Heavy rains and traffic caused actress Iza Calzado to come late to the presscon of her new drama mini-series, SRO Cinemaserye Presents "Rowena Joy," last Friday, August 14, at the 17th floor of GMA Network Center. In the show, Iza will play a transgendered person who yearns for acceptance by her family and for true love.
Iza says she never had any apprehension about saying yes to the role. Portraying the third sex, she told the entertainment press, is just easy for her since she is surrounded by the third sex on a day-to-day basis.
In SRO, Iza's character, RJ, is intially played by Eat Bulaga! host Paolo Ballesteros, who goes to Japan to find a stable job after he was banished by his homophobic family. On his return, RJ gains the name "Rowena Joy" to fit a sexual transformation.
Iza co-stars with TJ Trinidad, Rez Cortez, Sherie, Prince Stefan, Shamaine Centinera, John Apacible, Renz Michael Valerio, Joseph Paras, and BB Gandanghari. SRO Cinemaserye Presents "Rowena Joy" is led by director Soxie Topacio and head scriptwriter Jun Lana.
Does the role mean Iza is ready to become a gay icon, and to play more gay roles?
"Relax! 'Wag naman, 'no? Baka magalit na yung mga bading kasi hindi naman ako bading!" laughed Iza.
SUNSHINE DIZON. The entertainment press did not pass up the chance to ask Iza about the reported rift between her and fellow Kapuso actress Sunshine Dizon. The two were reported to have snubbed each other during a guesting in a noontime show.
Iza and Sunshine played arch-rivals in several GMA-7 primetime shows in the past, starting from Encantadia in 2005, Impostora in 2007, and All About Eve in 2009.
Iza initially told the press that she did not want to talk about the issue, then made mention that there was nothing wrong with her relationship with Sunshine.
"We say hi to each other, okay naman. Pero hindi na lang katulad nang dati that we hang out," Iza said.
But how did the issue originate?
"Ayokong magsabi ng kahit ano, kasi ayokong palalain pa ng ibang tao yung sitwasyon. I don't think we're fighting... I would like to say we are friends," the actress said.
The two actresses also were reported to have ignored each other's birthdays. Did Iza get a birthday greeting from Sunshine last August 12?
"I don't know. I haven't checked my Facebook... Are we going to push this issue any further?" Iza asked.
BIRTHDAY. Changing the subject, reporters asked Iza how she celebrated her birthday. The actress replied that even though she had been working all day, taping SRO, her workmates' surprise greeting made her happy.
"Natuwa naman ako nun. Kasi sobrang punong-puno naman yung schedule ko nun for SRO. Pero nung kinantahan nila ako, nawala yung pagod ko," Iza said.
When she was asked what gift she received from her current significant other, however, Iza kept mum.
"Sorry po, hindi ako sumasagot nang diretso, kasi I really want to keep a lot of details private. Basta sa kin na lang 'yon. Basta may mga natanggap ako," the actress said.
Although the actress refused to reveal the name of her current boyfriend, she was seen with him during the concert of Nine Inch Nails at the Araneta Coliseum last August 5. And the surname of the guy, according to several sources, is King–the son of the owner of a chain of famous drive-in hotels.