Charlie talks about friendship with Kaila

The time they got to spend together on the set of Pira-Pirasong Paraiso might be quite short since her stint there was only limited, yet Diamond Star Maricel Soriano was still able to build a strong bond with her co-actors, most especially with its four lead stars Charlie Dizon, Loisa Andalio, Elisse Joson, and Alexa Ilacad, who played the estranged grandchildren of her character.

But as much as she wanted for the four of them to appear together in one vlog, she decided to have Charlie first. Maricel commenced this vlog with a short kumustahan with her, who she had just seen at an event the night before filming this.

Charlie went on to recount her humble beginnings in showbiz, starting off with her unique screen name which is completely far from her biological name, which is April Rose Matienzo. She was able to use it in her early days in showbiz, until her career began to take off, prompting the management to give her a name that had a more recall. It was actually Ms. Charo Santos who came up with the name.

Just when we thought that the start of her journey in the entertainment scene was similar to other artists, Charlie disclosed that hers began by attempting to fulfill her dream of becoming a K-pop star and being part of an idol group. She recalled doing a novena and seeking the intercession of St. Jude for her prayers to be heard, which eventually came true as a South Korean talent agency indeed held auditions here for aspiring Hallyu artists like her. She even passed the auditions and trained in South Korea for around two years.

Unfortunately, that got impeded when she encountered a problem with POEA regarding her contract and visa. Thus, she decided to just pursue her college education here in the Philippines and, at the same time, continue chasing her ambition of becoming an actress by enrolling in the public workshops of Star Magic. She might not be as impressively talented as the others, yet she was admired by her mentors for her unbelievable willpower.

And that eventually paid off as she was chosen by Star Magic to undergo private workshop for free. But she still had to wait for four years before being officially launched as part of the Star Magic Circle Batch 2018, the same year that she graduated from college with a degree in Human Resource Management.

Their fun conversation then veered to Charlie’s unforgettable experiences in the previous projects she did, particularly her movies.

From doing commercials, she scored her first-ever film project in 2017, which was the Star Cinema romantic comedy flick “Finally Found Someone” starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo. Despite only having short lines then, Charlie truly cherished that experience as it not only gave her the opportunity to work with superstars, but also taught her a lot about the industry and the craft – from the right attitude on the set to acting techniques.

That was immediately succeeded by another huge project, the family comedy-drama “Seven Sundays,” top-billed by Ronaldo Valdez, Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Avanzado, Cristine Reyes, and Enrique Gil. Apart from being a mere opportunity for her, this also served as her sign to stay here in the Philippines and continue her promising career here despite being contacted again by the South Korean agency to which she first auditioned.

Next was the critically-acclaimed 2020 flick “Fangirl,” in which her compelling portrayal of the titular character earned her the “Best Actress” award at the Metro Manila Film Festival that year. She divulged that she actually didn’t expect to be chosen for the role basically because of her age, but she was able to gain the admiration of the creators during the auditions.

Even though she wasn’t able to experience the activities usually done during the much-awaited film festival because of the pandemic, Charlie is still thankful for the tremendous success of “Fangirl,” which opened a lot of doors for her. Prior to that, she was also picked to play the young Teddie Salazar in “Four Sisters Before the Wedding”, the prequel to the classic favorite “Four Sisters and A Wedding.”

They then talked about her bond with her Pira-Pirasong Paraiso sisters Loisa, Alexa, and Elisse, which according to Charlie, has been truly lovely ever since their look-test to the present that the series has been over for months already. She also recounted her most unforgettable moments with each one of them, starting off with Elisse to whom she got really close after she opened up to her about her personal life behind one of the heavy scenes they were about to film.

With regard to Loisa, she already performed with her in several production numbers in ASAP Natin ‘To, which allowed them to spend more time and share a lot of stories with one another. The same somehow goes with Alexa, to whom she got to work in “Four Sisters Before The Wedding” as she played the young Bobbie Salazar. However, it was only during Pira-Pirasong Paraiso that they were able to deepen their connection as Alexa became remarkably more outgoing.

Charlie also reminisced about her unforgettable experience working with the one and only Diamond Star, sharing how totally starstruck she was especially on the very first time that they worked together in a scene. She initially had a hard time because of the jitters she felt, but Maricel calmed her down and taught her techniques that really helped her get through that scene.

She might not be a part of Pira-Pirasong Paraiso, but they also talked about working with Kaila Estrada, who’s their co-star in separate teleseryes – Charlie in her first-ever series in a leading role Viral Scandal and Maricel in the ongoing series Linlang. Charlie revealed that prior to the series, she and Kaila used to see and greet each other at school during their college days as they used to attend several go-sees at the same time. Thus, it was easy for her to get along with her both on the set and off-cam as they used to do lock-in taping then.

Furthermore, Charlie also shared her experience working with Joshua Garcia, who was her leading man in the primetime series. It wasn’t their first time to share the screen together as they worked together in a telecom commercial prior to that. Hearing her kind words about him made Maricel more excited to work with him in the future.

The Diamond Star capped off the interview by quizzing her guest regarding her wish for herself. According to her, she aspires to have a successful and enduring career in showbiz like Maricel because she loves this job so much, as well as for her to be able to balance her personal and professional life.