Kim Domingo: Her metamorphosis from sexy star to dramatic actress

Oct 20, 2020
Kapuso actress Kim Domingo began her career as a Will Time Bigtime dancer, car-show model, and men's magazine cover girl until she became an Internet sensation after her Dubsmash video went viral in 2014.
PHOTO/S: @kimdomingo_ on Instagram

Kim Domingo is a French-Filipino actress, model, singer, vlogger, endorser in the Philippines. She is currently a GMA-7 contract artist.

The 25-year-old gained popularity because of a short Dubsmash video that went viral, but she had been dreaming of joining showbiz since she was five years old.

Determined to earn for her family, Kim joined talent competitions, played bit roles in films and television shows, did modeling jobs, and posed for men's magazines.

Less than two years after finally breaking through the industry that she had always dreamed to be a part of, Kim dropped her sexy image—together with the “Pantasya ng Bayan” tag—and opted to reintroduce herself to the public as a dramatic actress.

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FAMILY BACKGROUND

Kim was born on February 3, 1995 and was raised in Novaliches, Quezon City. She is the only child of Filipina Domingo.

Kim never had the chance to meet her father, a Frenchman named Gy Belleville. He left the Philippines even before he and Kim's mom realized that they had conceived a child.

Kim with mother Filipina

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Kim was constantly left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Milagros Domingo, who practically raised her as a child.

A self-confessed Lola’s girl, calling herself “laking Lola,” the actress often said in her interviews that the stern but loving ways of her Lola Mely made her the person that she is today.

Kim and Lola Mely

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Growing up, Kim developed the yearning to meet her biological father, but her mother had very limited information about him, was able to keep only one photograph.

Based on the photo, Kim's dad was around 60 years old when the picture was taken.

In a press conference in April 2017, Kim said she was still hopeful that she will meet her father someday, even after several failed attempts to locate him through social media.

“Kahit na sino namang bata, kung hindi nakilala ang isang magulang, nandoon iyong feeling na may kulang sa iyo,” Kim said.

“May mga nagsasabi sa akin na tigilan ko na ang paghanap at baka hindi niya alam na may anak siya sa iba.

“Ang sa akin lang naman, gusto ko lang malaman kung buhay pa ba siya.

“Hindi pa naman ako naggi-give up, at sana, one day, if he’s still alive, makilala ko siya.”

EDUCATION

Kim spent her grade school days at San Agustin Elementary School in Novaliches.

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When the actress’s life was featured in GMA-7’s documentary show Tunay na Buhay in 2016, Kim’s teachers described her as a sweet and quiet pupil whose mestiza beauty always stood out among her classmates.

The actress’s former teacher in grade school, Ampi Lazo, admitted that she was surprised to learn about her former shy student wanting to try her luck in show business.

"Nagulat ako nung papasukin niya iyong showbiz," Teacher Ampi shared. "Maganda, siyempre, may potensiyal talagang mag-artista.” But Kim was very shy.

It was during her high school days at Novaliches High School when she started working for her family. Her side hustles included bit roles in movies and television shows, modeling jobs such as being a car show model, and working as a promo girl in a bar and restaurant.

In college, Kim enrolled in a psychology class at Our Lady of Fatima University.

After a year of taking up psychology, Kim decided to transfer to dentistry.

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As she juggled work and studies on top of being the family's breadwinner, Kim eventually stopped going to school and failed to complete her course.

SHOWBIZ CAREER

At the age of five, Kim joined Eat Bulaga’s Little Miss Philippines in 2000 and finished fourth runner-up.

As a teenager, Kim worked as a talent for television series and film productions. She was an extra who mostly acted as a “passerby.”

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She recalled her “talent” days in an Instagram post on May 23, 2018.

Kim recounted (published as is): “Napakahirap ng buhay ng isang Talent.

“Hindi ko makakalimutan nung mga panahon na nagtatalent pako highschool days ko.

“Inet, pagod, puyat, gutom halo halo na yung nararamdaman mo. Hahanap ka pwesto para umidlip man lang.”

Kim revealed that back then, she earned PHP500 for nearly 24 hours of work.

“Masaya nako noon sa 500 pesos na nauuwi kong [talent fee] from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. kinabukasan bilang passer by (yung dadaan ka lang sa eksena) pero aabutin ka ng halos 24 oras sa taping.”

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WILLIE’S MONEY GIRL

In 2011, Kim became Will Time Bigtime’s Money Girl.

