There’s no better way to turn 20 than this superstar’s first solo Cosmo cover.
This is the inexplicable magic of Maine Mendoza: Even when she’s sick, she’s still the most radiant person in the room. Her secret formula? In an industry where a well-manufactured smile was the norm, she went against the current and made faces. When the cameras stop clicking, she blinks and allows herself small mental breaks—a temporary escape from the flurry of 30-odd people surrounding her—but when photographer and constant collaborator Mark Nicdao shouts, “Let’s do this!” it’s as if an imaginary light switches on, and Maine has risen above her own body. The piercing eyes. The wide grin that’s graced many an EDSA billboard. She nearly falls over backwards in her five-inch stilettos but makes an impeccable recovery by playing it off as a faux high- fasyon pose. “O, diba?” she exclaims, and the whole room erupts in relieved laughter. If Maine Mendoza can soldier through, then damn it, so can we.
it’s been a while since you became an overnight sensation via your dubsmash videos. has your celebrity status sunk in yet?
It’s still surreal for me, kasi hindi naman ako sanay sa ganitong
“Off-cam me is the complete opposite of Yaya Dub— parang alter ego ko siya.‘ Yung mga hindi ko ginagawa in real life, sa TV ko nalalabas.”
attention. Pero ngayon, na- expose na rin ako sa iba’t ibang environment at sa iba’t ibang trabaho. I feel like my being a “celebrity” is never going to fully sink in for me. I can’t refer to myself as a celebrity. Siguro, Dubsmasher na lang!
You’re not afraid to be yourself with your fans, which is refreshing to see. How different is off-cam Maine from on-cam Maine?
One of the biggest misconceptions about me is that the way I am on-cam is the way I am all the time, because I’m not afraid to look goofy and outgoing. Off-cam me is the complete opposite of Yaya Dub—
parang alter ego ko siya. ‘Yung mga hindi ko ginagawa in real life, sa TV ko nalalabas. When I’m alone, quiet ako. I have my own world.
How would you characterize your growth as an actress these past few years? What are you looking to improve on?
I feel like I’m not in the position to answer that question. Feeling ko,
hindi ko pwedeng i- describe ‘yung growth ko as an actress without sounding arrogant and cocky. Baka
‘yung mga directors ko and people I’ve had the chance to work with ang mas makakasagot niyan.
Destined tobe yours is your first teleserye. What was it like to adjust and go into “teleserye mode” after noontime shows and rom-com films?
Oh my God, I think you should ask my handler! Sobrang hirap po. Can I be honest? Isa ‘to sa biggest challenges
na hinarap ko sa showbiz. Dito sinubok lahat sa akin, eh. Una pa lang, gigising
ka nang alas kwatro ng umaga. That was a big adjustment for me because I’m a night person. Also, I had to constantly improve as an actress. I’ve learned that a soap opera is the ultimate baptism of fire for any actress.
It’s clear that you’ve proven the naysayers wrong, but was there ever a time in your career that you had difficulty dealing with bashers?
Personally, I’m used to negative stuff because I’m a pessimist. Sanay ako
sa mga ganyan. Sometimes I take the time to visit their accounts to see the nasty things they say about me. Alam
mo, minsan, ‘yun ang nila- lunch ko: the bashers and the haters. [laughs] But I’ve realized the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. Haters crave attention, so ‘wag mo nang ibigay sa kanila ‘yun. They’ll get tired and give up eventually.
What is the best thing a fan has ever said or done for you?
As simple as it sounds, it’s every time a fan says, “You make me happy.” Malaking bagay na sa akin ‘yun.
What’s your take on the concept of a woman’s beauty?
A woman’s beauty is based on her character: how you view people, whether or not you treat them with respect. And I think to be beautiful, you just have to be confident. You have to be true to yourself and to everyone around you. People can tell if you’re being fake.
What are your thoughts on romantic love at this point in your life? Would you consider it a priority?
Not really, but... hay nako, word vomit na naman! Pero kung dumating, eh ‘di go lang. Hindi ko naman ‘yun ipapagkait sa sarili ko.
How would you describe the evolution of your relationship with Alden?
My relationship with Alden is like a never-ending process of getting to know one another. Every time we bond, meron kaming nalalaman na bago sa isa’t isa. As we go along, we’re going to learn a lot more.