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18 Lead Actresses Who Started Out With Supporting Roles

Check out the roles these artistas had before making it big!
PHOTO: (LEFT) Sana Maulit Muli/ABS-CBN, (RIGHT) Forevermore/ABS-CBN

Liza Soberano

Liza began her career playing kontrabida roles in teleseryes.

In 2012, she was given a supporting role as the spoiled brat sister of Jake Cuenca in Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo.

In 2013, Liza was supposed to play the main villain in the teleserye Mirabella, starring Julia Barretto. Liza, however, was pulled out of the cast.

It turned out that she was assigned to be the third wheel to Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla in the second chapter of the prime-time series Got To Believe.

Liza was promoted to leading lady status the following year when she top-billed the prime-time series Forevermore where she was paired with Enrique Gil.

The LizQuen tandem of Liza and Enrique proved to be so successful that they were given more follow-up shows, including Dolce Amore (2016) and the currently-airing fantaserye Bagani.

Glaiza De Castro

Glaiza started her career playing supporting roles in ABS-CBN shows, including the Kapamilya youth-oriented show Berks.

In 2006, Glaiza transferred to GMA-7 and was given supporting roles in teleseryes.

In 2008, the singer-actress was promoted to leading lady status when she top-billed the remake of Kaputol ng Isang Awit, alongside Lovi Poe and Marky Cielo.

A year later, in 2009, Glaiza tried playing a kontrabida for the first time in another TV remake, Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin.

In an e-mail interview sent to PEP.ph on March 9, 2018, she admitted, "Nakakatakot sa totoo lang. Kasi sa totoong buhay, hindi ako confrontational na tao. Pero na push talaga ako ng husto at mas lalo kong minahal yung ginagawa ko."

Despite her fear, Glaiza received good feedback from this portrayal, the reason why she was immediately given a follow-up kontrabida project: GMA-7's adaptation of Stairway to Heaven.

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In 2010, Glaiza got her biggest break on TV when she was handpicked to play the title role of Grazilda. This required her to become a bida-kontrabida as Cinderella's evil stepsister who became kind after falling in love with a human.

In fact, Glaiza considers the role as one of her greatest achievements as an actress.

She reasoned out, "Kasi sobrang iba siya, hanggang ngayon 'pag binabalikan ko, grateful ako na nabigay sa 'kin yung role na 'yon, bukod sa nakabili ako ng bahay d'un, ang saya ng proseso, mga eksena at yung reception ng tao."

After Grazilda, Glaiza was given a string of various roles as bida and kontrabida.

She portrayed leading lady roles in the teleseryes Biritera, Dading, and a lesbian character in The Rich Man's Daughter, which allowed her to earn the PEP List Year 3 Teleserye Actress of the Year award.

She was also successful in making viewers hate her in the remakes of Temptation of Wife and Encantadia.

Currently, Glaiza is set to top-bill the afternoon series Contessa, where she will play a vengeful woman seeking justice after she was blamed for the death of her own husband.

Arci Munoz

Arci was groomed as one of GMA-7's go-to kontrabidas after her stint in StarStruck season three.

She was seen as a kontrabida in Princess Charming (2007), Pati Ba Pintig ng Puso (2007), Maging Akin Ka Lamang (2008), Ngayon at Kailanman (2009), and Langit sa Piling Mo (2010).

In 2011, Arci was given her first lead role in the TV5 drama series Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak.

Since then, she became one of TV5's drama princesses and was continuously given lead roles in projects such as Felina: Prinsesa ng mga Pusa (2012) and Undercover (2013).

In 2015, Arci transferred to ABS-CBN and got the leading lady role in the remake of Pasion de Amor. This was followed by the 2016 prime-time series Magpahanggang Wakas.

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Arci is currently set to top-bill Since I Found You (formerly titled To Love Somebody and No Ordinary Love) alongside Piolo Pascual.

Katrina Halili

After her stint in StarStruck, Katrina headed towards the direction of being a kontrabida.

One of her most notable kontrabida roles was in the 2005 version of Darna starring Angel Locsin.

Originally a human being who harbors hatred towards Narda (Angel), Katrina's character was transformed into the Black Darna who became one of the superheroine's mortal enemies.

In 2007, Katrina got her biggest kontrabida role when she was cast as Angelika Santibañez in GMA-7's remake of MariMar, starring Marian Rivera.

Coincidentally, MariMar was Katrina's favorite TV show when she was a child, which is why she initially turned down the villain role.

She explained, "Pina-audition kasi kaming lahat, eh. So required. So nakuha ako sa Angelika.

