If “the Girl In the Orange Dress” had not come along, Jessy Mendiola would be a private citizen by now.
In a recent interview, the actress revealed seriously contemplating quitting show business just days before the movie was offered to her. She had even talked to her boyfriend, actor Luis Manzano, about it and he was said to have told her to follow her heart.
But why? Well aside from the bashing she’s been getting online—ranging from people who don’t approve of her romance with Luis to things as mundane as her body weight—Jessy said she felt out of place all of a sudden.
The words Jessy used were “feeling depressed.” She even contemplated ending it all for good.
“I just had so many problems, one after the other,” she said in Filipino. “But then within the year, I was able to work on myself, to heal.”
She advised those going through the same thing to seek professional help.
“Do not be afraid or be ashamed to ask for help because it is your life we’re talking about here. So ask for professional help or even help from your family, relatives, or friends – it’s really important.”
For bullies, the actress reminded them to always be careful of the words because negative ones definitely harm.
“You’ll never know how much one phrase could change the life of a person. It could affect his or her life completely.”
Jessy wants to maximize her star power to spread awareness that “depression is no joke” and that “bashing and cyberbullying really affect people.”
Her knight in shining armor
Jessy credits Luis Manzano for helping lead her to the right path.
“When I became his girlfriend, it affected my career because of all the bashing and stuff. Still, I would like to believe everything happens for a reason,” she said.
“And Luis is a huge reason on who I have become now. He encouraged me in everything I do and changed my views in life.”
Fame is not important to Jessy, she insisted.
“All I want is to stay in the industry for a long time,” she said.
Does she regret letting Luis come into her life because of the bashing she gets, someone asked.
Never, Jessy replied.
“He changed me a lot, he is my ‘life filter.’ The way I look at people, the way I look at life – it all became positive. So whatever shade people throw to me, I’ll take it all in a positive way,” she added.
Indeed, the actress has his support unconditionally.
“Luis told me I could do whatever I want and he would support and help me.”
“The Girl In The Orange Dress” has given Jessy many firsts.
It is her first Metro Manila Film Festival movie. It’s also her first lead role in a film. She is paired here for the first time with Jericho Rosales.
In the movie produced by Quantum Films, MJM Productions, and Star Cinema, Jericho plays Rye, a superstar who is the object of many girls’ fantasy, including Anna’s (Jessy) friends.
Rye and Anna cross paths. They end up in a bed and from there, everything turns upside down when their picture together goes viral and becomes a hot topic on television. Who is that girl, they ask. Who is the girl in the orange dress?
The film also stars Sheena Halili, Hannah Ledesma, Ria Atayde, Nico Antonio, Cai Cortez, Via Antonio, Juan Miguel Severo, and many more.
“The Girl In The Orange Dress” opens in cinemas on Dec. 25.