From acting to singing, Sue Ramirez is a girl of many passions. Throughout her adolescent years, she has been lauded as a rising star—honing her skills in supporting roles since 2011. Now, the 21-year-old is ready to join the major leagues.
Growing up in a family of seven—her being the youngest—she grew an appreciation for music from every decade. Play a tune from the ‘30s and she’ll burst into song. Ask her to sing a ballad from the ‘80s and she’ll know it by heart. She claims this is one of her many talents. Despite her close family bond, she’s also fiercely independent yet leads a perfectly normal life; even driving her own car to our shoot. The Fil-American beauty arrived without a trace of makeup in a T-shirt, skirt, and a backpack—an outfit “Sue” or “Anna”, her real self would wear. On TV, a fully-dressed Sue Ramirez would be seen wearing literally anything from a velvet leotard and fur jacket with an extremely long braided ponytail to a nude, skin-tight outfit, and dead straight hair à la Kim Kardashian. That’s the thing about Sue: she’s totally unpredictable and that’s exactly why her fans love her. Her costumes are unapologetic and off screen, she’s unafraid to be her real, authentic self— even posting her bare face and double chin (to prove she’s just like the rest of us) on social media.
The seriousness with which she approaches her work adds to her appeal. In 2015, Sue played Joy, the antagonist and third wheel of Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo in Pangako Sa’Yo where she was praised for her acting skills but was also constantly bashed by the popular love team’s fans. Two years later, she was approached to play alongside KathNiel again in La Luna Sangre and immediately signed up without hesitation. “It came to a point when I didn’t care anymore. So when they told me I was part of the show, walang pagdadalawang isip talaga. Sinabi ko go.”
Now, she is most excited to play the part of Catleya, the protective werewolf sister of Malia (played by Kathryn Bernardo). Soon enough, we’ll be seeing Sue Ramirez in her first lead role together with Miles Ocampo, Jane de Leon, Michelle Vito, and Chanel Morales in The Debutantes, a horror flick about an 18th birthday celebration turned bloody. In between her busy schedule, we dressed Sue as the ultimate ‘Girl Next Door’, mixing the trendiest pieces from the ‘70s and the ‘90s. Here, Sue is unexpectedly candid and talks about her first encounter in front of the camera, working with the biggest names in show business, and the key to overcoming her insecurities.
What have you been up to lately?
Well lately I have been busy working almost everyday and I’m very thankful for that. I have La Luna Sangre, I have a movie that’s coming out soon, and I perform on ASAP every Sunday. I just feel very blessed right now to have a lot of work.
You recently had your 4 Of a Kind concert. What was the experience like?
It was just so fun not only to perform in front of our fans, but to perform with the people I was with which were Kristel [Fulgar], Loisa [Andalio], and Maris [Racal]. Us four girls go way back. I’ve been friends with Kristel for so long, I’ve been friends with Maris and Loisa too for a long time and to get the chance to perform with them, ang saya lang parang barkadahan lang. Hindi namin nafeel na trabaho yung ginagawa namin. Of course we treated it professionally pero sa sobrang saya hindi namin na-feel na nagtatrabaho kami.
How close are you girls in real life?
Me and Kristel hang out all the time. Every once in a while nakakausap ko naman si Maris and si Loisa and sometimes at ASAP. After a production, we’d hang out in the dressing room.
Do you feel more comfortable performing on stage in front of a live audience or in front of a camera on set?
I’ve been working in the industry for seven years and napatunayan ko na talaga kung gaano kakapal yung mukha ko. (Laughs) Kahit saan mo na ako ilagay, kaya ko. Kakanta ako kung ipakakanta niyo ako. Sobrang komportable na ako sa harap ng camera and sobrang komportable ko na rin sa harap ng maraming tao. Of course, this industry helped me build my confidence. Pero ang tagal. At first, iba yung pakiramdam. I had no background in show business at all. I started when I was 13 years old during my awkward stage. Hiyang-hiya ako talaga, naiilang ako gumalaw. Pero naging mindset ko yung, “Eh ito yung trabaho ko eh bakit ako mahihiya gawin ‘to?”
