With Lea Salonga’s daughter Nicole Beverly making her theater debut this year, the world-class theater actress and mom reiterates that her daughter “is not a celebrity.”
Nicole will play Alice in Matilda The Musical, which will open at the Meralco Theater on November 10, 2017.
Being in the business for almost four decades has given Lea an intimate understanding of how the industry works.
For one, kids with famous parents have to deal with the extra pressure.
And though she’s confident that her 11-year-old daughter is made of tough stuff, Lea says, “For me, it’s like I wish I could just tell people, ‘Please leave her alone.’
“She’s not a celebrity. Huwag niyo siyang lapitan kasi iirapan niya kayo.
“She will not always be the nice person, and she will be immediately suspicious of you,” Lea warned.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) spoke with Lea last night, September 25, at the lobby of The Peninsula Manila, where local clothing brand Bayo celebrated its 25th anniversary and honored the 25 Most Inspiring and Stylish Women.
Lea, as the first endorser of Bayo, was present.
DIFFERENT KIND OF STAGE MOM. Does Lea see herself as a stage mom?
Smiling, she replied, “Not in the way my mom was. Yung talagang however many hours, bantay.”
Looking at her 80-year-old mother, Ligaya Salonga, Lea whispered, “Hanggang ngayon pa naman, bantay, e.”
The singer-actress explained, “A little different.
“Because I think it’s ano, my daughter is not attracted to the celebrity aspect, and she is very suspicious of people who go near her, like, ‘I have a feeling they only want to be friends with me because of you.’”
Back in 2010, when PEP interviewed Lea about her daughter, she related how Nicole enjoyed the attention she got whenever around her parents.
However, Lea’s unica hija with Robert Chien has become more guarded now.
Lea explained, “Because she’s very aware of a... of what showbiz is. And there are people na talagang lalapit lang sa kanya dahil sa ‘kin, o dahil kilala siya, o dahil kilala nila ‘ko.”
People getting too close to Nicole is not something Lea and Robert like.
“We’re not happy with how people cannot leave her alone,” said the actress.
ADVICE TO NICOLE. In the meantime, Lea has been reminding her daughter to be professional.
The Tony and Olivier awardee revealed her constant reminders:
“Listen to everyone. Listen.
“Focus, don’t get distracted. Know what you’re supposed to do.
“Constant review, review in the car if you’re not taking a nap, and have a good time.
“Be responsible, be a good actor, be kind, and have a good time.”
How is Nicole coping with the rigid rehearsal schedules?
Lea narrated that there was a time she picked up her daughter, and they both enjoyed a moment of silence on the drive home.
The 46-year-old Broadway star added, “Hindi pa rin nag-uusap. Walang nagsasalita kasi parehong pagod, e.
“Then we got home, ate little dinner, [she] took a shower, and then I went to check on her, in her room—tumba, tulog.”
Lea’s thought bubble at seeing her daughter sprawled on the bed?
“Ginusto mo ‘to, pinasukan mo ‘to, ikaw mismo nag-audition, so ‘ayan, careful what you wish for.”