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Growing up as a child star, then a “teen-queen,” and now a certified box-office queen of the local entertainment industry, actress Kathryn Bernardo lives a sheltered life, away from the realities of a normal Filipino.

And according to award-winning director Cathy Garcia Molina, this privileged life hinders Bernardo to give justice to her role as “Joy” in her newest project and first-ever film with Kapuso actor Alden Richards, “Hello, Love, Goodbye.” 

“Si Kathryn maagang naging artista, so hindi niya alam kung paano maging normal na tao. Mahihirapan siyang bigyan ng buhay kung hindi niya alam lahat ng ito,” Molina told members of the press during the movie’s media launch.

“Pinagawa sa kanya lahat ng totoo. I asked mommy to back off and I’m very happy that mommy obliged. In other words, I stripped her off yung pagiging artista niya, I bring out what I need from Kathryn to be Joy even it means mag-aaway tayo.” 

Aside from doing the tasks of a domestic helper which includes scrubbing the toilet bowl, washing clothes, and working as a waitress during their lock-off shoot in Hong Kong, the 23-year-old artist was also forbidden to use her personal phone and communicate with loved ones.

“In fact, pinagbawalan ko siya to communicate with DJ kasi it will bring her back to her Kathryn self,” Molina said. The director also said that she even forbids the members of the cast and crew to hang out with Bernado or to talk to her about anything personal, just purely business.

Dropping off the project

After a week of experiencing this hardship, Bernardo openly admitted to press members that she asked her mom to book her a plane ticket going back to the Philippines. “Yung first week ko umiiyak ako every night, gusto ko nang magpa-book ng ticket pauwi kasi ayoko nang tapusin yung movie kasi hirap na hirap na ‘ko,” she shared.

But with the help of Direk Cathy, and support from her real-life boyfriend Daniel Padilla who constantly reminded her that she needs to do this project for her personal growth as an actress and a person, Bernardo successfully survived their one month lock-off immersion and shooting in Hong Kong. 

Working as on Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is not for everyone

When asked what she learned from portraying the role of Joy, the “Hows of Us” star said that she realised that being an OFW is not for everyone. “Ang daming learnings. Lalo ‘kong na-appreciate yung mga OFWs, nakita ko kung gano kahirap yung ginagawa nila. Itong pelikula na ito binuo ako. Mas na-open ako sa mga bagay, sa mga nangyayari. Grabe yung growth and appreciation kung anong meron ka ngayon,” she said. 

“Hindi ko masasabi na para siya sa lahat. Like ako, na-experience ko for a month and masasabi ko na hindi to para sa akin. Hindi siya madali, dapat kapag pumunta ka doon buo ang loob mo at gusto mo. Gagawin mo dahil gusto mo. Kasi at the end of the day, ayaw mo na sisihin yung iba dahil pumunta ka doon para sa kanila, pero ang ending malungkot ka. Nakaipon ka nga pero hindi ka naman masaya,” she ended. 

“Hello, Love, Goodbye” is a romantic drama story that depicts the stories of OFWs around the world. It is slated to premier on cinemas this July 31.

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