Just like her famous Tito Robin, Bela Padilla isn’t the type who backs down from a fight.
So when the opportunity to chase her first ever title role presented itself, the 21-year old actress wasted no time “fighting” for it. During the recent press conference that introduced her as one of Colt 45’s Beer Angels, Bela admitted that she really worked hard to get “Magdalena”, GMA’s new afternoon soap set to air next month.
“Yes, I really fought for this role,” an elated Bela told InterAksyon. “For a while, I didn’t think I would get it but I’m really happy they gave me a chance to do this.”
She has every reason to feel good about clinching this role. Bela said she found the character of Magdalena both challenging and fascinating because the lead character went through a lot of things from a sweet, innocent girl to sexy club dancer. Along the way, she is also seeking revenge against those who ruined her life.
The half-Brit beauty who bears a striking resemblance to Bea Alonzo said she loves to act and has no problem playing just about any role she fancies. In only her fourth year in the business, Bela has had already experienced a good number of challenging projects.
Last year, she appeared in “Bangkang Papel,” her first full-length independent film. Shot in a depressed area in the middle of a typhoon, the project was particularly memorable for Bela for two reasons.
“For one, sobrang taas ng tubig at medyo natatakot na kami. Also, sobrang dami ng malulungkot na scenes so hindi ko talaga siya makakalimutan,” she confessed.
And this year, she also won a lot of kudos for her portrayal of Vanessa in her previous afternoon soap, “Hiram Na Puso.” An adopted daughter, Vanessa was also hopelessly in love with a guy who’s in love with someone who turned out to be her half-sister.
Asked what it’s like for her to take on kontrabida characters, Bela said, “I don’t mind playing villain roles as long as there’s justification for them, a back story on how she became the way she is. In the case of Vanessa, siya ‘yung kontrabidang nakakaawa kaya nung nawala yung character niya, umiyak yung staff namin sa show.”
Since also writes scripts on the side, Bela said it’s important for her to play characters who are given more depth and are not just one-dimensional stereotypes.
Being a Padilla, she also doesn’t mind being asked about her equally famous relatives, especially her Tito Robin whom she considers a role model in the business.
“It was because of him that we in our family got used to the idea of showbiz. When I was young, we would go to all of Tito Robin’s premiere showings, go to the parties and see the other stars. He would even go on vacation with all of us. That’s how much family means to him,” Bela fondly recalled.
One of Bela’s earliest roles was also in Robin’s “Totoy Bato” where she said she first learned how to punch a guy.
“He asked me to take fighting lessons for my role. He was a big influence to me just watching him work. At 5AM, he was already doing sit-ups while everyone else is still asleep. With him, I learned that it’s okay to be strong, to be out of norm. He would have been just as happy if I just stayed in school.”
As far as school is concerned, gymnastics taught Bela how to be agile, something she has put to good use in the Colt 45 Beer Angels TV commercial. Hopefully, she hopes to do another dream role where she could pick a few more fights and hopefully win a few more battles.
“I got two dream roles, one is either of the characters played by Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie in ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and the other is the CIA agent on the run Angelina also played in ‘Salt.’ Yeah, that would be fun.”