Going solo: Francine Diaz enters ‘new chapter’ in her show biz journey
According to teen star Francine Diaz, the biggest lesson that the audience can take away from watching her latest romantic-comedy series, “Bola Bola,” is to “never force someone to love you. This only means you don’t love yourself, too.”
“Forcing or begging someone you care for to love you back even if he really doesn’t only shows how little you think of yourself. I believe that if this person genuinely cares for you, you don’t have to beg for his affection, you don’t need to chase after him. Prioritize caring for yourself and you’ll be surprised because you will eventually meet the right person for you,” the 18-year-old actress said during a recent virtual media conference to promote “Bola Bola,” which will start streaming on March 26.
“Another lesson is that we should always be careful with what we say to others. Words are like knives. They leave lasting wounds on a person. We have to remember to only use kind words, even though being kind is often hard to do, and even though we know that anger is often hard to control. These are what the world needs now: kindness and love,” Francine pointed out.
In “Bola Bola,” Francine plays Thea, a 220-pound late bloomer who falls in love with her older brother’s best friend. She is paired with three new actors namely, KD Estrada, Ashton Salvador and Akira Morishita.
This series is Francine’s first TV project without the Gold Squad, which was formed in 2017 and also includes Andrea Brillantes, Seth Fedelin and Kyle Echarri, Francine’s former onscreen partner.
Andrea and Francine, who first worked together in the hit series “Kadenang Ginto,” reportedly had a misunderstanding in January after a photo of Seth and Francine spending New Year’s Day with her family was uploaded on social media. Andrea allegedly confronted Francine about it. The two later “unfollowed” each other on Instagram.
During the virtual mediacon, Francine was asked how she was feeling now that she has already gone solo and is currently entering a “new chapter” in her career. “I feel happy and nervous at the same time,” the actress began. “One of the fears I’ve had while we were starting to work on ‘Bola Bola’ was that the audience might not like my performance. I was afraid that they might find me OA (overacting) in comedy.”
She added: “But I felt happy when I heard the comment of my director and our writers. They said I have a natural flair for comedy and that I am able to carry my scenes well. I found comfort in their positive comments, which also kept me going until we finished taping for the series. I really hope people will support this.”
Francine, who is more identified with heavy drama, said she found “making people laugh and feel ‘kilig” more challenging. She explained: “I can easily motivate myself to cry while taping for dramatic scenes, but it’s hard to fake happiness. It’s even harder to crack jokes and actually make people laugh.”
The series, Francine said, is all about embracing one’s insecurities and turning them into something positive. “Thea is a chubby girl, but she’s smart. She’s always at the top of her class. She loves her family and friends and always aims to give them her best. She’s funny, but once you get to know her, you’ll realize that she’s very deep. She also loves to cook.”
Francine had to wear a “fat suit” for the series. She said it’s always tedious and painful whenever it was time for her to remove her prosthetics after each taping day. “They apply glue on my cheeks, neck and hairline. I had to remove the fat suit every time we pack up the set. Sobrang hapdi! But I appreciated using prosthetics; it’s something that every actor should experience in order to learn and improve his craft,” she pointed out.
“One thing I realized about body positivity and shaming through this series is that words can really hurt people’s feelings. While wearing my fat suit, people would joke and tell me that I’m fat. I actually felt Thea’s pain. We should really be careful with how we talk to other people because we are not completely aware of their struggles.”
“Bola Bola,” an iWantTFC original title based on the book by Anna Geronga, is directed by JP Habac. It also features J-Mee Katanyag, Danica Ontengco, Analain Salvador and Arlene Muhlach. INQ