I’m Jinky.”
This also applies to the other characters she had helped create for her past films. Her first, the tomboy Anita, in Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s “Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita,” would always try to fix her short hair when feeling nervous.
“Nagpapakapogi ako lagi doon,” she quipped.
In Dan Villegas’ “Ilawod,” she plays the kamison-clad teenager Isla.
“She is the graceful type. She walks as if she is on the red carpet all the time. In real life, I’m actually clumsy,” said Therese.
In Joseph Israel Laban’s “Baconaua,” Therese is Dian, “who is boisterous and mischievous. My energy has to be up there all the time,” she explained.
Therese’ work in “Hamog” won for her an acting commendation from the 2016 Moscow International Film Festival in Russia. This feat made her the youngest Filipino, at 14, to win a best actress award in an A-list film festival.
“Hamog” started its run in local cinemas on Aug. 16, as part of the weeklong Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
In real life, Therese is an introvert.
“I don’t feel comfortable when people stare at me, especially at school. I would always hide behind my classmates when I feel I’m being watched,” she said. “I’m always absent in class, too. They always ask me to be the choreographer for school performances, but on the day of the program I always seem to have work commitments.”
The 16-year-old also shared with the Inquirer: “I reject guys. Although my mom has allowed me to entertain suitors, I feel like I’m not yet ready for a relationship. I’d rather read love stories from scripts and books.”
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