The charming Laureen Uy was an interesting sight at the press conference of My Binondo Girl, which started airing this month in the Kapamilya network's primetime slot. Although she plays a supporting role next to primetime princess Kim Chiu, Laureen's effortless smile and youthful energy was a noticeable presence.
The press conference of a teleserye may be an unusual place to find her, for the stylish 21-year-old is commonly spotted in fashion events. Yet there she was wearing the cool colors of a printed Bebe dress, Chanel earrings, and grayish Aldo shoes.
What does the sudden venture into acting feel like? Laureen talks about straddling two separate worlds.
"Actually, it's very, very different. The showbiz industry is very new to me, and fashion kasi ...super iba yung preparing time nila... with booking, makeup, photog [photography], everything actually is different.
"With fashion I express the way I feel with the way I dress. If I feel sad, ano yun, usually all black ako. Pag happy naman ako, super neon!
"With acting I really have to internalize what I feel inside. There's a process in everything," explains the showbiz newcomer.
Despite her neophyte status, Laureen seems undaunted by something unknown to her. The learning experience and the opportunity to develop her skills, and the privilege to work with established actresses like Gina Pareño, Cherry Pie Picache, and Kim Chiu, all make it rewarding. Laureen is a risk taker at that.
She admits a skill that she has yet to master— the dramatic art of tearing up!
"Siyempre lahat naman ng tao pinaka-nahihirapan siguro yung iyak dahil pag umiiyak ka usually, nafi-feel mo talaga 'yan e. You can't just cry in an instant."
Laureen describes her technique.
"Ako ang ginagawa ko talaga, I think of my character, I feel what the character feels and then, I portray the part.
"Bago ang eksena talaga, usually, nag-iinternalize ako, fini-feel ko kung ano yung character ko, pano siya lumaki, yung pinanggalingan niya, ano yung hinanakit niya, para lang lahat magawa ko nang mabuti."
Naturally one wonders if acting indeed crossed her mind before, in her childhood perhaps?
"Actually, nung bata ako naisip ko... gusto ko na talaga mag-artista pero siyempre nung lumalaki ako, inuna ko muna yung pag-aaral," explains Laureen who recently finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Asia and the Pacific in July.
"Kaya nga [when] I was given the chance nung pag-graduate ko, nakita po ako nila Sir Deo [Endrinal] and masaya nga ako na pinag-workshop nila ako kasi before I was just really in the fashion industry."
Laureen says she has met a lot of celebrities before, mostly friends of her elder sister, stylist Liz Uy, but she mentions, "Iba pa rin pag ikaw na yung umaarte."
ATE LIZ AND LAUREEN. Evidently, the chic sisters possess personas unique from each other. While the elder Liz chooses to participate in behind the scenes production, the younger Laureen opts to dabble in a bit of showbiz.
While they share the passions, fashion for the most part, Laureen emphasizes how poles apart they could also be.
"Ai, we're both very different naman talaga. She has a strong personality, [Liz is the] stylist.
"Me naman, pusong mamon! I'm happy go lucky and then I'm a fashion blogger. But ang dami naming pinagkakasunduan din and ang dami naming differences.
"One is, I think she doesn't wanna enter this because stylist siya, she wants to be off the cam. If she has endorsements nga, nahihiya pa 'yan e.
"But with me naman, I went into acting because it's new and napaka-suwerte ko na nakuha nga ako in this," says Laureen who also adds that her Ate Liz is supportive of her newly pursued career. Her parents are likewise unperturbed by her decision.
"Actually kasi, growing up, yung kuya ko saka ate ko nasa magazine industry na. Medyo naging open na yung eyes ng Dad ko sa media industry, showbiz, fashion. Kaya nung pumasok ako sa showbiz, hindi na sila masyado nahirapan. Supportive naman sila all the way," she says.
BREAK MY STYLE. "Style Breaker, that's my online store. Break My Style is my blog."
Of course, Laureen need not clarify this to the local fashion industry where she is a familiar personality. In any case, Laureen put up her own clothing line after graduation. The Style Breaker business breathed life into her blog, Break My Style.
What's the concept behind such catchy terms? Laureen says, "Break My Style is all about expressing your thoughts into the way you dress, so every time I feel happy or... may nararamdaman ako or anything, yun yung sinusuot ko.
"It's a way of breaking my style. If you notice in my blog, may 'BMS [Break My Style]' lagi sa dulo dahil I want them to break their style also and inspire them to don't be scared to experiment with the way you dress, and be the person you want to be dahil... kaya mong marating yun!"
ONSCREEN/OFF-SCREEN FASHIONISTA. While portraying the character Amethyst Sy in My Binondo Girl, Laureen plays the fashionista. She and Amethyst have much in common, she says. Her role is "a girl aspiring to be a fashion designer and mahilig magdamit."
Laureen excitedly talks about outfits she will be caught wearing in the scenes, "Ay, madami! Mae-excite kayo sa outfits ko! In my role kasi I want to be a fashion designer, tapos mahilig din ako magdamit so pakak lahat ng outfits ko diyan!"
Does she also act as stylist to her co-actors?
"Actually kasi super OC ko talaga sa damit. Kahit hindi sa damit ko. So pag may nakita ako sa ibang tao, inaayos ko na yun agad. So kahit tabingi yung bowtie nila or yung collar nila, aayusin ko lagi..."
While Laureen's creativity is undeniable in the field of the vogue and the trendy, it should be fascinating to see her "break her style" in acting.
My Binondo Girl airs on ABS-CBN, weekdays, on primetime.