The road to success in show business takes a certain kind of talent. But in order to steer your career in the right direction, actress Kim Chiu believes in one thing: perseverance. For 11 strong years, Kim has never stepped down to catch a break from the spotlight and that’s exactly the way she wants it.
She’s played everything from top-rated soap Ina, Kapatid, Anak’s Celyn who discovers her best friend-turned-enemy is her long lost sister, to box office hits like Bride For Rent where she plays Rocky who agreed to be a stranger’s wife for money and Etiquette For Mistresses as Ina who left her old life to be with a married man. Her latest venture on the big screen is horror movie Ghost Bride alongside Matteo Guidicelli which will be released later this year. And on top of her cinematic achievements, Kim is also set to hold a grand launch for her third music album, Chinita Princess: Touch of Your Love where she will perform live in front of thousands of her fans.
What seems like an extremely exhausting year for the 27-year-old apparently equates to fun. “I really love acting, dancing, singing, and modeling. I love what I do so my work never really feels like work,” she explains. Kinetic even at ease, Kim spends her free days working out and training for triathlons—a new hobby she picked up from her show Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin, where she plays a young athlete opposite ex-beau Gerald Anderson. Whether it’s a challenging role or a race to the finish line, Kim approaches everything with relentless passion and it’s simply what makes her one of the biggest stars today.
While Kim enjoys her hectic schedule, the simplest pleasures in life still clearly matter for the chinita beauty—such as a slice of Hawaiian pizza and a cup of dirty ice cream (which she bought for the whole team during the shoot) on a hot day. As we anticipate the rest of her projects this year, we faced Kim and had a feel of her unfiltered, no-holds-barred personality, proving to us why her fire will never stop burning.
Congratulations on your third album! How is Touch of Your Love different from your first two albums?
This is a lot more mature, I think. Regarding the songs, I was the one who chose all the songs. Personally, I really want my songs to inspire people, I want them to know that it’s okay to be loved, to fall in love, and to not lose hope when it comes to love. Kahit wala pa si Mr. Right or Ms. Right sa life nila, soon darating siya at the right time in the right place.
What song on your album do you resonate with the most? Or what song from your album do you always catch yourself singing?
Actually all 5 songs are my super favorite. They were the top 5 out of 20 songs presented to me. I’m very happy with the outcome of the album and I’m very excited and very thankful most especially to Star Music for giving me another chance and another opportunity to have a third album. I’m also thankful to all my supporters for all the love and support that they have been giving me through the years.
You’ve had a busy year, how are you coping with it all?
Mas gusto ko yung busy year kesa sa wala masyadong ginagawa kasi you get to explore a lot of things. Ako gusto ko kasi yung ginagawa ko. I’m just having fun so I can’t really call it ‘busy’.
“I really love acting, dancing, singing, and modeling. I love what I do so my work never really feels like work.”
But on days you get to relax, how do you pamper yourself?
I’d go shopping, watch a movie, or dine out with friends and family. But most of the time, I go to the gym or I run. Dapat may physical activity. I like to do Muay Thai, yoga, biking, and spinning.
For 11 years you’ve been working nonstop. Was there ever a time you wanted to quit?
Yung pinaka-first ko talaga is when I was like 16 or 17 years old. Pag wala ako sa school, nasa taping ako, hindi ako natutulog. Alam mo yung iiyak ka na, “Pagod na ako!” (Laughs) But when I turned 20, I was able to buy my dream house and a car. Buti hindi ako nag-give up.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an actress?
Gusto ko magtrabaho sa bank at mag-bilang ng pera. (Laughs) Wala lang, ang lamig sa bangko tapos habang nakaupo, gumagalaw lang yung mind and fingers nila. Diba simple lang, tapos ang ganda pakinggan ng “Manager ng bangko.” (Laughs)
“I really want my songs to inspire people, I want them to know that it’s okay to be loved, to fall in love, and to not lose hope when it comes to love.”
What moment in your career made you say, “I’ve made it?”
Ang first goal ko talaga in life is makita ako sa TV. (Laughs) So yung simula pa lang, first day pa lang sa PBB yun na yung sabi ko, “Oh, I made it!” Tapos yung nakabili na ako ng bahay, hindi ko naman na-expect kasi yun lang yung dream ko tapos meron pa pala dadating. If you work hard, after all the hardships and complications, at the end of the day you’ll see, “Uy, ang ganda pala.”
If your 11-year-old self could talk to you right now, what would she say?
Tap sa shoulder, “Hey girl, good job!” (Laughs)
Is there any movie that made a great impact on you as an actress?
Every project naman may impact sa akin. They all improved my personality and helped me grow. I learned a lot from all of my roles especially with my more mature roles. Tapos nung nag-movie ako ng romantic comedy, I realized, funny pala ako. (Laughs)
What was your favorite role?
My favorite role is Celyn in Ina, Kapatid, Anak. My favorite movie is Bride For Rent. Puro adlibs kasi yun eh so parang ako talaga yun.
Was there ever a role that scared you?
Ikaw Lamang with Coco Martin. It was a mature role and it was challenging because nabuntis ako, nagkaroon ako ng anak, nagahasa, and everything.
Would you ever want to explore other areas of showbiz like producing, directing, or writing?
I want to do directing but I have a lot of stories in my mind. Actually nasa notepad ko siya sa phone. Naka-store lang. Minsan pag nasa traffic, nagpo-pop out yung mga ideas and stories sa isip ko. Siguro in time, malalabas ko rin ‘tong mga stories ko.
What do you think is the key to a successful career in show business?
