The Netflix animated adaptation of the iconic Trese comic book series, by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo, just dropped and we are all aboard the hype train. The series garnered much attention locally because the main role of Alexandra Trese is played by actress Liza Soberano in the Filipino dub. (Our Pinoy pride is shaking!)
In case you haven't read the books, here's the gist: Trese follows the story of detective Alexandra Trese, who deals with cases involving mythical creatures of Philippine folklore. The series is set in Manila, where many of these supernatural beings are hiding among the human population.
During Netflix's virtual press junket, we had a chance to sit down and chat with Liza. She shared her own hero's journey in portraying the Lakan of humanity, including the challenges in taking on the role and overall learnings from the experience. (Because we stan a queen of self-awareness and growth!)
Check out our chikahan session:
1. To prepare for Trese, Liza learned techniques from vocal coach Rudolf Baldonado Jr. such as the proper way to hydrate after using up one's voice. (#TIL You're not supposed to drink water right after a dubbing session.)
Liza: "I was mostly watching vocal exercises on YouTube for the most part and of course, I asked my vocal coach if it's the correct way—excuse me *coughs*—to warm up your voice. Sorry, I'm losing my voice now. *laughs*"
"When we were doing the dubbing sessions, he [Coach Rudolf] taught me to bring my voice up very high up *heightens her vocal pitch* and bring it very low *lowers her vocal pitch* like bring it down and you just have to do that back and forth."
"He taught me a technique when you're dubbing: You're not supposed to drink water [for] at least five minutes after you've used your voice so much. Instead, just bite on a piece of apple to bring back the moisture in your mouth."
2. After undergoing intensive vocal training for Trese, Liza now plans to switch things up with her voice when acting in future films and teleseryes.
Liza: "I realized how important it is to also be conscious about your voice when it comes to acting. It really [makes] a world of difference when you put more effort into your voice and kind of create this character. I'm going to be more mindful of that when I have characters in the future. I wanna look back on all my films [and] I want them to be different from each other."
"When I was watching a few of my films and teleseryes—because Dolce Amore is on TV right now—I realized how similar my voice sounds in almost everything, so it's kind of hard to differentiate the characters unless I'm speaking a different language."
3. Voice acting was completely out of Liza's comfort zone but she wanted to take it on and be brave like Alexandra Trese.
Liza: "I feel like [Alexandra Trese is] brave because she's able to fight off all these evil forces, the supernatural beings. She's not even scared so I guess that's so natural and normal for her. With me, I feel like I'm brave because I accepted this [voice acting role.] I started doing this, which is completely out of my comfort zone. I'm not used to doing voice acting so I'm learning how to become more brave and confident in myself."
4. Liza wants you to know that Alexandra Trese is a badass. Period.
Liza: "[Alex is an empowering character] because she's just BADASS! *laughs* If you watch the series, [you can see that] she has no fear as she takes on all these enemies with so much finesse. She doesn't need a man to protect her! Of course, from time to time she has Crispin and Basilio to watch her back. But for the most part, she's the one taking care of everybody—[both] the human beings and the supernatural beings. So, hats off to her!”
"I feel like a lot of people can relate to her because, in the real world, we have enemies...they just don't look like monsters, right?"
5. Like Trese's main heroine, Liza still practices certain Filipino superstitions and is very respectful of her surroundings. She has even said "tabi-tabi po" while draining pasta on the sink.
Liza: "To this day, I still say, 'tabi-tabi po' when I'm crossing through some forest-y land that looks suspicious to me. [Also] when I'm pouring hot water [down] the drain—for when I drain my pasta or noodles or whatever—I always say, 'tabi-tabi po' because I feel like there's a duwende or something in the drainage."
"Another one is that I also believe in, you know, when it's raining and it's also sunny—may kinakasal na tikbalang? Tiyanaks, I used to believe in them. I was scared to death of them but now I don't know if I believe in them that much anymore."
6. Liza believes in destiny but also in making your own decisions—ideas that are sometimes at odds in the world of Trese.
Liza: "I do believe in destiny and a predetermined path because I feel like everything is planned out in God's way. It's really up to us to make the right decisions and right choices. True freedom is making our own decisions. It's up to us to interpret those signs."
To watch our full interview with Liza, check out the video below:
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