MANILA -- Young stars, starting from their late teens, easily want to take charge of their lives, careers and earnings. The dizzying road to fame and fortune inevitably get to their heads and they forget about the important people around them.
Not actress Julia Barretto.
While she started in showbiz at the age of nine and became successful through her late teens, Barretto, now 23, still worries about not letting her mom, Marjorie, get disappointed. Barretto remains consistently careful about anything she does, personally or professionally.
“One thing that I really feel I fear is just letting my mom down,” Barretto said. “With everything I do, projects, career decisions, personal decisions, the only thing that matters to me is how my mom feels about it. My worst fear is when I let my mom down. Everything I do is really mainly to just make her proud of me.”
The actress, who was described by one entertainment writer as “beautiful, sexy, famous and rich,” has opted to shield her loved ones or anyone close to her from anything nasty that can get out of hand.
“With all due respect, I decided not to discuss anything about my personal relationships with my family members or my love life, so I can also protect them,” Barretto said. “I just become more protective of the people around me and I protect my privacy more now.”
For the first time, Barretto realized she is standing up for herself. “Ang dami ko ng pinagdaanan,” she said. “The moment I am able to protect myself, I am also able to protect the people I love most in my life. They are my driving force. I don’t want to allow unnecessary controversy to stress my family. I realized there are things that can’t really help us.”
Now that she lives in her own house, Barretto is proud that she has become an empowered woman and more independent. “Being at home, I become dependent on myself,” she said. “I started taking care of my own bills. I’m more careful on my spending and managing my earnings.”
It comes as no surprise to many when Barretto recently stood for herself and formally filed a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation against broadcaster Jay Sonza, who recently announced that she was reportedly pregnant. The alleged father of her child was actor Gerald Anderson.
“As much as it is important to protect your loved ones, it is also important to protect yourself,” Barretto maintained. “Gusto kong pahalagahan ang sarili ko. I can’t tolerate fake news anymore. Marami na akong pinalampas na false information about me.
“Always, I simply ignored it. I just felt like it was about time to make an action to try to stop it. I’ve just had enough. I can’t tolerate fake news anymore. As a normal person, I listen to current events, what’s happening to our country and other places, especially now with this pandemic.
“It really bothers me every time I stumble upon fake news or false information. Things without confirmation or truth. We want to read about things that are true, as much as possible. It’s not just for me, but for everybody just to protect ourselves. We are only waiting for feedback from the NBI, then we can go ahead with our case.”
With her recent transfer to Viva Artists Agency (VAA), Barretto is excited about everything that she will be doing with her new management company. She left Star Magic and formally said goodbye to former heads Mariole Alberto and Johnny Manahan.
“There’s just so much to look forward to with Viva,” Barretto said. “There are so many possibilities just being with Viva and being part of the family. I’m just happy to be brave enough to take another milestone in my life.”
Young actors like Marco Gumabao, who has been Barretto’s “long-time friend,” welcomed her into the Viva family. Yassy Pressman also messaged her.
“Yassy is so excited about me being part of the same family,” Barretto said. “I have had a lot of warm welcomes from everybody. It really made the transition great and exciting.”
As far as Barretto’s career path in her new “home” is concerned, the actress is definitely expected to be busy with more projects, according to Viva Entertainment’s chief marketing officer, Lawrence Tan.
“That’s how we value Julia as our newest star,” said Tan. “As far as her career path is concerned, she has always been a star. We will just make her a bigger star. She will have more exciting projects online and more movies. We will see who can work best with her in those projects.”
Although no specific projects have been announced yet for Barretto, the actress is more excited about the new stories that Viva will be producing. “Viva is good with that,” she said. “There are no remakes. None yet.
“They are just adapting to the ever so changing world and the stories that have been happening throughout the years and the current events around. I am so excited about the new stories that we’ll be telling. I’m so excited with everything I will be doing with Viva.”
Asked if she will welcome a GL (girls’ love) series, Barretto excitedly mentioned the names of Lovie Poe, Jasmine Curtis Smith and even Liza Soberano, as the ideal co-stars that she wants to work with.
Meanwhile, when it comes to directors, Barretto expressed her desire to work anew with JP Laxamana, who megged last year’s “Between Maybes,” her movie with Anderson. She also wants to work again with Antoinette Jadaone, who directed “Love You To the Stars and Back,” also starring Joshua Garcia.
“I am looking forward to working with a lot more directors for the first time under Viva,” Barretto said. “Those I haven’t worked with before. There are just so many possibilities. There’s just so much to look forward to. I wish I could do it all at once in one day.”
As far as Barretto and Garcia are concerned, they have remained good friends to this day. She did not deny the fact that she misses working with a very good actor. “He took care of me on the set every time we were shooting,” Barretto said. “Up to now, we’ve remained friends. It is important to save the friendship.
“Both of us showed effort to save the friendship. We moved on and we are not willing to go back to the past. Our breakup made us more mature and better persons. Whoever he ends up with, sana lang mahalin siya at alagaan siyang mabuti.”