"'Di ko tinanggap, as in two weeks hindi ako nag-attend ng mga storycon, ayoko! Gan'un ako ka-wild fan!"

Later, she was convinced to accept the role, and her portrayal got good feedback from viewers.

Two months after MariMar ended, Katrina got her first lead role in a teleserye in 2008, which was the afternoon series Magdusa Ka.

In this show, she was handpicked to play the role of Cristine, which was originally portrayed by Dina Bonnevie.

Adjustments from doing a kontrabida role to a kind-hearted character, according to her, were made easy by her director, the late filmmaker Maryo J. Delos Reyes.

"Kapag meron kayong scene, i-a-act out niya yung gusto niyang makita. So ikaw, gagawin mo lang din yung ginawa ni Direk."

After Magdusa Ka, Katrina returned to playing kontrabida roles, including Rosalinda (2009), which was another remake of a Thalia telenovela.

She also did villain roles in shows like Munting Heredera (2011), My Beloved (2012), among others.

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Currently, Katrina plays a kontrabida role in the afternoon series The Stepdaughters.

Erich Gonzales

After winning Star Circle National Teen Quest in 2005, Erich found herself portraying supporting roles in teleseryes, including Mga Anghel na Walang Langit and Calla Lily.

In 2007, Erich got a big role when she became the main villain in the teleserye Sana Maulit Muli, as the third wheel to Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson.

After the show, Erich landed supporting roles in different teleseryes like Ligaw na Bulaklak and Pieta.

In 2009, the homegrown ABS-CBN actress finally got her big break when she starred in the TV adaptation of the Dina Bonnevie flick Katorse.

This was followed by a string of lead roles in teleseryes with different leading men.

Currently, Erich plays triplets in the early prime-time series The Blood Sisters, where she portrays three different characters.

Jodi Sta. Maria

Jodi already played important roles on television during her early days in showbiz. These roles included the ones she played in Tabing Ilog (1999-2003), Pangako Sa 'Yo (2000-2002), and Darating Ang Umaga (2003).

In 2005, however, Jodi's career took a different direction when she was cast as kontrabida to Anne Curtis in Kampanerang Kuba (2005). However, Jodi wasn't able to finish the show as she got pregnant in the middle of the series.

In 2007, Jodi returned to doing teleseryes and played the main villain in the Claudine Barretto-Piolo Pascual starrer Walang Kapalit.

She also played the ghost villain to Kris Aquino's character in the remake of Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara in 2008.

After the show, Jodi was assigned to do supporting roles in her succeeding teleseryes.

In 2011, she played one of the lead roles in the inspirational drama series 100 Days To Heaven, as the daughter of Coney Reyes.

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However, it was in 2012 when Jodi achieved leading lady status when she top-billed the daytime series Be Careful With My Heart, which ran for two years.

This was followed by a lead role in the remake of Pangako Sa 'Yo in 2015.

Currently, Jodi top-bills the daytime series Sana Dalawa Ang Puso along with Robin Padilla and Richard Yap.

Sunshine Dizon

When Sunshine graduated from being a teen star to a dramatic actress, she took the path of being a kontrabida.

In 2000, GMA-7 decided to cast her as the kontrabida to Angelika dela Cruz in the miniseries Umulan Man O Umaraw.

The show proved to be a success that's why they were given a full-length teleserye in 2001, which was Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin.

However, Sunshine wasn't able to finish her kontrabida stint after she was killed off in the series.

Instead, she was given a lead role in the network's political drama series Kung Mawawala Ka, where she was paired with Cogie Domingo.

In 2005, Sunshine returned to portraying a kontrabida role via the fantasy series Encantadia.

In the show, Sunshine played the villain Pirena. The character would become one of Sunshine's most remarkable roles on TV.

In 2006, the GMA homegrown actress was given her first titular role in the remake of Bakekang, where she did her version of the character first portrayed by Nora Aunor in a movie.

Since then, Sunshine would intermittently play bida and kontrabida roles in her teleseryes.

Currently, Sunshine plays the lead in the daytime series Ika-6 Na Utos.

Sofia Andres

Sofia was first introduced to the public when she played the younger sister of Kathryn Bernardo in Princess and I in 2012.

In 2014, Sofia got her break when she played third wheel to Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil in the drama series Forevermore.

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Three years after taking a break from doing teleseryes, Sofia landed a lead role in the afternoon series Pusong Ligaw.

Currently, she is part of the fantaserye Bagani.

Megan Young

When Megan transferred to ABS-CBN, she was given a big role in the remake of I Love Betty La Fea as Marcella, the girlfriend of Armando (John Lloyd Cruz), Betty's (Bea Alonzo) love interest.

