At just 14, actress Andrea Brillantes is every bit of a budding superstar. A television darling who has stellar acting chops, takes on primetime roles, and attracts a massive social media following, we can all agree that she’s born to bask in her own spotlight.
In person, Andrea’s doll-like features are as stunning as every Instagram selfie suggests – pillowy lips, covetable brows, bright doe eyes, and a tender glow which all add up to her seemingly flawless façade. But physicality aside, there’s no doubt that she is brimming with talent and possesses an exuberant energy to match. With a beauty that appears to be in full bloom and a confidence in her craft that’s largely apparent, it’s easy to forget that Andrea is only two years into her teenage phase. That is until you meet her in the flesh, and her bubbly spirit and endearing candidness negate any impression you may have of her.
On set, Andrea is polite, carefree, and a breeze to work with. She nails almost every shot without much direction, a skill she claims she acquired from religiously watching America’s Next Top Model when she was younger. She’s a natural in front of the cameras and exudes an undeniable ease at work. “It has always been my dream [to be in this industry] since I was 3, so super at home ako,” she shares. “Whenever I don’t have tapings or shoots, I get sad. Kapag wala akong ginagawa, parang may empty feeling. Being on set feels like home to me.”
Currently occupied with her role as Steph in the brand new show Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin opposite teen actor Grae Fernandez with co-stars such as Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, and Coleen Garcia, Andrea is on her way from being a child star to a blossoming phenomenon. But behind all this, we find that she’s also your average teenager – a Korean drama fanatic, Youtube buff, and beauty junkie whose lunch request on set consists of spaghetti and a milkshake. Here, we chat with Andrea about her favorite trends, her top advice for girls her age, and her dream job which she hopes to take on in the future.
Can you tell us about how you started in show business?
3 years old pa lang kasi ako gusto ko na maging artista. When I was 4, I auditioned for a show pero hindi ako nakapagsalita. Nakatayo lang ako dun habang nasa harapan ko yung director, super awkward. My mom wanted to give up, baka hindi raw talaga ako artista. After that, I joined a beauty pageant and I won 1st runner up. Na-realize ko na gusto ko talaga maging artista, so I started auditioning from there.
What’s it like working with people who are older than you?
At first I was shy, but I got used to it. Sanay din naman ako sa mga kapatid ko kasi lahat sila mas matanda. I enjoy working with people older than me because I get to learn more.
Do they give you advice?
Yes, si Kuya DJ (Daniel Padilla), Ate Bea (Alonzo), and Tatay Zanjoe Marudo. Actually lahat ng nakatrabaho ko nakakapagbigay naman sila ng advice.
What’s the most memorable advice you received?
From Ate Bea – kasi dugyot akong bata, hindi ako nagsusuklay – natutunan ko sa kanya na dapat lagi akong maayos kapag lalabas ako. Another advice is if you want something, you always have to be positive that you will get it.
What’s the most memorable scene you’ve done so far?
My favorite is when I played the young version of Andi Eigenmann’s character Veronica in Kahit Puso’y Masugatan. Kinidnap ako tapos binugbog ako. Gusto ko ‘yun kasi challenging ‘yung role ko. Mas gusto ‘yung kinakawawa ako or yung may twist instead of basic roles.
How do you prepare for heavy scenes like that?
At first, I was always nervous kasi isa sa reasons kung bakit hindi ako nakukuha dati ay hindi ako marunong umiyak. So during rehearsals and right before the scene, talagang hinahanda ko na ang sarili ko. Hindi ako nag-iisip ng happy thoughts, sad lang. Right now, mas sanay na ako. Hinahayaan ko na lang, minsan hindi na ako nag-iisip. Humuhugot na lang ako sa script tapos lalabas na ‘yung emotions.
Do you still get nervous when you perform?
Yes, especially during my dance numbers in ASAP. Super kinakabahan ako and lagi ako nagdadasal bago ako mag-enter sa stage. Kapag kinakabahan ako or feeling ko hindi ko kaya gawin, I just pray backstage and off-cam. I also get really nervous during mall shows kasi live ‘yun eh.
What’s your advice for girls your age when it comes to self-confidence?
In our generation, it’s hard [to build self-confidence] because there are a lot of bullies. Some people are judgmental on social media. Hindi mo na halos magagawa lahat. But my advice is that you should learn to love yourself. It has to come from you first. Kapag mahal mo ang sarili mo, walang makakapag-patumba sa ‘yo.
Okay let’s talk about fashion, who are your fashion icons?
Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez.
What’s your favorite fashion trend?
Crop tops – almost 80% of my wardrobe are crop tops. Right now, I’m starting to like fishnets.
What do you love most about dressing up?
Parang naglalaro lang. I like changing up my looks all the time.
You’re still young, but have you started taking care of your skin?
Yes, kasi syempre maraming nakatingin sa TV dapat maganda ang skin kasi ito din ‘yung puhunan ko. I’m starting to take more care of it because I’m in my puberty stage, so prone ako sa skin problems. I always wash my face. Siguro five times everyday kasi ayoko na oily ang face ko.
When did your start applying your own makeup?
I’m not sure at what exact age, but I think I was 5 when I started. ‘Yung ate ko kasi addict sa makeup so naturally naging curious ako.
Do you like experimenting with your look?
Yes, mahilig ako mag-experiment. Actually gusto ko nga magkulay pa ng buhok eh – red, pink, pastel, bright colors. Kaya lang bawal kasi because of my TV roles. But I enjoy playing with makeup.
What’s your favorite makeup trend?
Right now, I really love glitters and highlighting my face.
What are your top 3 beauty kit essentials?
Lip tint, mascara, and powder.
What’s the secret to your eyebrows?
I don’t draw or put makeup usually. Pinapalinis ko lang siya, and then I just brush it.
What inspired you to create your Youtube channel?
Mahilig kami ng kuya ko manood sa Youtube. Favorite Youtubers namin si PewDiePie at nigahiga. I also love watching makeup tutorials. I was 10 when l started making videos, pero yung camera ko hindi maganda ‘yung quality and super nahihiya pa ako. Feeling ko hindi ko kaya or i-jujudge ako ng mga tao, so hindi ko siya naituloy. Ngayon, feeling ko mas kaya ko na. I love vlogging because people are able to get to know my personality more.
What’s in your travel bucket list?
Japan. My goal this 2017 is to bring my family there. Gusto ko pumunta sa Korea kasi andun yung mga crush ko eh. Gusto ko sila hanapin isa-isa! (laughs) And of course, Disneyland.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
Matakaw ako, hyper ako, makulit ako, madaldal ako. Madami kasing taong feeling nila parang masyado akong nagdadalaga. Mukha lang akong dalaga minsan lalo na kapag may makeup pero deep inside talaga, minsan mas bata pa ako sa bata.
If you weren’t an actress what will you be?
Director. One of my dreams is to make a movie.
Who are your role models?
Bea Alonzo and Beyonce. Also Kylie Jenner, kasi 18 pa lang siya ang dami na niyang na-achieve in terms of business.
What’s the most important thing that show business has taught you?
Never give up, kasi kapag gusto mo talaga ang isang bagay dapat ipaglaban mo kahit apak-apakan ka ng mga tao. Stand up for yourself. And make sure you give your 100% in everything that you do. If you do it half-heartedly, you will fail.