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Barbie Forteza says that in Tween Academy: Class of 2012 she can relate to her character who has experienced bullying in the past. Photo: Sany Chua

The cast of GMA-7's youth-oriented show will invade the big screen starting August 24, 2011 through GMA Films' Tween Academy: Class of 2012. The movie directed by Mark Reyes features the main cast of GMA-7's Sunday afternoon show Tween Hearts, alongside new tween discoveries.

After their performance in the August 14 episode of Party Pilipinas show, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed some of the cast members.

Barbie Forteza, dubbed by GMA-7 as the Tween Queen, plays the role of Kara. Her character is an online geek who also sells comic books online, which is how she meets Joshua Dionisio's character named Robin. Kara's best friends are Enzo (Elmo Magalona) and George (Bea Binene).

In real life, her character somehow reflects what Barbie went through. "I've been bullied before, pero hindi sobrang exag katulad ng ginawa dito sa movie, pero na-experience ko na," admitted Barbie.

When asked how she reacted to the bullying, she replied, "dedma, kasi feeling ko, bandang huli, sila pa rin yung nawalan. For me, that's the least they can do para ma-destroy ako, i-bully nila ako. Kung di ko sila papansinin, siguro naman tititigal sila."

Her favorite cosplay costume as Kara was the Sailormoon-inspired one, which featured a blue wig.

The hardest scene in Tween Academy that Barbie had to do involves one where garbage was thrown at them. "Sobrang baho po talaga." The second one is the emotional scene between her and Jess (Louise delos Reyes). "First time ko ma-experience na sobrang daming shots, angulong kukunan. So dapat kung ano yung arte mo doon sa isang shot, same level dapat yung na-feel mo if kunan from a different angle."

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TV AND MOVIES. The biggest difference between Tween Hearts and Tween Academy, says Barbie, is "yung character ko sa Tween Hearts, makulit ako, maingay, pero dito sa movie, isa ako sa mga losers, at online geek pa ako."

She also points out how different it is to act for a TV series and for the big screen. "When it comes to movies, it's really different from TV series. Ang mga TV show, puwede panoorin for free. Sa movie, people have to pay. Nagulat ako na hindi nagbago ang suporta sa akin ng fans."

She adds: "Proud ako sa amin, at sa ibang tweens, na bata pa lang kami at ganito na ang success na naabot namin."

How has her acting improved since entering the world of film?

"Sa bawat director, may natutunan ako. Kay Direk Mark, lagi niya sinasabi na linawin yung lines, at dapat mas, kung alam ko na kaya ko pa, itaas ang level ng arte ko. Hindi siya yung tipo na, 'o sige, pwede na yan.' Kung alam niya kaya pa i-push, gagawin niya 'yan."   

She says that she was really excited when she first learned that GMA Films would be producing a movie for them titled Tween Academy, especially since they thought that Tween Hearts would only be airing for two months.

For all the success she has attained, Barbie keeps her feet firmly on the ground. She credits her mom for keeping her grounded. "She's always there to remind me, 'Lagi ka tumingin sa pinanggalingan mo.' At kahit ako sa sarili ko, ayaw ko magbago yung pagtrato ko sa ibang tao, kasi parang mawalan sila ng trust sa akin. Siyempre, I don't want that."

She treasures the support and appreciation of her fans. When asked to recount her best memory with a fan, she narrated, "Bawat okasyon or anniversary ng fans club namin or birthday, hindi naman ganoon kayaman yung mga fans para maka-afford pero pinagsisikapan nila na makabili ng regalo para sa amin dalawa ni Joshua. Sobrang na-appreciate ko yun, nag-effort sila para maging masaya kami. That's why, hangga't kaya ko, binibigay ko yung best ko na ma-entertain sila."