Liza Soberano on wanting a clean slate: I can no longer be boxed in
Controversial celebrity Liza Soberano would still want to be called “Liza,” and not necessarily by her real name, Hope, “because most people know me by that [screen] name.”
Inquirer Entertainment made sure to ask this from Hope Elizabeth “Liza” Soberano before sitting down with her for a 10-minute interview recently.
We also talked with the Filipino-American actress about the issue of her Instagram and YouTube accounts suddenly going blank during the weekend, something that most of her followers initially thought was the work of hackers; until she uploaded a 14-minute vlog explaining that “Liza” was merely created by a network and did not always reflect who she really was, and that now, as “Hope,” she is breaking free and assuming full control of her brand.
“Personally, I wanted a clean slate as I launched all the projects that I’m currently working on. For the longest time, I’ve been kind of boxed into this idea that people had of me and of my branding, and so, I wanted to kind of erase all that. I didn’t delete all the posts, and just archived them. I want people to know that I can no longer be boxed in and that, this time, I’m taking control over my own narrative and I will stay true to my heart’s needs and wants,” Soberano told Inquirer Entertainment shortly after she was launched as the brand ambassador and chief advocacy officer of the Philippine-based financial services and digital payments company, Maya.
She added that the Liza Soberano brand would now be “all about working on my passions, feeding into my happiness, and constantly growing to get better and learn.”
Soberano joined Star Magic, ABS-CBN’s talent management arm in 2011 and rose to fame in 2014 after playing opposite Enrique Gil in the Kapamilya network’s romantic-comedy TV series “Forevermore.” She left Star Magic in 2022 and signed up with Careless Music in June of the same year.
“Everything is fast-paced and that’s why it’s so hard to process all the changes that have been happening. I didn’t even realize until now how much I’ve changed or grown from March last year—when I first started working with Careless—to this year,” said Soberano, when asked to describe her life since she has chosen to make the United States as her home base.
“I didn’t realize how different I’ve become. I’ve been doing so many big things and I’ve been experiencing so many changes in my personal and professional life. Yes, it’s fast, it’s complicated at times, but it’s fun and totally worth it because I feel like I’m growing into a person that I’m proud of, being able to do things that I could only imagine before,” she pointed out.
Isn’t flying to and from the Philippines so tiring, since she is also expected to clock in regularly now that she has work to do with Maya and for her advocacy, the nongovernmental organization Save the Children Philippines?
“I actually enjoy long flights because that’s when I get to rest, although my schedule isn’t as hectic as when I used to tape or do movies,” Soberano began. “Now, because I’m not filming, I get to have breaks, but I’m also working on a lot of things behind the scenes—things that people don’t know about—so it’s also pretty hectic, but it’s fun because I’m also working on myself. Everything that I’m doing now is for me and all the advocacies I care about.”
Advocate for children
When asked why she felt it was important for her to actively advocate causes related to children, Soberano explained: “For somebody with a huge platform, it would be a waste if you don’t use it to encourage positive change or encourage people to lend a helping hand. Ever since the pandemic happened, I made it a point to constantly lend my voice to those who feel they don’t have one.
“Children are the next generation of leaders and people who are going to bring positive change. They should be protected and helped in their early years. Save the Children is such a great organization to be closely working with because not only does it work for the children, it also works with the children in order to have insights into what their specific needs are.”
Soberano said Maya’s campaign theme, “My bank, my money, my way,” reflects the current state of her life. The actress explained: “I’m taking full control over my life now and I’m not allowing traditional stereotypes of how a celebrity should be—how one should present herself, who she should associate herself with, and the projects that she should take on. I’m just taking full creative freedom and empowering myself.”
Soberano was partly referring to one of her recent gigs, acting for the Hollywood movie “Lisa Frankenstein,” featuring Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse, and directed by Diablo Cody.
“Being able to do a Hollywood film is something that I’ve always dreamed of. I aspired for change and it happened before the pandemic, actually, around 2019. I was in the States for quite some time because I had an accident that injured my finger and I had surgery there,” she began. “I met a lot of amazing creatives and people who work behind the scenes in Hollywood. That inspired me to want to work there. Also, I have family there so, I want to work closer to them. I likewise wanted to challenge myself, and what better place to do that than in Hollywood.”
We then asked her to share some of the best practices she has observed while shooting the film. To this, Soberano said: “What I enjoyed about working there was that for every take, they allowed me to try different things. That is also a thing here, but then, the way they went about trying something different each and every time was so drastic—they would start with a simpler acting, then they would go harder and harder, more intense with each take.
“Also, the environment on the set was really great. Here in the Philippines, especially with actors, you mainly only get to talk with the directors, producers and the glam team while on the set. There, I was able to talk with the lighting director and the DOP (cinematographer), and I got to build a relationship with every department. People there see themselves as equals. They don’t see actors as unreachable. It actually makes me want to bring that culture here, so that everybody is given as much creative freedom, power and respect on the set.”