Almost nine years ago, Barbie Forteza made her television debut as the young Rhian Ramos in the remake of South Korean drama Stairway To Heaven. Hers was not a permanent role in the GMA-7 teledrama but the youngster already made an impact on primetime television. Fast forward to today and Barbie Forteza is again making waves on primetime. This time, she is the lead star of the hit romantic-comedy Inday Will Always Love You (IWALY). She plays the bubbly, hardworking, and outspoken Happylou in the show that is currently lording it over at the Nielsen Phils. Television Audience Measurement (ARIANNA) National Urban Phils. TV People ratings.
It has been years since her TV debut, and Barbie has clearly risen through the ranks. With a string of hits, acclaimed performances, and awards, the 20-year-old has proven that she can hold her own in the cutthroat showbiz industry. She has made it even without having a permanent love team at that. She just had to bank on her heartfelt performances to get noticed. This has led her to become a star and more importantly, a legitimate actress.
It is remarkable how Barbie was able to establish herself as a commendable actress early on in her career. She worked hard on every project, letting her well-thought-out performances speak for themselves. While she was visible on television doing drama and comedy in recent years, Barbie did not disregard the independent film scene where she has also made waves.
She was named New Movie Actress of the Year in the 2010 PMPC Star Awards for Movies for her character in Puntod. She won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Cinemalaya Film Festival and 2015 Gawad Urian for her performance in Mariquina. In 2016, she bagged her first Best Actress trophy at the Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal for the movie Laut. The following year, she was hailed as an Ani ng Dangal Awardee for her performance in Laut.
As an awarded actress, Barbie states that she enjoys doing both comedy and drama. “Magkaiba lang sila ng hinihingi. Ang comedy, kailangan mo ng energy. Sa drama, kailangan mo ng matinding karga. ‘Yung comedy, physically draining. ‘Yung drama, emotionally draining. So pagod ka rin talaga but I’m happy with what I’m doing now—both,” remarks the young star who looks up to Nora Aunor, Cherie Gil, Sharon Cuneta, Maricel Soriano, Jean Garcia, Viola Davis, and Meryl Streep.
At just 20, Barbie has already accomplished so much. But she does not want to be complacent about her craft. There are more things to achieve. “Basta there is something in the works,” she assures. She is a big dreamer, and is not hesitant to say: “Parang lahat naman yata gustong makarating sa Hollywood, noh? Gusto naman nating magkaroon ng Oscar, ganun. Mangarap na tayo diba? Why not? Grammys. Maging best friend si Taylor Swift, maka-work natin si Meryl Streep. Ganun. Ganun kalala,” she comments before laughing out loudly.
The doll-like Barbie may have a childlike and innocent charm but she is evidently on top of her game. She is happy where she is now and she knows exactly where she is headed. “Eto ‘yung gusto ko talaga. Ilang taong ako noon, nine years old. ‘Yun na talaga ‘yung gusto ko. Parang wala akong ibang naging option. Hindi ako ‘yung gusto ko maging doctor o abogado. Hindi. Artista agad. So mahirapan man, parte naman ‘yun pero kung sasabihing aalis o titigil, hindi. Eto talaga ang gusto ko either dito o sa ibang bansa. Artista talaga ang gusto ko.”
Sometimes the biggest wins are the unexpected ones. When Barbie Forteza took on the role of Happylou in “Inday Will Always Love You”, she just wanted to do a good job in portraying the role and tell the story of a happy-go lucky dreamer. So when the show gained top ratings and positive reviews, she felt the win twice as much but still remained grounded and humbled by this victory. Read more on the latest issue of Inside Showbiz Weekly on the Flip 100 app @flip100ph Photography by: Floyd Jhocson (@floydjhocson) Assisted by: Camille Caderma (@camillecaderma) Art direction by: Nix Villaruel (@nixvillaruel) Sittings Editor: Vani Altomonte (@valtomonte) Styled by: Jamil Sultan (@mr.jamilsultan) Words by: Rosy Mina (@lookingrosy) Brand Associate: Walter de Jesus (@walterahlen) Publisher: Archie Carrasco (@archiecarrasco) Special Thanks To: GMA Artist Center, Ms. Joy Marcelo, Mr. Mark Sablan #BarbieForteza #InsideShowbizLovesBarbieForteza #StyledbyJamilSultan