Her character started as kind but later became a villain.

This was followed by a string of supporting roles in teleseryes until 2011 when Megan was tapped to play the leading lady of Zanjoe Marudo in Precious Hearts Romances: Hiyas.

In an interview with PEP.ph in February 2018, Megan admitted that she had to adjust since she used to portray characters with strong personalities.

"I didn't actually know how to tackle being a nice person onscreen like that, na gan'un kabait, kahit anong ibato sa 'yo, hindi ka lumalaban.

"I had such a hard time kasi deep inside, I wanted to fight for the character and I wanted to be palaban."

Unfortunately, the project was almost shelved and was finally aired as a canned show in 2012, exactly a year since the show started its production.

Was Megan disheartened by the delays of the show's airing?

She answered, "No naman. When it comes to things like that, it's beyond your control already, parang I think they always have a formula of what works, which shows, the lineup that they have. Kailangan mag-match in certain ways yung shows nila."

Eventually, Hiyas received high ratings during its seven-week run.

"Ang taas ng ratings namin so happy naman ako na kahit na gan'un yung nangyari dapat nung umpisa, eventually, it transpired into good things."

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When she returned to GMA-7 in 2015 after her Miss World win, Megan took on several leading lady roles, including the title role in the modern adaptation of MariMar.

Currently, she's part of the afternoon series The Stepdaughters, where she plays Mayumi, a kind-hearted but strong woman.

Even though she misses portraying a kontrabida, she's happy that she gets to portray a "palaban" character in this show.

"Nami-miss ko mag-kontrabida sa totoo lang, but I'm happy now kasi yung role ko, palaban siya. Kahit sabihin mong protagonist, palaban siya.

"And that's something that I always wanted talaga, even nung MariMar pa lang, I wanted to fight for her but I'm happy that with Mayumi, I can fight for her."

Julia Montes

Julia's first big break on television came when she was tapped to play the villain Clara in the remake of Mara Clara in 2010.

Her portrayal of the role originally played by Gladys Reyes received good feedback from the audience.

Shortly after Mara Clara, Julia moved to leading lady status when she was paired with Coco Martin in the 2012 series Walang Hanggan.

She also played the lead role in Muling Buksan Ang Puso.

In 2014, Julia returned to playing a kontrabida for the series Ikaw Lamang, as the third wheel to Coco and Kim Chiu.

Julia later played both took on the bida and kontrabida role as twins in the afternoon series Doble Kara in 2015.

Currently, Julia top-bills the afternoon series Asintado.

Iza Calzado

Iza's debut on television was a kontrabida role in the drama series Kung Mawawala Ka.

In the 2002 series, she played Phoebe, the third wheel to the Sunshine Dizon and Cogie Domingo tandem.

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In 2004, GMA-7 decided to tap Iza as the leading lady of Mexican actor Segundo Cernadas in the prime-time series Te Amo: Maging Sino Ka Man.

The project catapulted her as one of Kapuso network's prime leading ladies.

Iza had the chance to portray another kontrabida role after more than 10 years via the 2017 ABS-CBN teleserye A Love To Last.

Currently, Iza is set to join Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia in the upcoming TV series Nostalgia. However, no details have been revealed yet about her role.

Lovi Poe

Just like other actresses, Lovi entered showbiz by playing supporting roles in teleseryes.

In 2008, GMA-7 gave her a big break when she was chosen to play the kontrabida in the afternoon series Kaputol ng Isang Awit, alongside Glaiza de Castro.

Despite the show's success, Lovi returned to portraying supporting roles in teleseryes.

She also played kontrabida to Jennylyn Mercado in the 2010 afternoon series Little Star.

In 2012, Lovi played the central bida-kontrabida character in the prime-time series Legacy, along with Heart Evangelista and Alessandra de Rossi.

Later that year, Lovi got her first solo lead role via the afternoon teleserye Yesterday's Bride.

Since then, Lovi has been tapped to play lead roles in Kapuso drama shows.

Currently, she is part of the prime-time series The One That Got Away.

Max Collins

When Max was still an ABS-CBN talent, she used the screen name Isabelle Abierra.

Back then, Max was groomed by the network to be a kontrabida, playing the villain to Empress Schuck in the 2010 series Rosalka.

She also had a short role in Precious Hearts Romances: Alyna as the third wheel to Charee Pineda and JM de Guzman.

After a short hiatus in showbiz, Max returned to GMA-7 using her original name.

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After playing Kylie Padilla's best friend in The Good Daughter, Max was given a kontrabida role in the light drama series Coffee Prince. Both shows aired in 2012.

