Margaret "Maggie" Wilson perfectly fits GMA-7's newest primetime soap, Beauty Queen.
The Filipino-British beauty won the Bb. Pilipinas-World crown in 2007, which automatically earned her a spot in the 57th Miss World pageant held the same year in Sanya, China.
Although Maggie is considered a neophyte in the field of acting, her experience as a contestant in beauty tilts gives her an advantage in tackling the assigned role, compared to lead star Iza Calzado and Katrina Halili.
"Mas madali siya para sa akin kasi naranasan ko na ang pagiging beauty queen, so konting effort lang. Pero naku, si Iza 'tsaka si Katrina, they have nothing to worry about, mga artista sila and they're very into their roles and they're willing to learn new things," said Maggie in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other showbiz reporters last October 12 in Studio 5, GMA Network Center, Quezon City.
Maggie says that Iza and Katrina often ask for pointers to make their respective roles more effective. "Nagtatanong sila kung paano mag-pose, kung paano maglakad. 'Yong mga essentials, kung paano mag-wave to the crowd."
But that's the only extent of Maggie's role as a teacher. She stressed that between the three of them, she's the one who needs to learn more since Iza and Katrina are already veterans in acting, having done challenging roles in the past.
"Award-winning si Iza, di ba? 'Tsaka napakahusay din ni Katrina. So, kailangan kong pumantay sa acting.
"'Tsaka Joel Lamangan ang direktor namin, 'no! But he's been very pleasant and very nice to all of us and, actually, I really like his work ethic," explained Maggie.
BEHIND THE GLAM. Maggie has seen both the glamorous and not-so-glamorous sides of even the most celebrated beauty pageants.
The public may be oblivious, of course, to ugly scenes behind the curtains of these glitzy pageants. Beauty Queen, revealed Maggie, will show how far individuals are willing to go just to wear the crown on coronation night.
"Hindi kasi alam ng mga tao 'yong ugly side ng mga beauty pageants. Sa soap, ipapakita 'yong mga hindi maganda sa mga beauty pageants.
"Kasi ang concept ng mga mga tao sa beauty pageants, glamoroso, di ba? Hindi nila alam kung ano talaga yung nangyayari behind the scenes or backstage sa mga buhay ng mga candidates," said Maggie.
She recounted a first-hand experience when she was competing in China for the Miss World pageant.
"May mga girls lang nung lumaban ako sa Miss World na hindi talaga mababait. May isang girl na inapakan 'yong sapatos ng isa kong friend, tapos nasira 'yong sapatos bago siya umakyat ng stage, hindi siya makalakad. Nagnanakawan din ng mga gamit, mga ganun."
Such antics during the course of the competition are not reported to the organizers since all of the contestants are more concerned with winning.
"Dedmahan na lang," smiled Maggie. "Tine-take na lang nila."
SHIFTING TITLES. Maggie's transition from beauty queen to actress was not difficult. It may even have been a breather for Maggie to ditch those stilettos for a more casual getup.
"Ang buhay beauty queen, kailangan every day bongga ka. Kahit na magsu-supermarket ka lang, ayos ka talaga, 'tsaka naka-high heels ka hangga't puwede.
"Ang artista kasi pabago-bago mga roles mo, di ba? So you get to play different characters. E, ang beauty queen, ikaw talaga. You project your best and it's really you."
Hosting, however, is what Maggie aims to do in the long run. She has done a couple of hosting gigs before with MTV Philippines, and now with Q11's Fit & Fab.
"I would rather be a TV host. I mean, beauty queen kasi it's also all about putting your best foot forward, and artista, you don't really play yourself, di ba?
"When you're a TV host, you can say whatever you want, you get paid to talk and answer questions. You can be you talaga kahit kalog ka, you can be anything.
"Actually, I never really wanted to be an artista, I wanted to be a model. Kaya lang, I'm only five foot nine. Pag model, kailangan 5'10".
"Kaya lang, I fell into acting and na-in love din ako sa acting. So, happy din ako when I act. But eventually, I'd like to be just a host."
Maggie's upcoming December 18 beach wedding to construction magnate Victor Consunji won't deter her plans to pursue a career in entertainment.
"Supportive naman siya... Ayaw naman kasi niya na sa bahay lang ako palagi. He also wants me to work, para may ginagawa rin ako," said Maggie.
She'll be wearing a Vera Wang-designed gown on her wedding day.