The former Miss Universe has successfully transformed herself on the wide screen anew. From a beauty queen to a movie goddess, she brought a breath of fresh air in showbiz. But to say if she’s Star Cinemas latest gem, only time and more box-office hits can tell.
Her return to showbiz was inevitable. After winning the Miss Universe crown a few years back, Piaz Wurtzbach was re-launched last year in the monster hit Gandarrapido: The Revenger Squad opposite Daniel Padilla and Vice Ganda; re-launched in the sense that she is no first timer in the milieu of show business since she was a former in-house talent of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic.
Not known to many, Pia enrolled as a teenage aspirant in an acting workshop at said network, and the rest is history. Because of her beauty and perhaps talent, she automatically became a member of Star Cinema’s pool of talents in the stable of Star Magic under the supervision of Director Johnny Manahan.
At 13, with the screen name Pia Romero, she started essaying some so-so roles both on TV and films.To become a movie star was actually Pia’s most fondest dream, but it seemed that early stardom eluded her. Her oracle must have foretold that it was not her time as yet; or was she destined to do something else?
Or was it that her mother studio did not exactly see or seize her potential then as an emerging child star. She was cast in Kung Ako Na Lang Sana, her meatiest role ever before the Gandarrapido… role fell into her lap. For this, Pia won the most-coveted Best New Female Star at the last Phil. Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Movies. Much as she wanted to attend and receive the award, Pia begged off and sent words to the PMPC that she could not make it as she was on location that time on the set of her latest starrer My Perfect You at Masinloc, Zambales. While she is not strictly a newbee in the movies, Pia thinks that her award as Best New Female for Vice Ganda’s movie was timely and most apt because it will have a spin-off effect on her coming solo starrer at hand.
In our latest tete-a-tete with her, Pia pointed out, “ I was overwhelmed by the PMPC for bestowing on me the Best New Female Star although strictly I’m not new either but for this one I did with Vice Ganda and Daniel Padilla, I would say this is really new, and in fact a re-launching of sort because as you know my early exposures in the movies were mostly walk-on roles and with no character at all.”
Fortunately, the said re-launching vehicle of Pia became a monster hit making the rest of the entries a poor, third, and fourth runners-up in the final reckoning and accounting at the box-office in the last Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
And for that reason, she was thus credited for having turned herself into an instant potential bankable star with remarkable beautiful face. After all she is no Miss Universe titleholder for nothing. And added to that, she has a talent to boot where she got some encouraging reviews for her performance, even if the vehicle was somehow short in really exploiting her talent to the hilt.
Pia was teary-eyed in disclosing further that her current role in Star Cinema’s My Perfect You opposite Gerald Anderson, and still showing nationwide, is more than a dream come true, adding, “Foremost in my dream before becoming Miss Universe was to be a movie star, but it sort of eluded me when I first tried it. To be honest with you, since 2002 pa lang I really wanted to become a big star. Now I’m so grateful for this chance and perhaps my time has really come and it’s really big deal for me to be paired off with Gerald (Anderson) who is much more a very experienced actor compared to me with a very impressive track record both in terms of commercial viability and critical acclaim as well.”
What physical, as well as pyschological preparation did she muster to measure up to Gerald’s expectations? Pia enthused: “Sa gabi pa lang mini-memorize ko na talaga ang script ko and hinged myself strongly to the character I had created in mind. Kasi ito na talaga ang gusto kong gawin. Noong una, medyo kinakabahan ako when I was informed that si Gerald ang maging co-actor ko. The first time na nakita ko si Gerald sa story conference, nakahinga ako nang husto kasi mas matangkad pa pala siya kay sa akin. Awkward kasi kung mas matangkad pa ako kay sa leading man ko.”
Pia was candid in telling us that she had a bit of sizzzling kissing scenes with Gerald Anderson who in the narrative went on a random out-of-town road trip after being devastated with a major heartbreak and failing career and landing on a second chance at love in the hostel called Happy Sunshine Camp owned by Pia in the story.
“The kissing scenes were integral to the story so we had to do it the most realistic way. Gerald was most professional and he was sort of guiding me how to do it through much of those kissing scenes. Nakakakilig talaga,” Pia quipped.
A source told us that when director Cathy Garcia-Molina saw Pia for the first time, she was heard saying, “hindi naman pala siya kagandahan.” But Pia did not take it against her because at the time she knew she gained weight, and instead refocused her energies on measuring up to the highest expectations of the lady director. On the other hand, Molina admitted that she was happy with the performance of the former beauty queen. In fact, she added that Pia even exceeded her expectations.
Recalling her approach to Pia, Director Molina pointed out: “I really had a tough time at the start making Pia including Gerald realize and forget who they were in persons because they have images larger than their actual personas about them and it could get in the way in terms of characterization. Kaya niyurak-yurakan ko talaga ang kanilang mga pagkatao relatively and figuratively if only to make them shed off those unlikely and distracting “attitudes” and make them look and feel totally different character in their temperaments and sensibilities in the film at hand that I honestly think it paid off.”