Immediately after the show, Max got her first leading lady role when she replaced Kylie in the drama series Pahiram ng Sandali.

However, Max proved her prowess as a solo actress when she was given the afternoon series Innamorata in 2014.

She recalled in a March 14 e-mail interview with PEP.ph, "I was really excited because it was always a dream of mine to do a bida role and I was also very determined to prove that I wasn't only meant for kontrabida roles. 

"The storyline was beautiful and I was so grateful the network trusted me with such a big project."

In the afternoon show, she played the role of Esperanza, a woman with a skin illness who becomes beautiful after wearing a magical necklace.

Max considers this role as her favorite because it was the character that she had to give her best shot.

"It was my first lead role and I worked so hard. It's really memorable to me because I gave it my allI wore prosthetics almost every taping day, worked long hours, was in every sceneand all my hard work paid off. 

"Until now, people still recognize me from that show and it means that it made an impact on themlalo na sa mga bata, they would call me by my character name. Nakakataba ng puso."

In her other projects, Max was tapped to be parts of projects where she played the lead role.

Currently, Max is part of the prime-time series The One That Got Away as one of Dennis Trillo's leading ladies.

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From being Krista Sullivan in ABS-CBN's Abt Ur Luv, she changed her name to Bela Padilla when she moved to GMA-7 in 2010.

She then took several kontrabida roles, including the ones she played in Endless Love (2010), Sisid (2011), and Hiram na Puso (2012).

In October 2012, Bela was given her first title role via the afternoon series Magdalena.

When she transferred to ABS-CBN in 2015, she became the leading lady of Coco Martin in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano.

She also played the lead actress in the 2017 prime-time series My Dear Heart.

After graduating from StarStruck season one, Cristine was assigned to do villain roles in the teleseryes of GMA-7.

One such role was Molecula in Angel Locsin's version of Darna in 2005. Molecula is one of Darna's mortal enemies.

She also did kontrabida roles in the shows Super Twins (2006) and MariMar (2007).

In 2008, Cristine transferred to ABS-CBN, where she was given her first lead role, the remake of Eva Fonda which was previously top-billed by Alma Moreno.

This was followed by a string of teleseryes where she played the lead: My Cheating Heart (2009), Kristine (2010), Reputasyon (2011), Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin (2012), and Tubig at Langis (2016).

Joyce Ching

Joyce started her career as a kontrabida when she portrayed the young Nadine Samonte in Endless Love (2010).

This was followed by several teleseryes where she played a kontrabida: Munting Heredera (2010), Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin (2011), Paroa: Ang Kwento ni Mariposa (2012), Dormitoryo (2013), and Paraiso Ko'y Ikaw (2014).

She was also cast to take on the role of Nina in the 2013 adaptation of Anna Karenina, where she played the role of Kim delos Santos, a bida-kontrabida.

In 2015, Joyce got her first drama series where she played the lead role. It was the Afternoon Prime series Healing Hearts, where she was paired with perennial onscreen partner Kristoffer Martin.

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She also played the lead in the afternoon series Hahamakin Ang Lahat (2016).

Jackie Rice

After winning StarStruck season three, Jackie found herself playing supporting roles in teleseryes.

In 2010, GMA-7 decided to give her a big break when she was tapped to play one of the lead characters in Ilumina, alongside Rhian Ramos.

In the fantasy show, she played a kontrabida role.

In 2011, the Kapuso network gave Jackie her own drama series, the afternoon show Sisid.

The show was supposed to premiere on February that year. However, Jackie had to learn diving and swimming so the airing was delayed until May 2011.

The series became successful that Jackie was given a follow-up project in 2012, Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka?

In 2013, however, Jackie returned to portraying kontrabida roles.

Currently, she plays the villain in the afternoon series Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka, starring Yasmien Kurdi and Mike Tan.

Bianca King

Bianca started her career in the last batch of GMA-7's youth-oriented show Click.

After the show ended in 2004, Bianca was given kontrabida roles.

Some of her remarkable teleseryes as kontrabida include Mulawin, Atlantika, MariMar, Dyesebel, and The Last Prince.

In 2011, Bianca was given her first lead role when she was chosen to replace Iza Calzado in the afternoon series Sinner or Saint, as Dennis Trillo's love interest.

This was followed by a string of afternoon series like Broken Vow, Luna Blanca, and Maghihintay Pa Rin.

Bianca also had a lead role in TV5's weekly series Obsession.

In 2017, after a two-year hiatus in doing TV projects, Bianca returned to doing a kontrabida role, this time, in ABS-CBN's recently-concluded drama series Pusong Ligaw.

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