Will Time Bigtime was the defunct TV5 variety show hosted by Willie Revillame.

As Willie’s Money Girl, Kim had to dance while giving away cash prizes to Will Time Bigtime contestants.

Though Kim’s daily gig on Will Time Bigtime somehow helped her to establish a budding celebrity status, it was her less-than-a-minute Dubsmash video that made her an Internet sensation.

Dubsmash is a video-creating app where users can create their own short videos using songs, audio clips, and custom sounds.

VIRAL DUBSMASH VIDEO

In 2014, when making Dubsmash videos was the crazy trend, the clip showing Kim lip synching to Brandon Beal’s Twerk It Like Miley went viral.

Kim's Dubsmash video

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Soon after, gig offers and inquiries were pouring in for the pretty French-Filipina model.

Actor-director Boy2 Quizon then asked Kim to star in a music video for a segment in the GMA-7 gag show Bubble Gang, where he is a mainstay.

After appearing in the music video, Kim has since been one of the cast members of Bubble Gang, flexing her talent in delivering naughty skits and dropping punchlines.

Kim remains a Bubble Gang star up to this day.

In 2015, she signed with GMA Artist Center.

“PANTASYA NG BAYAN”

From then on, Kim began making a name for herself as a sexy star; donning revealing clothes all the time, making daring poses for pictorials, and flooding her social media accounts with eye-popping-jaw-dropping-heart-stopping sexy photos.

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She was eventually tagged as the new “Pantasya ng Bayan,” a moniker attributed to former actress Joyce Jimenez in the ‘90s.

In December of the same year, Kim graced the cover of the popular men’s magazine, FHM.

Year 2016 was a busy year for Kim, as she was featured in three Kapuso TV series: A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo, Tsuperhero, and Juan Happy Love Story.

She also did her first movie that year, the political indie film Magtanggol, starring Tom Rodriguez, Ejay Falcon, and Yam Concepcion.

That same year, Kim signed a deal with GMA Records, and released the song “Know Me,” which she sang with rapper-songwriter C-Tru.

Before the year ended, Kim was announced as Ginebra San Miguel’s 2017 Calendar Girl.

In January 2017, Kim landed on the cover of FHM for the second time.

Kim on FHM's cover, January 2017

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In the same month, Kim became comedian-TV host Vhong Navarro’s leading lady in the film Mang Kepweng Returns.

She did another movie that year, the Barbi: D' Wonder Beki starring Paolo Ballesteros.

Kim also portrayed herself in Magpakailanman’s “The Kim Domingo Story,” and was among the cast members of sitcom D’ Originals.

THE LIFE-CHANGING ROLE

Kim's biggest break was the prime-time fantasy series Super Ma’am, where she played the villainess Avenir Segovia opposite Marian Rivera.

In Kim’s vlog dated June 22, 2020, she revealed that her role as Avenir Segovia was one of the most challenging roles she has ever portrayed.

She explained: “First time ko gumawa ng teleserye na action.”

Kim shared that it was extra challenging for her to act out her character while carefully executing the needed action scenes.

In the same vlog, Kim also revealed that playing Avenir Segovia was life-changing for her.

It made her realize that she wanted a deeper appreciation of her talent from a different set of audience.

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Avenir Segovia convinced Kim to slowly drop her sexy image after she realized that she was no longer happy with what she was doing.

Kim as Avenir Segovia

SEXY STAR NO MORE

“Iyong desisyon ko na iyon, hindi naman siya iyong tipong biglaan,” Kim recalled in her vlog which was uploaded four months ago.

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“Inunti-unti ko iyon sa sarili ko. Sinimulan ko siya sa sarili ko.

“Una diyan iyong hindi na ako nagpo-pose ng mga sexy. Iyong pananamit, hindi na masyadong revealing iyong mga damit ko.

“Naisip ko kasi na hindi na ako masaya sa ganun. Hindi na ako happy na iyong mga tao, iyon na iyong tingin sa akin, e.”

Kim then mentioned her encounter with a child who was a fan of Kim’s character in Super Ma’am. It made her realize she now had a younger fanbase.

“Isa pa sa mga nakapagpa-push sa akin iyong bata. Nagkaroon ako ng fan na bata.

“Mayroon akong ginawang teleserye, iyong Super Ma’am.

“Sabi ko, ang galing naman. May mga bata palang nakaka-appreciate sa akin.

