Iza Calzado’s candor, especially on the subjects of her age and relationship status, is as refreshing as her beauty.
The actress has no qualms about declaring her real age – she turned 30 a month ago – much to the chagrin of her manager, Noel Ferrer. “I am comfortable to say it. Hindi na nga ako 25 eh. Mag-inarte pa ba me?” she quipped.
The revelation naturally elicited questions about whether she is considering thoughts of settling down with her boyfriend, Filipino-British entrepreneur and sportsman Ben Wintle, whom she met in a Nivea event in CamSur a few years ago.
Alas, marriage is not in her to-do list this year.
“At this point, natutuwa ako with the opportunities na meron ako. Kaya ang marriage hindi pa muna. I believe in marriage and I value it. Pero, wala pa rin akong desire na magkaroon ng anak, anytime soon. Feeling ko kasi, kulang pa ang nararating ko at marami pa akong gustong gawin sa buhay ko,” Iza said.
So, at what age does she plan to become a wife?
“Maybe 32 or 33. I’m sure, maiintindihan naman niya ito now. Kasi career-oriented din naman siya,” referring to the cool Mr. Wintle.
Though she wouldn’t admit that it’s her love life that gives her that extra glow these days, Iza would rather keep her boyfriend away from the limelight.
Her career has been on the rise since she transferred to ABS-CBN earlier this year, but she remains grateful to GMA and her colleagues there.
“Malaki pa rin ang respeto ko sa pinanggalingan ko. Sa mga nakatrabaho ko before, sila rin ‘yung nagsilbing tulay sa kinalalagyan ko sa ngayon. Nakakatuwa rin ang prosesong dinaanan ko. And where I am now, I can say I am content. Dahil I can choose the roles I wanna do.”
Besides her starring role in the primetime soap “Kahit Puso’y Masugatan”, her three-year contract also comes with no less than four guest appearances in the drama anthology “Maalaala Mo Kaya?”
Her second “MMK” stint will air this Saturday, September 15. She is very excited about this one because she handpicked the story from the multitude of true stories sent in by followers of the show.
Iza portrays Rosalyn, a doctor who suffered from serious depression due to a series of adversities she suffered in her life.
She admits she has suffered from depression herself, especially after the death of her father, choreographer Lito Calzado.
“Nalungkot din naman ako sa mga dumating na pangyayari sa buhay ko nung mawala ang mga minamahal ko sa buhay. But I chose not to be ‘yung talagang down na down na ang pakiramdam ko. Yes, up to now, I see my dad in my dreams. At masaya siya,” she revealed.
One thing that sets Iza apart as an actress is the fact that she is one leading lady who has a taste for dark character roles.
“I have a liking for dark characters. Rapist? Why not? Kakaiba ‘yun. Babaeng rapist. Lesbian story. Mala-’50 Shades of Gray’ din,” she said.
If she could find the time, perhaps early next year, Iza would also love to test her talents on the legitimate stage. A few years ago, she wanted to do a production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, presumably in the iconic role of Blanche Dubois, but the project fell through.
After Peta’s “Bona”, a stage adaptation of another Lino Brocka classic, “Insiang”, is said to be in the planning stages. Iza would love to take on the title role immortalized by her idol, Hilda Koronel.
“Siya talaga ang peg ko,” she said of the veteran actress, who makes a rare movie appearance in the Star Cinema drama “The Mistress”. “And nung mag-guest nga siya sa ‘The Buzz’ recently, talagang nagpa-picture pa ako sa kanya.”
Iza remembers that she and Hilda were both in the cast of the very first soap she did back in 2001, “Kung Mawawala”. And they played mother and daughter in “Eternity”, one of the last movies Hilda did before she settled in the U.S.
As for leading men, Iza has her eyes on three of ABS-CBN’s hottest male stars.
“If there’s one actor I really want to work with, si Coco Martin ‘yun. Naka-work ko na siya in ‘Batanes’. Tinanong ko nga noon kay Direk Adolf (Alix) kung sino siya. Napakatahimik. Ang eksena lang namin, usap sa resto. I was not surprised when he made it. Big!” she said.
“Isa pa, si John Lloyd Cruz. And ang forever crush kong si Piolo Pascual. Sabi ko nga, sana with Piolo, soap para mas matagal-tagal ko siya makasama. Nasa pedestal ko siya. Bawal galawin! Tingin lang!” she said, laughing.