Do you remember the first time you officially worked in show business?
It was the pilot episode of Shoutout!, a teen variety show back in 2011, I think. The show ran for two months pero lahat ng nakasama ko doon matagal nang artista. Enrique [Gil], Erich [Gonzales], Enchong [Dee], yung mga napapanood ko lang sa TV dati. It was really exciting but at the same time I felt pressured kasi siyempre lahat sila alam na nila yung gagawin nila. Being so camera shy, I had to cope up with stage fright. That was the first time I was on TV.
What’s the most challenging thing about starting young as an actress?
Adjustment from normal life to life in front of the camera. Ako kasi, batang kalye ako. I grew up playing outside on the streets. When I became an actress, I went from studying in high school to studying and working at the same time. Malaki yung adjustment sa oras.
“Being so camera shy, I had to cope up with stage fright.”
Now you star in one of the biggest shows of the season as Catleya on La Luna Sangre. How do you relate to your character?
She’s very protective and that’s how I am with my family and the people I love. But it was hard for me to spice up the role of Catleya. I’ve done so many roles so I had to give something new to the audience. And since pinaubaya na sa akin ng production team young role, binubuo ko yung character niya—how she talks, how she walks, her mannerisms, and yung simple nuances niya.
What’s it like working with such an amazing cast?
Ay grabe. KathNiel, Wowie De Guzman, Nick Sarmiento, Victor Neri, Richard Gutierrez, Joross Gamboa, John Llloyd, Angel Locsin, napakadami. I still get star struck with the people in the show. To be part of something as big as La Luna Sangre is so overwhelming. Sobrang nakakaexcite talaga kasi pangarap ko din maging action star and my character is a wolf.
Who are some of the actors you admire and who do you want to work with in the future?
Sobrang crush ko si Zanjoe [Marudo] tapos noong nakatrabaho ko siya, the more I admired him because of his focus and work as an actor. Doon ako na-in love. (Laughs) Nakawork ko na rin si John Lloyd so wala na ako mahihiling pa. (Laughs)
Are you open to being part of a love team or do you like going solo?
Kahit ano. Hindi ako naglalagay ng bakod sa sarili ko. Whatever character they give me, bad, good, third wheel, or may ka-love team, mas gusto ko kasi mas ma-eexplore ko yung hanggang saan ko kaya bilang actress.
What’s the best advice you got from someone working in the industry?
People always tell me this: hindi importante kung gaano kataas yung mararating mo. Ang importante ay kung gaano ka tatagal sa industriya na ginagalawan mo at mangyayari lang yun kapag marunong ka makisama sa mga taong nakapaligid sayo. Not only the directors, not only your co-stars, but everyone on set. From the wardrobe stylist to the makeup artist, even the people behind the cameras. Meron kasing mga tao, feeling nila nakakataas or nakakalamang sila sa ibang tao. So people always remind me to stay grounded and that has been my mindset since the start of my career.
If you weren’t an actress, what would you be doing?
I would be studying right now. Maybe taking up political science or something I’m very interested in like psychology or maybe dentistry. I have a lot of dreams. But no regrets.
You’re also a singer. When did you realize that you actually had a good voice?
Actually I started as a singer. I auditioned for Star Magic to be a singer talaga but I was given more projects in acting. Natuto kong mahalin yung acting but now I’m getting back to my first love. Kaya I’m so happy to have done the [4 of a Kind] concert.
Who were the artists you listened to growing up?
The Carpenters. I was a menopausal baby so growing up, I listened to a lot of artists my parents would listen to. But I also have 4 sisters so lahat ng generation ng kanta since 1935, alam ko.
Are you planning on making an album soon?
