Olivia Lamasan recalls Kathryn Bernardo’s journey as a serious actress

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2022 05:35 PM

Photo from ABS-CBN Star Cinema's Facebook page
Photo from ABS-CBN Star Cinema's Facebook page

MANILA – Actress Kathryn Bernardo started her showbiz career at an early age which made it difficult for her to transition to a serious actress. 

This was what ABS-CBN executive and director Olivia Lamasan admitted in an interview as released by Star Cinema’s YouTube page on Tuesday.

Lamasan believed that their overseas film “Barcelona: A Love Untold” was Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s transition from their tweetum roles to more mature characters and projects. 

The award-winning filmmaker noted that Bernardo looked like a young teenager despite being 20 already in 2016. 

“Kasi si Kathryn nung time na 'yun parang 13 years old palagi. Parang 13 anyos. Hindi mo papaniwalaang may maturity,” Lamasan said.

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“Alam na niyang umiyak. Galing na siya sa 'Pangako Sa'Yo' sa series. But palagi lang cutie, cutie. Hindi mo siya ma-take as a serious actress. When she was a child star, magaling, pa-cute.” 

But Lamasan took on the challenge to push Bernardo to establish her new image as an actress. True enough, Bernardo appeared in the film with a more serious role and a different look from her past projects.

“Kasi 'di ba ang KathNiel, ang sikat-sikat na nila, ako hindi. 'Harapin mo 'yung totoo about yourself. Harapin mo Daniel. Harapin mo Kathryn. O ano? Magaling ka ba?' So may mga pinagdaanan silang ganun sa akin which also help a great deal in improving their acting and in transitioning them to more adult roles,” she said.

However, many fans did not immediately appreciate the rebranding of Bernardo upon seeing the movie, according to Lamasan.

“Marami ang nanood na initially hindi nakatanggap sa kaniya. We had to change her hair. The people were saying, 'ano ba naman 'yan.' People did not believe. It was very difficult for them to accept Kathryn's more adult role,” she said. 

But eventually, this helped Bernardo and Padilla to take on more drama-heavy projects that broke box-office records. 

“That project paved the way for both of them -- their maturity as actors in succeeding projects directed by my beloved Cathy Garcia Molina and of course, Mae Cruz,” Lamasan said. 

In 2018, KathNiel starred in “The Hows of Us” which gave Bernardo a Best Actress trophy in the PMPC Star Awards for Movie and Best Actor for Padilla in the Luna Award.

A year later, Bernardo did “Hello, Love, Goodbye” with Alden Richards which became the highest grossing Philippines of all time. 

Currently, Bernardo and Padilla lead the cast of the ongoing ABS-CBN series “2 Good 2 Be True.”