Woman of the Week: Bela Padilla

 

Reasons the seasoned actress—wise beyond her years—makes a remarkable role model 

 

 

An actor turning into a director, producer or screenwriter is not an unusual change of route on this particular career path.

 

Deviating into a behind-the-scenes kind of life shows these actors have a true mastery of the craft; instead of playing roles, they now get to create them. They are able to conceive entire storylines, envision the movie setting and go into the many other details involved in production. And most recently, women have been succeeding in this department.

 

A prime example of this is Angelina Jolie whose last acting project was By The Sea, a film she produced, directed and starred in alongside her then-partner Brad Pitt. She temporarily hung her “actress” hat to work exclusively as producer and director of First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, a project very close to her heart.

 

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Another example is Reese Witherspoon, an initially typecasted actress who tried her hand at producing for television and succeeded tremendously: her mini series Little Big Lies took home five Emmys at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards just last month.

 

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Refocusing the lens on local entertainment, one would assume that viable candidates for this kind of career progression are categorically limited to industry veterans.

 

Enter: 26-year-old Bela Padila.

via @belapadilla on Instagram

 

Now, don’t let the young age or pretty face—or any other assumption that can be made based on appearances, for that matter—fool you. Bela Padilla is wise beyond her years and an artist dedicated to her craft…willing to take on the good, the bad, the ugly in the process.

 

Our woman of the week is no stranger to being typecasted though: Padilla made a name for herself via the cookie-cutter, part-of-a-love-team Star Magic image. And her last name certainly helped (she’s related to actor Robin Padilla and actor-director Roy Padilla Sr.) her rise into stardom.

 

via @belapadilla on Instagram

 

She spent the first few years of her career on lighthearted comedies, dramas and…even more dramas. But a close look at her body of work from 2015 to 2017 will show you something else: an inclination for serious films that steer away from storylines favored by mainstream cinema.

 

Here, an appreciation post for Bela Padilla, an artist who’s only just begun:

 

Last month, she debuted her first screenplay for Star Cinema: a film entitled Last Night.

Source Star Cinema

 

Before pursuing the project in collaboration with director Joyce Bernal, Padilla trained under Filipino screenwriter and novelist Ricky Lee, taking scriptwriting courses between TV projects. “I don't want people to question my background, to ask if I'm credible enough to write screenplays for movies. So I wanted to take a proper course,” she told Rappler.

 

The movie was well received by audiences when it premiered in late September.

 

While others were critical of the film, Padilla remained laser-focused on the right things.

“I don’t mind senseless bashing. Constructive criticism, I will accept. Kapag senseless bashing, medyo wala siya sa list ng kailangan kong pagtuunan ng pansin [when it comes to senseless bashing, it’s not on the list of things I need to pay attention to],” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN. “Like we said, it’s an experience. Our intentions are very good. We want everybody to have a good experience. [I hope] they keep that in mind.”

 

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Critics, however, have nothing on her as an actress.

100 Tula Para Kay Stela was a smash hit.

 

 

Luck at First Sight was a moviegoer favorite.

 

via @belapadilla on Instagram

 

And iAmerica made waves overseas.

 

 

At 26, she has already picked up a handful of awards.

 

 

She won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 FAMAS Awards, Best Television Actress at the EdukCircle Awards and this year, Most Outstanding TV Actress at the Gawad LaSallianeta Awards.

 

Through it all, she never forgets her humble beginnings.

 

She always acknowledges her fans: constantly reaching out to them, replying back and featuring the things they send over like artwork, posters and more:

 

 

Off-screen, she’s a cat lover and an active advocate for animal rights.

via Rain de Ocampo

 

She spent her 23rd birthday volunteering at the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

 

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She not only keeps fit, but can kick serious ass.

 

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She’s an avid reader.

via @belapadilla on Instagram

 

A pastime of hers is revisiting old favorites:

 

She also enjoys entertaining her Instagram followers by serenading them (complete with ukulele accompaniment).

 

And for Bela, travel is not only a form of leisure but an important mode of education and a way to practice independence.

 

 

Keep up with the promising actress by following her on Twitter and Instagram.