Filipino American star Liza Soberano and filmmaker Zelda Williams recently bonded over lunch to discuss their Filipino roots and Hollywood experiences, including their first big screen collaboration.
A couple of firsts: Soberano, 26, and Williams, 34, are in the midst of promoting “Lisa Frankenstein,” which hit U.S. theaters on Friday. Starring Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse, the comedy horror marks Soberano’s Hollywood debut and Williams’ first feature-length project.
Despite the pressures that came with their novel undertakings, both women performed at their best during production, drawing knowledge and skills from their extensive creative backgrounds.
“The fun thing about this is where it happened and when it happened,” Williams says. “I’m glad it didn’t happen when I was 25, when I was in these transitional phases of womanhood and adulthood. At 34, I was really happily secure in where I was at and what I wanted to do, and I’d shadowed for many years.”
“Obviously, coming in, I was really nervous because I wanted this so bad, like I’ve been dreaming of it for so long and I wanted to make a good first impression,” admits Soberano, who plays Taffy in the film. “But then I realized pretty soon…that there was really nothing to be that nervous about, because it wasn’t as if it was my first time ever. It’s just a completely new environment.”
Filipino heritage: Born to a Filipino father and an American mother in Santa Clara, California, Soberano moved to Manila at the age of 10. Her creative career took off just a few years later, giving her an early head start to the local entertainment industry. Today, she is one of the Philippines’ most successful actresses, receiving multiple accolades at home and across Asia.
Williams, known for directing short films and music videos — and starring in multiple films and TV shows herself — was born to producer Marsha Garces Williams and late Hollywood comedy legend Robin Williams. She traces her Filipino roots to her mother’s father, Leon Garces, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines and later served in the Navy during World War II. She says her family regularly bonds over food and cites lumpia as her favorite Filipino dish.
Bonding over food: Filipinos typically bond over food and karaoke, Soberano points out. The rest of their lunch date, which featured dishes from Los Angeles-based Filipino American restaurant Sampa, saw the pair tackle more about food, the entertainment industry, building authentic connections and ways they exercise self-care, among other topics.
“Lisa Frankenstein,” distributed by Focus Features, is currently playing in theaters nationwide.
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