I Feel U: Alexa, Charlie, Gillian and Belle get real about family relationships, love life

The new generation of Kapamilya actresses who brought to life the teenage versions of the iconic Salazar sisters – Alexa Ilacad, Charlie Dizon, Gillian Vicencio, and Belle Mariano –make up an interesting mix. In this episode of I Feel U, we’ll get to know more about these girls – from their family stories to their views about love.

The four beauties thank fans for the positive reviews and for supporting their film “Four Sisters Before the Wedding,” the prequel to the blockbuster hit “Four Sisters and a Wedding” shown in 2013. It serves as the perfect movie offering for families this Christmas season and amid the pandemic. The lead stars hope everyone who’d watch the film will be reminded of the warmth and love found in being home with the family.

Belle plays Gabbie, the youngest of the four sisters. In real life, she’s the eldest in a brood of three. And as an ‘ate’ to her younger brothers, she stands as the role model and she always looks after them to make sure they’re headed to the right path. Playing different roles in the movie and in real life, Belle now understands that even the youngest child has silent battles. 

Gillian seems a reflection of her character, the black sheep Alex. As the only girl and the middle child in a brood of three, Gillian is admittedly “pasaway.” She confessed that she often breaks rules such as curfews. Gillian has always wanted to have a sister, and this wish was granted, even multiplied by three, when she had Charlie, Alexa, and Belle. She finally knows how it feels like to have sisters who understand. 

Teddy is portrayed by Charlie who also has three sisters in real life. She’s the youngest and the only one left in their parents’ care since all her siblings are already married and based overseas. Handed with the responsibilities to look after their parents, Charlie became more independent and responsible. Putting herself in Teddy’s shoe, she realized the weight of emotions her ‘Ate’ must have carried when they also went through some family issues. Her eyes were opened to the real difficulties of being a role model. 

Alexa, playing the second child Bobbie, has an older half-sister. The 18-year age gap did not hinder their closeness even until her sister got married and moved out. They share a harmonious relationship, even if she can be “makulit” at times. Alexa thinks they’re the real-life Bobby and Alex, quite the tandem who always get each other. But despite being each other’s constant support system, she appreciates that her sister calls her out when needed and gives her fair pieces of advice.

Alexa, Charlie, Gillian, and Belle also have wonderful stories to share about their relationship with their parents. Belle thinks she’s pretty much a good daughter. She listens to her parents and often bonds with them – shopping with her mom and watching horror movies with dad.

Gillian sticks to her black sheep image in the movie. She defies parental rules but not to the point of causing too much trouble. 

Alexa has different dynamics with the parents. She’s a ‘soft’ girl to dad but a mature strong woman to mom because the latter would worry a lot about her feelings. Just like Alexa, Charlie is also a daddy’s girl, although he was busy with his job as Barangay Chairman in Batangas while she was growing up. She loves to take care of her parents and spend quality time with them. Charlie describes herself as obedient although she also knows how to speak up her mind and go after what she really wants.

Their parents are supportive of their dreams, always giving them advice about the ‘artista’ life. Alexa’s mom often reminds her to seek God while Charlie is told by her parents to know her circle. Belle remembers her parents’ golden advice about keeping it real and believing in herself. Meanwhile, Gillian talks about how happy it feels to make her family proud.

For this next generation of leading ladies, family is their ‘liwanag at ligaya.’ Charlie says she can’t imagine life without them. Belle calls her parents her light and her siblings her joy. Despite some inevitable sibling arguments, love always keeps them together. Gillian lives for her family and she will do everything to make them happy. Alexa also considers her fans as her light and joy.

Topics about love and relationships never fail to make any conversation more exciting. The Salazar sisters open up about romance in the second part of the interview. Without dropping names, Alexa gets real about a failed ‘connection’ with someone in the past. So, when thinking about her ideal guy, apart from the physical attributes, she considers how strong the chemistry is. Charlie agrees, adding that it helps when a pair shares common interests. She also hinted at a failed romance in the past. 

At one point in her life, Gillian experienced unrequited love, so she wonders how it feels like to receive the same amount of love she gives. The young actress is currently healing from that experience and she’d rather focus on self-love first. 

Belle, who only has puppy love as a romantic experience, says she’s drawn to a guy with almond eyes. Gillian is into ‘chinito’ guys while Charlie prefers a ‘tisoy.’

On portraying such iconic roles, the four actresses encountered different challenges. Alexa had difficulties in keeping her portrayal softer than the façade that Bea Alonzo has shown in the 2013 version. Charlie mentions that she felt pressured in keeping up with Toni Gonzaga’s trademark big movements. As an independent young woman, Gillian didn’t know how to act vulnerable at first and she’s glad to finally learn how to open up to others. Belle, the eldest child in real life, found it challenging to navigate the life of a ‘bunso.’

Joining them for this interview are the men portraying their first love in the movie – Joao Constancia, Jameson Blake, and Jeremiah Lisbo. The gang managed to maintain their closeness even after filming by keeping in touch via group chat. 

Of course, challenges come with creating a full-length film amid the pandemic. But on the brighter side, the lock-in bubble grew them closer. Joao reveals that they instantly clicked on the first day of shooting. They felt pressured and nervous yet they also filled the set with laughter. The family vibes on screen transcend even behind the scenes. 

Jameson promises surprising and memorable scenes in the movie. He believes viewers will love this version just as how they embraced the first film. For Jeremiah, “Four Sisters Before the Wedding” will impart lessons about hope and uplift everyone’s spirits amid the darkest times we’re all facing.