“Sabi ko, ang sarap pala sa feeling na hindi lang puro lalaki yung nakaka-appreciate sa iyo. Meron ding mga bata na iniidolo ka.”

LOSING MALE FANS

Kim disclosed that she indeed lost numerous male fans as she shifted from being a sexy image to a talented actress.

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“Iyong mga taong dating sumusuporta sa akin, nung time na hubadera ako, ang dami nila.

“As in, ang tunog ng pangalang Kim Domingo, Pantasya ng Bayan.

"'Tapos ayan na, binago ko na iyong sarili ko.”

She admitted: “Nawala sila. Maraming nawala.

“Pero ang hindi niyo alam, maraming pumalit dun sa mga nawala.

“Mas marami nang tao ang nagmamahal sa akin ngayon.

“Ang daming taong mas nakaka-appreciate ngayon sa akin, at dun ako nagte-thank you.”

Kim said she definitely prefers things as they are now because she really wanted the public to notice her acting talent, more than her beautiful face and body.

“Ganito pala iyong lasa ng nirerespeto ka,” Kim said.

“Mas masarap siya dun kaysa dun sa mga, ‘Ang sexy mo,’ ‘Ang hot mo.’

“Mas gusto ko iyong mapapansin nila iyong talent ko, iyong ako bilang aktres, ako bilang artista. Iyon iyong gusto kong mapansin sa akin ng tao.”

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VERSATILE ACTRESS

In 2018, Kim appeared in the rom-com Inday Will Always Love You, starring Barbie Forteza.

Proving herself to be a versatile actress, Kim starred in Tadhana’s “My Korean Fairy Tale,” and did some heavy drama acting in Magpakailanman’s “Asawa Ko Ang Bayaw Ko.”

In 2019, Kim did another light role for rom-com TODA One I Love, and portrayed a challenging dual-personality role in Hanggang sa Dulo ng Buhay Ko.

She also starred as Super Tekla’s leading lady in the latter’s launching movie, Kiko en Lala.

For now, Kim has yet to fulfill her ultimate dream of headlining her own drama series.

SOCIAL MEDIA REACH

True to how she started her showbiz career, Kim is, without a doubt, a social-media darling.

She currently has 2.9 million followers on Facebook and around 2.3 million Instagram followers.

At press time, Kim has a total of 525,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, just four months after it was launched last June 22, 2020.

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SHOWBIZ ROMANCE

Kim was in a long-term relationship with a non-showbiz guy when she entered the entertainment industry back in 2015.

She was on her sixth year with the unnamed guy when their relationship ended in June 2016.

A few months after news of her breakup with longtime beau surfaced, Kim confirmed that she was dating basketball player, model, and part-time actor Michael “Mike” Acuña.

Mike and Kim

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In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on April 25, 2019, Kim admitted that she and Mike were already living together.

By that time, they had been together for three years.

But on July 8 of the same year, or just three months later, Kim announced that she had broken up with Mike.

Just like in her previous long-term relationship before Mike, Kim refused to disclose the reason behind the breakup.

The beautiful Kapuso actress is currently single.

MOVIES

  • Magtanggol (2016)
  • Mang Kepwang Returns (2017) as Alyssa
  • Barbi: D' Wonder Beki (2017) as Charice
  • Kiko en Lala (2019) as Aning

TELEVISION

  • Bubble Gang (2015—) cast member
  • A1 Ko Sa 'Yo (2016) as Maria
  • Juan Happy Love Story (2016) as Agatha Samaniego
  • Karelasyon: Rehas (2016) as Maya
  • Tsuperhero (2016) as Erica/Snow Queen
  • D’ Originals (2017) as Sofia
  • Magpakailanman: The Kim Domingo Story (2017) as herself
  • Super Ma’am (2017) as Mabelle Henerala/Avenir Segovia
  • Tadhana: My Korean Fairy Tale (2018) as Kristel
  • Inday Will Always Love You (2018) as Chuchay
  • Magpakailanman: Asawa Ko Ang Bayaw Ko (2018) as Liezel
  • TODA One I Love (2019) as Vicky
  • Hanggang sa Dulo ng Buhay Ko (2019) as Katya/Naomi
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DISCOGRAPHY

  • Know Me (2016) feat. C-Tru

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Kapuso actress Kim Domingo began her career as a Will Time Bigtime dancer, car-show model, and men's magazine cover girl until she became an Internet sensation after her Dubsmash video went viral in 2014.
PHOTO/S: @kimdomingo_ on Instagram
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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