Julia Barretto co-stars with Enrique Gil in 'Mirabella.' ABS-CBN
MANILA - Julia Barretto tried but failed to fight her tears during a live interview on "Aquino and Abunda Tonight" Monday when criticisms against her were brought up.
The 17-year-old actress, whose launching series "Mirabella" premiered earlier on the same day, appeared to hold back tears when co-host Kris Aquino asked if she feels bothered by critics calling her "maarte" (too girly or picky).
"Kasi ano eh... Why are we doing this now?" Barretto said, before pausing as if to contain her emotions.
When prodded to continue, the young actress said, "It's not easy to be... Mahirap kasi 'yung maraming nag-ji-judge sa'yo na hindi ka naman kilala at all. That's not easy to deal with also at 17."
"But you can't explain yourself to everybody, and ayaw mo rin, eh, kasi they don't all deserve to be given an explanation about yourself. But, you know what, I'm being me," she said.
The night before her live interview, Barretto's guesting on the popular late-night talk show "Gandang Gabi Vice" was aired, making her a trending topic on micro-blogging site Twitter.
While fans of Barretto cheered on their idol, some netizens brought up the young actress' behavior on the program, with a number calling her "maarte" in her interactions with host Vice Ganda and co-star Enrique Gil.
"Honestly, what I think is it's better to be yourself and be different because that's what's going to set you apart from everybody," Barretto said on Monday.
She added: "Because that's the least I want to be, [being] like everybody else. Everybody is too the same na, e, and that's the only way to be different, to just be yourself."
Barretto earlier admitted being hurt by the criticisms directed at her for being paired with Gil in her first TV series in a lead role, specifically from loyal supporters of the actor's tandem with fellow ABS-CBN contract artist Julia Montes.
Considered "showbiz royalty" as she comes from the Barretto clan of celebrities, the young actress is arguably the most popular of the new Star Magic artists introduced last year.
She is the only one among her batch mates to be given a launching series, "Mirabella," which some detractors have said she is not yet ready for.
"I've been trying to be strong and tough, pero people also have to know that tao rin ako and I'm 17 and I also get hurt," said Barretto, who is a daughter of former actress Marjorie Barretto and comedian Dennis Padilla.
"I'm just starting, ang dami ko pang matututunan, ang dami ko pang experiences, so sana mabigyan ako ng tao ng time," she said.