Lovi Poe tough times make success sweeter
KAPUSO DAY - Butch S. Raquel (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2014 - 12:00am

Lovi Poe entered showbiz in 2006 carrying her late father’s famous last name. Even so, she never relied on “The King’s” fame to fast-track her then blossoming career.

Her numerous acting plums have become a testament to her rising celebrity status — she is hardly ever referred to these days as “FPJ’s daughter.” She is now rightfully called Lovi Poe, multi-awarded actress.

“It’s important that you go through tough times because that makes success sweeter. You should never forget humble beginnings.”

With two Best Actress trophies — from FAMAS and Cinemalaya no less, plus several acting awards under her belt, it’s remarkable how this dusky beauty has remained soft-spoken and unaffected.

She says she inherited these traits from her father. “He was very humble. He did more than he talked. And I’m proud that he was that kind of person.” Lovi is Fernando Poe Jr.’s daughter with former commercial model and actress Rowena Moran.

“I’ve been hearing stories that he was always seen spending time with friends. Me, too. I love my friends and my family so much.”

In an industry where careers are fleeting, investing in rock solid friendships is a priority for Lovi. Her best friends in the biz — “Heart and Alex,” she admits in an instant, referring to Heart Evangelista and Alessandra de Rossi.

“They’re very funny and I get along with them so well. We share everything with each other. Totoong tao kasi sila. What you see is what you get.” Lovi, Heart and Alex first worked together in the GMA Telebabad series Legacy in 2012.

Perhaps, Lovi’s secret to stardom is simple: She’s not fussy. “It’s important for an actress to actually realize that they shouldn’t be afraid to look ugly on TV,” she says. Last year, she took on the role of a barrio teacher for GMA News TV’s docu-drama Titser — a guise so distant from the usually polished Lovi.

“Mas mararamdaman ng tao yung nararamdaman ng character towards a situation. It should be realistic,” she reasons. “For an actress, hindi dapat palaging naka-ayos. Kapag kailangan sa character wala kang make-up, pag kailangan di ka maganda, di ka talaga maganda. That’s one thing I’ve learned from direk Laurice Guillen.”

Lovi worked with acclaimed actress-director Laurice Guillen on Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas, a primetime drama she did for GMA Telebabad in 2013.

Her versatility is one of Lovi’s strongest assets. The 25-year-old actress is never one to settle in her comfort zone. She moves hither and thither — from mainstream to indie, in a heartbeat. “I love that I get to explore even more, because in indie you have no limitations. In mainstream, when it comes to scenes, ultimately you have to think about what would appeal to the majority.”

And she likes challenges. “I want to portray a psycho girl, a drug addict, anything outside the box. Yung mahirap gawin,” says Lovi, certain of her goals. “So far, I’m not setting any limitations to myself because I don’t want to ever stop exploring.”

Her newest project is in line with her career trajectory—an unconventional primetime drama that pushes Lovi outside her comfort zone. “I was literally jumping for joy when I found out about it. I was very excited to work on the drama and of course, with my co-stars.”

Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real pits Lovi against Diamond Star Maricel Soriano in a tug-of-war over a mutual husband — a bigamous man played by Dingdong Dantes. The series premiered last June 2 on GMA Primetime.

Behind the camera, Lovi is quiet and reserved — a stark contrast to the abrasive character she portrays onscreen. “My character Sheila is very aggressive. Mahirap i-deliver yung lines niya.”

Lovi is quick to prove her point. “When Sheila loves someone, she says it upfront. Nung magka-eksena kami ni Dingdong during rehearsals, tumatawa ako while saying it. Sabi niya, kaya mo yan. Hirap na hirap ako. Labag sa kalooban ko,” she chuckles.

Working with industry titans is familiar territory for Lovi. Her previous starrer Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas placed her opposite veterans Cesar Montano and Gloria Romero.

Does this mean working with Maricel is a breeze? In a surge of modesty, Lovi disagrees. “Ang galing-galing niya,” she commends the Diamond Star’s artistry. “Isang tingin pa lang ng mata, kuha na. She’s really good.”

She also lauds Maricel’s knack for humor — a facet rarely showcased by the Taray Queen. “She has lots of things to say. I was surprised that she’s really funny.”

In terms of familiarity on screen, Lovi admits to be more at ease with Dingdong – her leading man in the 2012 box-office hit Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles. “Tiktik is a bit more on the action genre, and this one is more into drama. We’ll get to do more emotional scenes here. I’m looking forward to that.”

The unconventional storyline of Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real is consistent with GMA’s progressive dramas in the vein of My Husband’s Lover. The story explores the repercussions of infidelity and the unlikely dynamics of an older woman-younger man relationship.

“Hopefully, marami silang matutunan because I believe in this show,” she tells her audience. “It’s not about promoting this kind of story, yung pagiging unfaithful. I think we have shows like this to prevent it from happening. Hopefully, matuto yung mga lalaki na hindi biro masaktan ang isang babae.”

Lovi also remains hopeful that she would one day be able to finally jumpstart her singing career. She has a flair for music and even sang the theme song for Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas titled Huwag Kang Mangako.

“Bata pa lang ako I’ve always loved singing. I rarely watched movies. Lagi akong nasa music channel. I even joined a singing contest in grade school,” she recalls, laughing fondly. “I’m a proud Reginian!” she adds, declaring her love for Regine Velasquez.

But beneath all that star wattage is a simple girl with a heart for adventure. “I love traveling for the food and the learning experience. Ang dami mong matututunan sa iba’t ibang kultura ng mga tao. It’s nice to take that in. You can’t be stuck in one place forever. You have to grow — and you’re gonna grow by traveling.”

Lovi’s penchant for travel has brought her across the globe. She recently circled Europe to visit Rome, Paris, and London, among others. “Best time was when we went to Vatican City. We spent the whole day there. Naiyak ako. Ang sarap ng pakiramdam. Iba yung feeling na nakapag-reflect ka doon mismo.” She adds, “We got lucky kasi andun yung Pope na nagsasalita. I literally ran from my spot towards him when I found out!”

The morena beauty also loves the sun and sand. “The nicest beach I’ve ever been to is Amanpulo. I’ve been to beaches abroad, but nothing beats our beaches in the Philippines.” She even went cliff diving once, she shares abashedly. “Once! Di ko na uulitin.”

Lovi lives life one day at a time. Her social media accounts — Twitter and Instagram, are a witness to her fun-loving persona. She often posts about work, friends, family, travel, food, her pets (a Maltese given by Heart and two Shih Tzus), and like any other millennial — a wealth of selfies.

“I take selfies a lot,” she laughs heartily. “Meron na nga akong monopod para sa selfies.”

But above all else, she remains a Poe at heart — passionate and driven. “When I pursue something, I make sure to give it my best, be it work or personal matters. I rarely decide on something, but when I do, I don’t stop until I achieve it.”

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