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What made Lea Salonga say 'yes' to 'Yellow Rose'

Lea said her character not being "well-liked" made her want to portray it even more

Patricia Matalog
Patricia Matalog

1/25/2021 in News
What made Lea Salonga say 'yes' to 'Yellow Rose'

Twenty six years since her last big screen outing in "Sana Maulit Muli," Lea Salonga is finally back on the big screen for the musical drama "Yellow Rose."

The internationally acclaimed film, which is about Filipino immigrants in the United States, easily caught the Broadway Diva's attention and she didn't need too much convincing to work on it.

“My manager in the US sent me the script and he actually pushed really hard for me to do this. He said, ‘You have to do this film, you should do this film because it’s the right thing to do. It is very topical,’” she said during the film's media conference today, January 25.

“It was the power of the script, power of the story, power of my manager’s words saying ‘This is the right thing to do, you gotta do it.’ That’s it," she added.

Lea also said that she was drawn to her character not being well-liked — a far cry from the characters she portrayed in the past.

"I think it is something far more interesting for me to play after having played many ingenues and heroines in my career," she shared. " It was interesting to tackle and to try something where the character isn’t really well-liked. Trying to gain some empathy from the audience would be a little more challenging, unlike Rose (Eva Noblezada) who you know is the hero throughout the entire narrative of the film."

In terms of adjusting to the filming process, Lea had a hard yet quick time adjusting, thanks to director Diane Paragas' organized process.

"It was a very quick process for Yellow Rose because we really didn't have a lot of time to spend on filming. If you got it down in one or two takes, that's great. Everybody had to move on really, really quickly," she recalled.

"And that's a testament to how organized Diane was, how organized her crew were, her Director of Photography, the people around her...it's testament to those people and how efficiently everyone works."

"I'd like to think I've gotten somewhat better since I've attended acting classes that really focus on working for film and TV," she added.

Now that the film is only a few days away from its premiere in the country, the whole team couldn't be more ecstatic for the Filipinos to finally see it.

"I am so thrilled. My goal in making this was to make a Filipino-American film, and so it really is a film that lives in between these two worlds, and it's own world where those two meet. I think it's just very exciting to present the film in the Philippines," Direk Diane exclaimed.

Diane also hopes that the film will be an eye-opener for Filipinos about the "real" situation of their families who are based in the U.S..

"And I hope people will find some sympathy for those relatives or friends from abroad and gain a little bit of insight of what's going on with them there. I think there's sometimes an idealized version of what it's like when you come to America. But for many, it's not what you think."

"But at the same time I wanna keep stressing that the film is a family film, it's an uplifting film that talks about the power of music, the power of empathy, and the power of a community to come around for somebody who is in. Like I said before, it's like 'A Star is Born' so I do hope people embrace it," she said.

Watch the full trailer here:

Also starring Princess Punzalan, "Yellow Rose" will be streaming this January 29 on the following platforms: KTX.ph, Iwant TFC, Cignal PPV, and Sky Cable PPV.

Bagong sine, now na!

Read more stories here:

'Yellow Rose' director explains the story behind the movie title

Princess Punzalan shares secret to her realistic 'kontrabida' portrayals in film

Get to know 'Yellow Rose' star Eva Noblezada and her Filipino roots! 

Epik High rapper Tablo fanboys over Lea Salonga!

Internationally acclaimed film ‘Yellow Rose’ gets Philippine digital release