MANILA -- What started as a simple message opened doors for Filipina beauty queen-turned-actress Gloria Diaz.
The Miss Universe 1969 titleholder was tapped to be a guest star in the second season of the pageant-themed Netflix series "Insatiable," which premieres on October 11.
She joined lead stars Debby Ryan and Dallas Roberts on Tuesday as they promoted the show in Manila.
"They just Viber-ed (sent a chat message) me and I thought it was a mistake. Maybe they weren't referring to me," she recalled. "I didn't really answer it in the beginning until they Viber-ed me again and I said, yeah, okay."
She added: "I'm thrilled, kilig, na naisip nila ako. It was a good challenge."
In "Insatiable," Diaz plays the role of beauty queen and mentor Gloria Reyes, who was greatly idolized by pageant coach Bob Armstrong (portrayed by Roberts).
While her character was also a Miss Philippines and a Miss Universe, Diaz was quick to stress that she is different in real life.
"Even the dialogue is not something I would say," she said, adding that the idea of changing her surname to Reyes came from the scriptwriters.
"Me as a person, I like to be funny and she's funny. But yeah, that's the only similarity."
SHORT BUT IMPORTANT ROLE
Diaz admitted that she was initially worried about what Filipinos would say after seeing her on "Insatiable."
She cited the hype her stint has been getting both in the news and in social media, as many might assume that she will appear in all episodes of the series.
"Usually I don't care what people will think. But [in this case I was worried because they might say], 'all this hoopla tapos sandali lang pala," she said.
"How do I explain that to people, because people don't seem to realize that I am just a guest?" she asked.
But while her airtime is short, it's easy to see the impact of her role in the life of central character Patty Bladell (played by Debby Ryan).
During the press presentation, host and beauty queen Nicole Cordoves noted that "Queens take control," a line delivered by Diaz's character, is an overarching theme in season 2 of "Insatiable."
The three cast members were asked to share their thoughts about the line, starting with Roberts: "Queens don't ask for permission for control. They don't wait for it, they just take it."
Diaz, citing her pageant experience, chimed in: "To an extent, the winner has the say. They always talk about the first runner-up, the second runner-up, the fourth runner-up. But there comes a time, after one or two years, nobody remembers the runners-up. It's the queens that take control."
Ryan, for her part, said: "Respect is not demanded, it is commanded. It is not just stopping and screaming. Respect is walking in and knowing what you are owed."