The industry was tough on Toni Gonzaga when she first stepped into it, especially when she first moved to ABS-CBN. She was met with rejections, doubt, and a lot of put-downs.
Now that she’s celebrating her 20th anniversary in the biz, Toni could easily recall how she braved through humble beginnings and what it has done for her.
Speaking with Boy Abunda for a special episode of her online talk show “I Feel U”, she shared, “Unang lipat ko sa ABS, kaya ako emotional, kasi I got so many comments and statements na, ‘Malalaos na ‘yan. Hindi pa man din sisikat, malalaos na ‘yan. Ambisyosa siya.’”
During that time Kristine Hermosa and Claudine Barretto were reigning on the network’s primetime and Toni was compared to them, with people saying she would never reach their level.
Because of that, she didn’t think much of this career move. She thought she would only last a year in ABS-CBN, so she savored every project given to her and saved as much money as possible.
“Nung lumipat ako, sabi ko mag-iipon ako. For one year ‘yun. Wala ng ibang offer sa other network. Ninamnam ko ‘yun lahat kasi one year lang ako,” she said.
But then more and more opportunities came to her. She starred in “D’Anothers” and “You Are The One”, she released an album and had a mega-hit single “We Belong”, she did “Wazzup Wazzup”, “ASAP”, and then “Pinoy Big Brother”.
Not long after, Toni earned her spot as one of the biggest stars of her generation. With more hit singles, top-rating shows, and blockbusters under her belt, she became the Ultimate Multimedia Star.
Up to this day, she remains to be on top of her game. Apart from “I Feel U”, Toni is juggling multiple projects. She just recently wrapped the 15th season of “Pinoy Big Brother”, she has a YouTube channel with millions of views, and she’s also starring in the upcoming Pinoy adaptation of the Korean rom-com “My Sassy Girl”.
Toni revealed she didn’t think the role would be offered to her, especially after being involved in several K-drama adaptations in the past only for them to be shelved.
“The project came to me unexpectedly. That was a point na I surrendered my dream na ‘yan, 2006 ‘yun. In your mind na baka ma-revive mo ‘yan. Ilang K-drama adaptations na sinabihan ako, pero hindi natuloy,” said Toni.
But like everything else in her career, the film came at the perfect time.
She added, “‘Pag nakikita ko ‘yung rushes, [naiisip ko], what a way din to celebrate your 20 years in the business. When your heart is really is in the proper place, darating pa rin ‘yung mga blessings.”
Also starring Pepe Herrera, “My Sassy Girl” is a collaboration between Toni’s production company TinCan and Viva Films.
Watch out for Toni Gonzaga's full interview with the King of Talk on "I Feel U" on Star Cinema's Facebook page and YouTube channel this Sunday, March 28, at 9:30am and 5pm.
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