While it’s yet to be confirmed who the next Darna is, Nadine Lustre, one of the favorite bets for the iconic role, soars following her recent victory as Best Actress.
She won the plum at the 67th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS) for the movie “Never Not Love You,” which also starred her reel and real-life boyfriend James Reid.
“I’m really thankful to everyone who supported me, also to the critics who believed in me. It made me more inspired to make people happy. I’m just so excited for future projects,” Nadine said.
The Viva star bested other big names in her category, including Judy Ann Santos, Anne Curtis, Perla Bautista, Sarah Geronimo, Angelica Panganiban, Glaiza de Castro, Iyah Mina, Marietta “Pokwang” Subong, and Gabby Padilla. Some still pit her against other young actresses of her generation but Nadine doesn’t want to see it as a competition as each has her own “strengths.”
“I don’t look at it like that. We have our own strengths. So, maybe this year is mine, next year it could be theirs. I’m not the type of person who looks at others’ success. I’m just really happy with what I have and I’m grateful for it always,” she said.
Nadine is not only a fan-favorite to be the next Darna, but director Erik Matti, who was originally set to direct the Star Cinema movie, named her as the best pick because of her looks and personality. The search for the next Darna is on, so she feels honored that people are rooting for her to play the superhero.
“Of course, Darna is an icon of Filipinos, especially among women because she’s a strong woman. She’s like a symbol of hope and a protector. So, to be likened to Darna is amazing,” she said.
Recall that Liza Soberano withdrew from the movie due to injury that made it difficult for her to do stunts.
Well, first, is Nadine willing to audition for the Darna role?
“If I’m asked to do something, I will do it. I’m very open to everything, but if they don’t tell me anything, it’s okay. If they ask me, I would want to do it. Who doesn’t want to play Darna?”
Of course, James supports her all the way. She shared that he encourages her to try out for the role if the opportunity comes.
“Yes, he pushes me (to do it). For him, that’s what he sees in my characteristics, someone who’s independent, strong. But we’ll see. If I can do it, I will do it. He always reminds me to never be insecure, to always love yourself. He’s like my conscience,” she said.
Despite being one of the fan favorites for Darna, Nadine doesn’t want to expect anything and would just let things happen.
“I’m also not the type of person who’s assuming. I know that they will give the role to a person who is deserving,” she said.
Nadine still wants to stay grounded and professional amid her recent award and being one of the most bankable stars now. A lot is on her plate, including the “Maria Makiling” and dance film “Indak.”
“I’m not the type of person who expects. As long as I’m able to show my supporters what they want to see — like, if I have a movie and they can relate to me and I make them happy — that alone already makes me happy,” she said.
Nadine has truly come a long way five years since she rose to fame in the romantic-comedy movie “Diary Ng Panget.” She started her career early at the age of seven but things didn’t go as planned and went on and off showbiz several times before she made her breakthrough.
“A lot can happen. Before I went to Viva, I didn’t want to be in showbiz anymore but here I am. After ‘Bagets’ and the other network, the projects also stopped because I didn’t have any network then,” she said.
Now, Nadine has several awards and achievements under her name. She feels great that people see her as inspiration.
“They look at me like someone who’s strong, someone who’s very empowered, someone who’s inspiring also because since the beginning when I entered showbiz, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I just want to realize, to strive, and to reach for their dreams.
“I was so insecure when I was younger. And I was looking for someone, like a role model to show me that there will be good days and better days. I didn’t have a role model when I was younger. Now I’m just really happy that I’m the (role model) of those younger than me.”
While her teamup with James launched their careers, both Nadine and James have been making names for themselves separately, including having solo movies and recording albums.
“At least we’re growing separately. So, when we have another project together again, it also entices people like ‘Oh, they’re together again.’ Because others might get tired seeing us always together, so it’s nice to always have something new,” she said.
Will wedding bells ring for them soon?
“I’m not rushing into marriage. I still want to do a lot and want to achieve. I’m not yet ready to talk about it yet. For me, if it will come, it will.” (Photos from her Instagram account and screengrab from YouTube)