To have a successful career is to never give up. The middle part of your career is the hardest. Sa first ano ka pa eh, “Oh yes, let’s do this!” Tapos sa gitna mawawalan ka na ng pag-asa. But don’t give up on something you love doing. After a few months, a few years, ang ganda ng mangyayari, hindi mo lang alam.
“Don’t give up on something you love doing. After a few months, a few years, ang ganda ng mangyayari, hindi mo lang alam.
Who are some of the women who inspire you?
Judy Ann Santos. Career-wise and family-wise, sobrang goals siya talaga. Tapos ang galing pa magluto. Si Ate Kris [Aquino]. Ang dami niyang tinuturo sa akin like, “Magpa-picture ka sa lahat ng tao, huwag kang maarte.” (Laughs)
Tell us about your upcoming movie Ghost Bride.
Matatakutin talaga ako. Pag may scenes na madilim tapos papasok ako sa bahay, kailangan may kasama ako o may nakikita ako. (Laughs) But it was a really fun experience. Direk Chito is one of the biggest horror directors so I had to keep up and do my best.
What do you do to keep improving your craft?
I like to watch Hollywood movies that are related to my projects. Sometimes I do workshops when I need to work more on my character. Hindi naman pag matagal ka na sa showbiz, expert ka na. There are things you still need to learn.
What has been the biggest change since you joined show business?
Half of my life has been an open book ever since I joined showbiz. A lot of people will know you everywhere in the world. There are things you want to experience out of the country pero bigla nalang may sisigaw, “Uy Kim!” Sometimes I just think, “Mmm, can I just have a normal day?” (Laughs) Mga ganung experience na akala mo walang nakakakilala sayo pero meron.
Do you still get nervous before performing on stage?
Yes of course. Super! Kasi maliit yung paa ko eh. Five and a half lang shoe size ko kaya lagi akong nadadapa. (Laughs). Lagi ako naka-heels so lagi ako kinakabahan.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
I used to practice backstage. Tapos nung tumagal na, I would just sit down and relax para yung energy ko mapunta on-stage.
What is the craziest rumor you’ve ever heard about you?
Retokada. Lagi naman eh. Hindi ba pwede nag-puberty lang?
Let’s talk fashion. How has your personal style evolved through the years?
I used to wear wedges everyday because I want to be tall forever. But now, I’m always in sneakers, which I never used to wear.
“Hindi naman pag matagal ka na sa showbiz, expert ka na. There are things you still need to learn.”
How long does it take for you to look for something to wear?
Matagal. Lalo na pag may party. It takes me two hours! Tapos ang gulo-gulo na ng room ko kasi lahat na hinukat ko. (Laughs)
How do you guys go about choosing an outfit for events?
When it comes to styling, I follow what I feel. Sometimes I tell my stylist, “Tomorrow gusto ko feminine, tapos gusto ko rockstar, gusto ko bohemian ako bukas.” Ganun lang.
When do you feel you’re sexiest?
When I show my shoulders and collarbones. Pag nakikita yun, confident ako.
You have to travel a lot for your job. What are items that you always put in your suitcase?
Camera, sneakers, and sunglasses. Siyempre yung pang-OOTD mo. (Laughs) Kunwari, seven days ako doon, magdadala akong nine sets of clothes. Kung ano yung best, yun yung susuotin ko on the first day. Second best is the second day. Ganun.
What beauty product do you never leave home without?
I never leave my house without lipstick. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ang putla ng lips ko, nag-aapple na nga ako and tomato. (Laughs)
What beauty trends are you not a fan of?
I don’t like to wear bright, flashy makeup. Lagi ako natural lang like nudes and roses. Kahit pag red lipstick, I like it dark.
What’s your best beauty secret?
I put ice on my skin. In the morning, your skin is open to the sun, lights, lalo na mga diva lights pag taping. Ice closes your pores. So I make sure to do it kahit two to five minutes every night.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Siguro yung latest adventure ko sa Nepal. Sumakit yung likod ko talaga. No one wanted to go bungee jumping with me kasi sa paa lang talaga yung tali. So nag solo flight ako. This was during the shooting of Ghost Bride. Ang tagal naming nag-confrontation ni kuya. Ang dami kong, “Wait, wait, wait!” (Laughs) Napagod siguro si kuya kaya tinulak nalang ako. (Laughs) That was the scariest thing I ever did. My next crazy adventure is to swim with the sharks. Maybe this December in Hawaii.
“Half of my life has been an open book… A lot of people will know you everywhere in the world. Sometimes I just think, “Mmm, can I just have a normal day?” (Laughs)… Akala mo walang nakakakilala sayo pero meron.”
We couldn’t help but notice all your fitness photos on Instagram, when did you decide this fitness journey?
I’ve always gone to the gym. But I guess because of social media, I can share the things I do off-cam with the people who follow me. But when I did the teleserye Ikaw Lang Iibigin that is about triathlons, I had to train like a triathlete and I enjoyed it. It was a stress reliever. But after a while when I got bored of running, nag-Muay Thai na ako, then spinning, boxing, lahat.
How about yoga?
It’s not my thing. I get bored easily because I’m an adrenaline junkie. Gusto ko yung nahihirapan at napapagod ako. Ayoko yung inhale-exhale. Then mag-memeditate and think about all your problems. Ayoko nga pagisipan yung problema ko, bakit ako pumunta dito? (Laughs)
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself physically?
That I can race. I used to think only guys could do it. Pero every time I cross the finish line parang, “Oh my God, nagawa ko yun?!” Ang saya. It’s a different world and a different field from what I’ve been doing these past few years so I really enjoy it.
Other than regularly exercising, what new habits have you applied to your daily life recently?
Not much but if I don’t have work, I workout twice a day.
If you had to follow one rule for the rest of your life what would it be?
Never give up, ever.