How Nadine Lustre became a ‘more evolved’ version of herself

How Nadine Lustre became a ‘more evolved’ version of herself

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:30 AM January 22, 2024

How Nadine Lustre became a ‘more evolved, unapologetic’ version of herselfNadine Lustre —PHOTOS COURTESY OF BIOTEN PHILIPPINES

Nadine Lustre (Photo courtesy of Bioten Philippines)

You’ll immediately know how different Nadine Lustre is from other popular actresses of her stature and caliber just by talking to her. When we had our quick one-on-one time with the lovely star at the recent launch of Bioten Philippines’ Hydro X-Cell hydration line, we were surrounded by people just raring to get their selfies with her—and she was more than happy to oblige.

In the midst of all the noise and distraction, Nadine easily won us over just by listening to her weigh in on our questions—from the mundane to the sensitive—as if she were in the midst of a deeply thoughtful scene in one of her increasingly provocative cinematic oeuvre.


In our view, it’s also this gimlet-eyed focus, emotional transparency and “no bs” approach to life that enable Nadine to convey a plethora of thoughts and emotions that helps bring out the exceptional actress she’s always been.


In fact, even as far back as 2014’s blockbuster film “Diary ng Panget”—when the most noticeable thing that much of Tinseltown could focus on was Nadine being in a love team—it was impossible to conceal the fact that she wasn’t just another pretty face thrust into the industry’s “love team” culture.

Outspoken style icon

These days, “President Nadine”—as some of her rabid fans on X affectionately call her—is as much an outspoken style icon as she is an accomplished performer. She’s also the most awarded actress of her age group, with best actress trophies from Urian (for “Never Not Love You”), Famas (“Never Not Love You,” “Ulan,” “Greed”) and the Metro Manila Film Festival (“Deleter”), so far.

But the journey to where she ended up and how she feels about herself right now hasn’t been easy for the actress.

What advice would she have for fans who are just starting to come into their own, and accept their strengths and weaknesses? Based on her own experience, what tips would she give to help them become better versions of themselves?

“I’m often asked how I manage to always look cool and composed,” stated Nadine. “I always say this to people… I’m unapologetic about who I am. I say what I want to say, and I do what I want to do. And that comes off like a big puzzle to some because, for someone in the midst of all this in show biz, we’re so used to having people who are afraid to speak up—and I’m definitely not like that.

“So, I tell them that I just try to be myself… because there was a time when all I did was try to fit myself into a certain mold. This was probably in the beginning of my ABS-CBN years. I tried so hard and that took a toll on my mental health because I became such a people pleaser.


“I lost sight of myself, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. It was really a struggle. Eventually, I realized, ‘I don’t want to be this person anymore’—I didn’t want to be someone who just tries to be somebody else. And that decision has come through in the way that I talk or the way that I dress, etc.”

When did this realization click for her?

“In my case, it just kind of happened because I had a terrible burnout,” Nadine recounted. “Imagine a person who’s so busy but doesn’t even have time to think for herself—that was me. At that point, I was just on autopilot!

Identity crisis

“So yeah, it took a toll on my mental health, then I also had an identity crisis. I really didn’t know who I was. I can’t say when or how [the shift in mindset] clicked, but I just had this realization that I was tired of wearing this mask.

“I admit, it was scary at first… kasi you don’t want to offend people. Who wants to be disliked, ’di ba? I think it’s innate in us not to want to get bashed… takot tayo na may masabing masama ang ibang tao about us—that’s normal.

How Nadine Lustre became a ‘more evolved, unapologetic’ version of herself

Nadine Lustre (Photo courtesy of Bioten Philippines)

“So when I decided to just be myself, scary s’ya (laughs)! You think, ‘Ano’ng sasabihin ng mga tao?’ But then, I was like, ‘You know what, f*ck it! I only have one life, so I have to live it the way I want to live it. And if people don’t like it, then maybe show biz isn’t for me.’

“So far, it’s worked out well for me (laughs)! And I’m really happy that I went through that. I’m grateful that I went through the confusion, that crisis, because I wouldn’t know how this feels if I hadn’t gone through that. But I don’t think I would ever have that realization kung hindi ko s’ya pinagdaanan.”

We had a fabulous time talking to—and laughing with—Nadine despite our limited moment with her. Such a delightful, no-holds-barred interviewee she turned out to be!

On a lighter note, we asked Nadine to share with us skin care tips for fans who are just starting to take better care of themselves.

“The simplest advice I could give is get lots of sleep and drink a lot of water, although those are two things na hindi ako masyadong consistent—but I’m trying!” she pointed out, laughing. “But proper skin care can only do so much on the surface level, right? It’s a little different when you take care of yourself on the inside. So do both [for much better results].”

Expressive face

Nadine told us, however, that there are other activities in her downtime that keep her relaxed and stress-free, especially after a hard day at work.

“I play computer games—kaya ako napupuyat (laughs),” she quipped. “That’s always been my stress-reliever. I stop thinking about other things when I’m immersed and focused on this parallel world. I kind of tune out when I play games. Another thing that relaxes me is losing myself in movies… I love watching movies!”

Speaking of movies or TV series, what genre does she prefer?

“Crime thrillers, definitely,” she answered. “Lahat na yata ng horror films sa Netflix, napanood ko na… kaya wala na akong ibang mapanood (laughs).”

We told Nadine how effective she is when she isn’t saying much in her films because her very expressive face does all the “talking” for her.

“Thank you!” she said. “The reason behind my thing with acting is because I am inspired by the movies I watch. I see the characters, of course, but more than that, I’m more fascinated by the process that actors go through [to] become who they’re supposed to be onscreen.

“I would even ask myself and analyze, ‘How do they do that?’ I watch what happens behind the scenes, how they study the script, all the nuances. I love the little details [that complete their portrayals].

“I really think about things like those, especially with [my upcoming horror film] ‘Nokturno.’ I told Direk Mik, ‘I want nuances that are different from those in ‘Deleter,’ because that’s the only time it would make sense for me to do them,’ kasi ang weird naman if that’s what people would see me do in my romantic comedies (laughs).”

Horror genre

While she has appeared in a lot of hugely successful rom-coms, Nadine confided to us that she’s really more partial to “darker fare.”

“A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m not a huge fan of romantic comedies or dramas,” she admitted. “Ako talaga, I really love the dark stuff. I mean, there are rom-coms and dramas that I enjoy, but they’re often the more basic ones lang talaga… like ‘The Notebook,’ na pinaka-favorite ko among movies with elements of drama and romance.

“I say this because every time I’m with friends, they always talk about dramas or romantic comedies that were based on books, but I couldn’t relate to them (laughs)… probably because I’m not into those genres as much as they are. Hindi ganun kalalim ang interest ko sa mga ’yun. But talk to me about crime documentaries, thrillers and horror films, then I’ll have a lot to say (laughs)!”

More music

Before we parted ways, we asked Nadine how she would assess her 2023, and what her goals are for this year?

“Last year was a mess for me (laughs)—ang dami kasing nangyari and it was just moving so fast,” she intimated. “The energy back in 2023 was weird… there was just something about last year I can’t quite grasp. Maybe it was energy we were trying to [shake off] so we can usher in a different kind of energy this year—I dunno.

“When I returned to Manila after Paris Fashion Week, it was like, ‘What happened?’ I have a lot of forgotten memories from last year, so when people ask me about it, I don’t really remember much. I was just floating in 2023.

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“For 2024, I want to be more creative—that’s why I want to work on my album again and make more music.”

TAGS: Entertainment, Nadine Lustre

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