Right now, I’m trying to write songs. I’m leaning towards the indie rock type of music with lyrics that people can easily relate to.
“It’s not that I haven’t found [my style], I just don’t put myself in a box. Kaya ko mag-pink, mag-rockstar, o mag-tomboy.”
Every artist has her own style, how did you find yours?
It’s not that I haven’t found it, it’s just that I don’t put myself in a box. Kaya ko mag-pink, mag-rockstar, o mag-tomboy. But I’m really simple, I just wear whatever I’m comfortable with. But what’s important is also how you feel.
Based on your Instagram, you always try out different looks. But what’s one look you’ll never try?
Wala. I’m open to everything. Kung papayagan lang ako, baka kalbo nako ngayon. Ganung level. (Laughs) Nababaliw na nga sila sa akin kasi kung anu-ano na lang pinaggagawa ko sa sarili ko.
You seem like you’re really comfortable in your own skin. Was there ever a time you got insecure about your looks?
Yes. Until now, I have a lot of insecurities but I just don’t let them get in the way of the things I want to do in my life. The key is to really just accept yourself. Ganito ka ginawa ni Lord eh. Wag ka na tumingin sa ibang tao, for sure, meron kang something na wala sakanila and may something sila na wala sayo pero ganun talaga ang buhay.
When it comes to fashion, how do you go about creating looks with your stylist?
Kami ni Bonita [Penaranda], magkaiba kaming tao. I’m very laidback. Pero gusto naming ipakita sa mga tao na kapag nasa labas ako, ako si Sue, si Anna. (Laughs) Pero pag nasa TV ako, si Sue Ramirez na yun.
So you have an alter ego?
Yes. (Laughs) Every week, we try different looks. Meron kaming peg na Kardashian, meron din Beyoncé. Last week, ang haba ng buhok ko as in hanggang pwet na nakatirintas. Ganung level. Bahala na kung magmukha akong tanga.
What are your favorite items in your wardrobe right now?
My unicorn onesie. (Laughs) Mahilig rin ako sa shorts pati tsinelas at hoodie. (Laughs) My favorite right now is my hoodie from Folded and Hung. It’s so comfy.
“I have a lot of insecurities but I just don’t let them get in the way of the things I want to do in my life. The key is to really just accept yourself.”
What do you spend the most money on?
Food. As in. Tsaka lahat ng tao sa paligid ko pinapakain ko. (Laughs) So nauubos ang pera ko sa pagkain. Promise.
What’s your favorite fashion trend right now?
How about beauty?
Yung lipstick ko, sa gitna lang ng lips ko nilalagay. Halos everyday ginagawa ko siya.
What’s your everyday makeup routine like?
Just brows, mascara, and lip and cheek tint.
How do you relax on your off-duty days?
I spend time with my family. Hindi ako nakakauwi sa bahay namin so there was a time I was crying by myself in my room because I missed them so much. So yung feeling na, “Ah, this is home.” Yung kahit wala kang ginagawa basta ramdam mo lang yung presence ng family mo, yung bahay mo, kahit hindi kayo naguusap-usap, yun yung parang pinaka-relaxing na part ng life ko ngayon.
What’s one thing you’re obsessed with right now?
Unicorns. (Laughs) Nagugulat ang mga tao sa taping kasi yung unan ko unicorn, tapos may dalawa pa akong unicorn na dala. My birthday cake from my fans was a unicorn-shaped cake.
What are you most excited about this year?
My movie will be coming out soon so I’m very excited for that. It’s a horror-thriller movie and my character is a weirdo. I’m the girl who no one talks to, who doesn’t have friends, and gets bullied. It was a challenge because she’s the total opposite of me. Tahimik lang yung role ko, kaya hindi ko mapigilan magsalita. (Laughs) I’m also excited with the progression of my character on La Luna Sangre. I have another movie coming soon. I can’t really talk about it yet but I’m excited with what’s to come.