Article By JASER A. MARASIGAN
Photos by PAOLO SY
Styled by JP DICHE and PIERRE PERALTA
Makeup by Don De Jesus (Iza)
and MAGIC JIMENEZ (MARK)
Hair by DAVE GRONA
Clothes from FASHION FORUM (SM DEPT STORE for IZA)
and BENCH (for MARK McMahon)
MANILA, Philippines — The new year finds actress Iza Calzado in a reflective mode. Maybe this isn’t such a bad time to look back a little, she says, especially after her father’s recent passing. Iza’s father, actor-director-choreographer Lito Calzado, died of liver cancer last November.
Iza admits to still having regrets about the person that she was. And the person that she was before is someone she is not really proud of.
She might, at times, have blamed her father for it – for not pushing her hard enough to her fullest potential, but the award-winning actress says she is thankful that if not for those past experiences, she would not probably be the person that she is now – stronger, wiser, empowered.
And that is what’s good about new years, Iza says. They always give a fresh start and a new hope that this year is going to be better than the last one.
“I made so many mistakes as a kid, as a teenager, in my early 20’s. I still make mistakes now. I’m sure one day I’ll have an interview when I’m 40 and they’ll ask me when you were about to hit 30, did I have
any regrets. But I think I’m making better decisions now, compared to when I was 10 or 18. But still it doesn’t give me the power to turn back the time. I am the person that I am now because of those mistakes and I’m pretty happy with myself,” says Iza.
“I’ve encountered people who’ve been so blessed, who have so much opportunities but are not happy with themselves. I think I’m ok. At the end of the day it’s what makes you happy in your life,” she continues.
For the new year, Iza looks forward to spreading her wings, exploring new things as an actress and more recently as a host. She is excited to be working with more people, actors and actresses she hasn’t worked with before, just to share that energy with them, she says.
“It’s nice to be able to have that release, to have a certain freedom to be someone else, to play, and to share energy with other people. That’s fun for me. And then seeing it on screen, being part of that
film, it’s a great, great feeling, it’s a great escape,” she continues.
Aside from her hosting chores (“Eat Bulaga”, “Party Pilipinas”, “Showbiz Exclusives”), Iza had a guest appearance in the hit Asian TV series “The Kitchen Musical”. Likewise, she is set to do the indie film “Mga Mumunting Lihim” for Cinemalaya this year with Judy Ann Santos.
OF CHANCES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Before pursuing an acting career, Iza first worked as a dubber for Mexican telenovelas. At the same time, she was trying to complete her Fine Arts degree, major in Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
“I don’t remember a lot about my school life,” says Iza, who vaguely remembers details of her high school and college years, revealing that it was one of the chapters in her life that she would not want to go back to. “I never really had a lot of discipline. I’m not proud of it, it’s just that was the kind of person I was. So carefree actually,” recalls Iza.
Iza admits she lacked discipline and motivation then to even have a goal in life. “I was never really pushed by my dad or by anyone. And I can’t keep on blaming my dad for not pushing me. Eventually, when I think about it, even as a child, it’s always there, I just never really pushed myself. And it’s really about pushing yourself. It’s just about having a focus and a goal because for the longest time I didn’t have any motivation,” she recalls.
It was after appearing in a shampoo commercial that the morena beauty got noticed for showbiz. “Show business has always been knocking at my door. Even when I was a kid, I was already exposed to showbiz. When I got fat, nawala ‘yung mga offers. When I lost weight tagain, I was offered parts for TV.”
She finally gave in to the idea after her mother died.
“It came at an opportune time because we really needed the money. My mom died and my dad was not doing well financially at that time. The opportunity just kept on popping up, so I said, before magtampo si God or the universe for not acknowledging it, might as well try. So I did. Of course, it was also an excuse to party at that time,” she relates.
“And I don’t say this with pride, I say this as a fact of what I was. Just to let people know that change can happen. It’s all about having faith in yourself and really turning your life around. Not all my decisions were right, or have been fantastic but my decisions have brought me to a better place,” she continues.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
For Iza, acting is a continuous learning process. It is no wonder that she is one of the best actresses of this generation. She has won acting awards for her movie performances, and even starred in the Hollywood adaptation of her own local horror flick “Sigaw”.
“I am pretty ambitious in a good way. I want to achieve things. And it felt good. And whatever that drive was, it was all worth it. I enjoy the amount of love and respect that people seem to just hand over to me. But of course, there are also the letdowns. You have people saying bad things about you, but as long as the good things outweigh the bad, and you know that you didn’t do anything wrong to begin with, and you try not to, then I think you are in a good place.”
Right now, Iza relishes her downtime from acting projects and uses this opportunity to better her craft. She recently attended the Stella Adler Workshop under the tutelage of international acting directors Don Williams at Andrew Wade.
“I always wanted to study abroad, but my dad was sick so I can’t really go, I have to work. Just as when I have free time because I’m not doing a soap to pursue something, something naman in my personal
life comes up. It’s a blessing na rin that the workshop was brought here. Everything happens for a reason.”
In between her acting and hosting stints, Iza also champions women’s causes. In addition, she is involved with the charity projects of Gawad Kalinga and Red Cross.
“That’s one of the reasons why I always push to be better. It came to a point na, I’ve done so many wrong things before, now I can choose to turn my life around. I’m not a saint, and I don’t want to be a saint. I’m not perfect. But in terms of my decisions and drive, I hope I can inspire people, most especially the young ones,” she says.
It is also not a secret that Iza was once overweight and she triumphed over her weight problem through discipline and commitment. “I became fit by running, weight training, and occasional dance classes and Pilates. Recently I started doing CrossFit training and yoga. I still have my insecurities, especially in the business that I’m in, that you are perceived to be in a certain way. But it doesn’t matter because I work hard to be where I am,” says Iza, whose results in adapting a healthier lifestyle is evident in her more defined physique.
As she closes this chapter in her life, Iza looks forward to living new and better ones.
“The past year, I haven’t really done something that inspired me. I did before stuff that challenged me. And it’s been a long time since I have done something that’s a showcase of what I can do. That’s why I also enjoy this time off, because now I’m looking for it. I’m getting that hunger and passion for it back again because I really lost it somewhere along the way,” she ends.
special thanks to Manila Bulletin
Article from mb.com.ph
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