MANILA — Nadine Lustre reached a point of fearing she would become a “has been” in showbiz, as she found opportunity for introspection during the earlier part of the coronavirus lockdown, she said.
The actress, 27, spoke candidly on the topic in a conversation with her friend, entrepreneur and motoring expert Angie Mead King, in the latter’s December 23 vlog. The interview, which also included radio DJ Debbie Then, was filmed in November, according to King.
“We were all locked in, right? And then I just came from months of stress, pressure, and all that. I wasn’t getting as much projects. So I [I didn’t have] much work. I was really struggling,” Lustre said.
“I was thinking to myself na parang, ‘S***, wala akong work,’ so I might, you know, eventually be a ‘has been’ or, you know, that kind of thing.”
In January 2020, just two months before the first pandemic lockdown in the Philippines, Lustre was involved in a controversial row with Viva Artists Agency (VAA), over her announcement of having “terminated” her contract with the group, and that she was now “self-managed.”
VAA has since sued Lustre for her alleged continued violation of their exclusive agency contract — which it said lasts until 2029 — after the actress independently inked deals with several companies.
In August, “Burado,” an ABS-CBN action-drama series that was to star Lustre along with Julia Montes, was also cancelled due to restrictions of the lockdown.
“During the pandemic, I had a lot of time to think about what it is that I really want, and then a lot of things happened,” Lustre said. “I would have conversations with myself and I would always tell myself, ‘Take your time, there’s no rush, the world’s not going to end tomorrow.’”
The lockdown ultimately proved productive for Lustre, who released a full-length, visual album “Wildest Dreams,” and even merchandise to go with it. The record, Lustre has said time and again, is a reflection of her most personal thoughts, ranging from mental health to her insecurities.
“One of the things that I really learned is to just be me and not look for validation from other people and to just do whatever it is that I want to do,” she said. “If I don’t have projects, then that’s fine I’ll do something else. It’s not that my life is dependent on that.”
Lustre, whose made her showbiz breakthrough in 2014 with the big-screen romcom “Diary ng Panget,” then looked back at the years that followed — as a whirlwind of opportunities, but also a blur.
“For me, I believe it gave us time to look inside,” she said, referring to the lockdown. “Kasi the last five years, I’ve been grinding lang like every day, working non-stop, always busy, no pause. So there’s really no time to think what it is that you want and who you really are. And a lost sight of that.”
Without mentioning her former talent agency, Lustre went on: “I was busy and doing a lot of roles, and I have people in my ears telling me what I should be, what I should wear. Aside from that, there are people online telling me, ‘Dapat hindi ganyan, dapat ganito’. You know, putting me in a mold they made for me.”
“It affected me so much that I lost myself. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I want. Parang I was just lost.”
Admittedly with a firmer grasp of her career priorities, Lustre is expected to appear in an ABS-CBN program in 2021, based on omnibus trailer from producer Dreamscape Entertainment listing its upcoming projects.
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