After 13 years in the entertainment industry, Liza Soberano is ready to start living for herself, on her own terms.
“I’m 25 years old now, and I think many people forget that I’ve been working for 13 years now, since I was 12 years old,” the actress shares in her latest vlog. “I’ve been in six feature films, over 500 episodes of teleseryes, and have only really dabbled in three main genres: romance, comedy, and drama. And since I was 16, I had only really worked side by side with one main costar, with the same production company, rotating around the same three directors. And during all those years, I was never really asked for my input, my thoughts, my ideas.”
“I felt like I was being told to be just a flower for so long.”
Soberano shares this not to call out or expose her old management, but to explain the major shifts her career has taken in the whirlwind year that was her 2022. To wit: Signing on to be managed by James Reid under Careless Music, auditioning for and filming a Hollywood movie alongside Cole Sprouse and Kathryn Newton, going to South Korea and guesting on a reality show there.
It’s been a year of big steps for Soberano. “I have grown so much,” she says while reflecting on the past year, and it’s apparent.
And it’s also apparent how making the choice to be with Careless, no matter how controversial or bold it was at the time, was a choice for her own independence and creative freedom. When she talks about the team, you get the sense that Soberano appreciates that they respected her as a business woman and as a creative, not as the spectacle-making vehicle that is Liza Soberano: the ABS-CBN teen leading lady.
“I asked them what the plan was for me. And they said, ‘I don’t know. You tell us. We’re here to support whatever your dreams are,’” she shares. “I’ve been approached by so many management companies before, and it was the first time any of them had asked me what I wanted, what made me happy.”
She, however, was aware that not everyone understood the direction she started taking. “Many thought I had changed. But that wasn’t change. It was in fact the first real choice I made myself, for myself.”
For someone who didn’t even choose her stage name herself—Liza Soberano was chosen for her, she now prefers Hope—that’s a big thing.
“I’ve sacrificed my childhood, I’ve sacrificed my freedom, I’ve sacrificed my happiness to present Liza Soberano to the world,” she says. “I think I’ve earned the right to finally be me, to finally be able to do things for me as Hope Soberano.”