MANILA - Throughout her decade-long showbiz career, Nathalie Hart has been known by three screen names, including this latest one which she uses for her upcoming film "Sin Island."
The Star Cinema production marks Hart's first project with ABS-CBN's film arm -- her comeback of sorts to the Kapamilya network. Unknown to many, she actually debuted in showbiz under Star Magic. At the time, she was launched by the talent agency as Kristina Snell.
A year later in 2009, however, Hart switched networks when she joined GMA-7's "StarStruck." In that reality show, and in her later projects as a Kapuso contract artist, she was known as Princess Snell.
In real life, Hart's name is Princess Tinkerbell Snell.
"Nakakaloka!" was the 25-year-old actress' candid expression about her birth name. "It's just not really nice when you're getting old, and your name is still Disneyland!"
The dissonance between "Princess Tinkerbell" and her career path -- "Sin Island" is only one of numerous projects where she bares skin -- is not lost on Hart. This spurred her decision to take up her current screen name starting 2014, upon the advice of her manager, Leo Dominguez.
"I really like that name, and I've embraced it for four years of my life. But it takes some time to digest it, that you have a new name," Hart said during a press conference Monday ahead of the Valentine's Day release of "Sin Island."
Speaking with ABS-CBN News, the actress explained that "Nathalie Hart" has also become a reflection of her character and more serious attitude towards her craft. Whereas Princess took opportunities for granted, Nathalie values the trust she is given with big roles, such as Tasha in her latest film.
"The thing is, I'm not just here because of fun. I joined that competition at 16 years old," she said, referring to "StarStruck." "Noong time na 'yon, I really wanted to do it to get out of my comfort zone, para magkaroon ako ng sarili kong pera."
"Ngayon, it's not just about money anymore; it's about my career. When you have a career, hindi naman palaging pera ang pinag-uusapan diyan, e -- pati 'yung pag-progress ng career mo, 'yung pangalan mo," she added.
With Star Cinema's production and promotional machinery, Hart is indeed poised to have her new name more widely known -- in a good way, she hopes.
"It's not just about being sexy or seductive," she said of her role in the Gino Santos-directed film. "Makikita rin ng viewers kung hanggang saan 'yung level ng acting ko. I really tried my best. It was so hard. It was a very challenging role because she's a bit crazy. She's funny, but mental in some ways."
Penned by Jancy Nicolas, "Sin Island" centers on David (Xian Lim) and Kanika (Coleen Garcia), a married couple whose separation leads the husband to a steamy island affair with Tasha (Hart). Realizing she still wants to repair her marriage, Kanika puts up a fight with the headstrong Tasha.
But that's just based on the trailer, Hart pointed out. She teased: "Ang daming secrets ng pelikula. 'Yung trailer, it's actually totally different from the film. I was so happy kung paano ginawa ng Star Cinema 'yung trailer mismo, kasi hindi na-spoil 'yung mga character namin. Maloloka rin 'yung tao!"