Dina Bonnevie is one of the few actresses who enjoys the freedom to work with the country's two largest TV networks, ABS-CBN and GMA-7.
Last year, televiewers saw Ms. D, her popular nickname in showbiz, portraying the role of Agnes in ABS-CBN's Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? and Walang Kapalit. Now, she jumped to GMA-7 to play the role of Madam Evita in Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita.
What can Dina say about the actors who have been wanting to do what she does but are tied down to their mother network?
Dina commented, "Ako naman, I don't wanna get tied down. Alam mo naman ako, I love my freedom. If I can work with both companies, with both networks, why not?
"I'm very lucky that [ABS-CBN] has been very kind to me, they've given me very good roles, and every time I work with them talagang pinahahalagahan nila ako.
"Ganun din naman ang GMA-7 na talagang kapag may role ako sa kanila, maganda ang billing. Ang treatment talaga sa akin is ‘you're a diva.' Kahit na pagdating mo sa set, ‘Good morning, ma'am. Ma'am, coffee po. O, dressing room ni Ms. D.'
"Mayroon akong sariling ano na talaga namang ikapupuri ko sa TV stations na talagang ang respeto nila sa akin talagang ganun na lang. I have my own dressing room... talagang special. Siguro naman I earned it through the years. I'm happy, I'm very, very, thankful."
ON EXCLUSIVE CONTRACTS. The former TV host clarified to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that she does not have an exclusive contract with any of the two giant networks. In fact, Dina said that she is not open to the idea of artists' exclusivity in one network.
She explained, "I prefer to work with both [networks]. Kasi, alam mo, even if, let's say, they command a good price na kumbaga exclusive ka, kasi chances are kapag ganyan they'll take you for granted na, e. Para bang kahit anong ibigay, nasa kuwadra na 'yan, kahit ayaw ko. And wala kang chance to choose your project. What if kung ayaw ko, hindi maganda?
"Kasi sa akin, sa showbiz ngayon, I don't do soaps to survive. I do it because I love it. I do it because I love the role. And if I don't like the role, I'm proud to say na marami na akong na-turndown, 'di ba? Not only TV shows, pati movies."
The actress further said that exclusive contracts somehow affect the performance of an actor.
"Sabi ko kasi from the beginning, if I don't like the role and pinilit ko, hindi magiging maganda ang resulta ng soap. Why? Because deep inside I'm not happy. I'm not happy with the role.
"Pero kapag, halimbawa, gusto ko yung role, ganado ako to portray my role. I like it so talagang nabibigyan ko ng buhay, nakakaisip ako ng ways para mabigyan ng buhay, para mapaganda. Kahit na minsan ito lang ang nasa script, ‘May suggestion ako, ito ang gagawin ko.' Nagugustuhan naman ng director.
FROM STAR TO ACTRESS. Ms. Dina admitted that sometimes she cannot recognize some of the young actors because of so many talent search shows today.
"Napapahiya ako kasi may Star Seach, may Star Circle, mayroong StarStruck. Alam mo, sa dami ng star-star, hindi ko na alam," said Dina.
Nonetheless, Dina was kind enough to give the new generation of talents a perspective for their acting career.
Whenever she meets one of these young stars, the 47-year-old actress would say, "Anak, kung saan ka man nanggaling, siguraduhin mo lang na iyang star na 'yan magiging... I am now an actress. I am not just a star.
"Kasi ang star pumapanaw din ang liwanag niyan. May mga star din na nagiging fallen star. Mayroong mga nagiging shooting star. Mayroon namang mga star na palaging nandiyang laging tinitingala ng mga tao. Ang star na palaging tinitingala ng mga tao 'yan ang nagiging aktres na guma-graduate from being a star to an actor or actress."
ACTORS ARE INTELLIGENT. Dina gave some tips for those who really want to pursue their career in acting. She said that an actor needs not only his/her acting skill but s/he should also be intelligent and have the ‘thinking forward' attitude.
"Kasi I'm not an artista lang, I make suggestions," said Dina. "Matanong ako even with my movies, matanong ako. ‘Direk, bakit naging ganito? So ano'ng motivation n'yo, bakit ganun?'"
Dina remembered the late Director Lino Brocka who once told her, "It's not true that to be an actress you don't need to be intelligent. No, to be a good actress, you need to be intelligent. Why? Because a good actress is a thinking actress."