She’s A 10
JUL 8, 2015 | by Nicole Blanco Ramos, Art by Alexandra Lara
Photography: Jerick Sanchez of Studio 100. Creative Direction: Suki Salvador of At East | Jed Root. Art Direction: Alexandra Lara. Styling: Nicole Blanco Ramos. Makeup: Kusie Ho. Hairstyling: Dang Miranda. Nail Care: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon.
It may have started out as just a playful monicker, but Jessy Mendiola is called Wonder Jessy for a reason.
A month ago, Jessy Mendiola posted a photo of her face with a grotesquely bloodied brow and a bruised eye on her Instagram. The pristine and always beautiful 22-year-old must have had a terrible encounter for this to happen. Though at first sight, the photo is enough to startle just about anybody, her caption reads, “From a bridal shoot to a #looktest for a new horror film.” Jessy even injects a bit of humor adding, “Do I have something on my face?” followed by a laughing emoji.
2015 is the year Jessy stops playing it safe and steps outside of her comfort zone. Evidently, she’s having a blast doing it.
She’s done the romantic drama bit in teleseryes like Sabel. She’s starred in family dramas like Budoy. She’s played the role of sultry siren in the Filipino remake of Maria Mercedes. Not one to shy away from live appearances, she has also dipped her toes into hosting and continues to perform at noontime shows like ASAP. With an indie horror film in the works, a teleserye premiering in a month and a romantic movie with boyfriend JM de Guzman in its planning stage, Jessy is living, walking proof that the secret to managing having a lot on your plate is to wholeheartedly enjoy what you’re doing. Jessy Mendiola is on fire and on a roll.
“She’s ready,” the road manager tells the MEGAstyle.ph team peeking into the studio. Jessy at the time just came from shooting scenes for True Story, her first indie horror film, in the outskirts of Laguna. She arrives barefaced with glowing skin to boot—how she maintains that given her hectic schedule is a mystery we vow to uncover. To be considered strikingly beautiful while glammed up is one thing, but to be called so with not an ounce of makeup on is just something else. Without fuss, she dives right in getting herself in her element for the cover shoot, taking only moments to get her hair and makeup done.
It’s a natural reaction for people to be in awe of Jessy. “The woman just can’t take a bad photo. It’s nearly impossible,” some would exclaim. “If you look at her photos long enough, she actually turns into Emma Watson,” the rest would concur. But it’s easy to sense that beyond the skin-deep, there is sophistication, there is a somewhat puzzling complexity—there is a story to tell.
A self-confessed old soul, Jessy is insightful and so vibrant. She’s come a long way from being the hardworking teenager who, at a tender age, learned how to wear her many hats with such poise. What holds true about Jessy after years of being in the industry is that with her there are no pretenses—what you see is what you get. This could mean one breathtaking photo after another, a peek into her colorful life or an appreciation for her drive to constantly better herself as an actress, if not all of the above.
How has current work life been treating you? Can you tell us a bit about what’s been keeping you busy?
Oh, how has my current work life been? [Laughs while looking at her road manager] I’m in the middle of shooting a film and a teleserye simultaneously. The soap opera is with Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez and JC de Vera, who are all such fantastic actors. The film I’m doing is called True Story, which is an indie horror film and we’ve been shooting on location in Laguna. So for four days straight, I’ve been going back and forth from Laguna to Manila. I haven’t had decent sleep in four days, too. [Laughs] The only sleep I’ve had is from when I get to nap during car rides.
And then you jumped right into today’s shoot?
Yes, and I had so much fun today! After this, okay na; I’ll be able to get some rest.
Your lineup of projects seems very promising. When can we go out and see your film and tune into your teleserye?
True Story is scheduled to be released in October just in time for Halloween, while the teleserye, Will Never Say Goodbye airs in August.
Given your range as an actress and your roster of roles, can you tell us about your dream project? Is there a dream role you wish to take on?
I would love to do something really light [laughing]. Everything right now is just so dramatic and everything is so intense; it would be a dream come true for me to do a romantic comedy or a maybe a sitcom—or an action film, sige, kung intense lang din naman [laughing]. Let’s do action!
What is the most vital lesson you’ve learned in the industry?
Patience with everything and everyone around you. Sometimes, it won’t dawn on the people [in the industry] that you’re just tired and so what they see in front of them is what they assume you’re like on an everyday basis. It’s how they’ll remember you. So you have to remember that first impressions last. Even if you’re tired, even if you lack sleep, even with mean people around you, you really have to be patient and try to carry on with grace.
What would you like to accomplish before the year ends?
I have a lot of things I would love to accomplish this year, like being more [physically] active. I have to maintain my physique and maintain a healthy lifestyle and that’s what I’m focusing on right now—that I have to eat properly, I have to work out religiously.
Moving on to fashion: How would you describe your personal style?
Relaxed, boyish and simple. But I think I can be adventurous with fashion sometimes. If my stylist tells me to try on an outfit she thinks I can pull off even if it’s a style I’m not particularly familiar with, I’d be game to try it on. If she encourages me to experiment with something I’ve never worn before, I’d give it a try. It matters to have a stylist you can really trust.
Do you have any style icons you look up to?
I love classic style icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. I know I’m sometimes really edgy or boyish, but if you asked me to get dolled up and dressed up, I would always go for the classic look: The red lips, ensembles in black and white, the simple diamond earrings. You can never go wrong with a classic.
What about more modern style icons?
I follow a lot of fashion and lifestyle bloggers on Instagram like Aimee Song and Karla Deras. I love how they mix simple, laid-back and almost boyish outfits with a splash of feminine flair. I love how they’d be dressed down in tattered denim trousers and a white tank top and then they’d accessorize with a super chic Givenchy purse.
Can you tell us the story behind your drastic haircut? What went into you chopping off your long locks? Everyone couldn’t stop talking about this when it happened!
[Laughs] That wasn’t because I was heartbroken, okay? It was a simple case of having really long hair and growing tired of it. I did Maria Mercedes before and since then, people always expected me to have that long hair with bombshell beach waves. I just wanted a change, so I cut my hair…without telling anyone! [laughing]. My makeup artist [Kusie Ho] cut my hair, actually! He gave me a bob and I debuted that look at the 2014 Star Magic Ball. And when I went to the United States for a show, I asked him to cut it even shorter. The thing about going short is that if you go short, you aren’t afraid to cut it even shorter afterwards! But with certain roles coming in and hairstylists having to constantly bring hair extensions along with them, I’ve decided to grow my hair out again.
Wonder Jessy is a fun little title that, as it turns out, Jessy Mendiola is deserving of. She’s street smart; she’s down-to-earth. Inasmuch as people would like to pigeonhole her, fitting her into the “Delicate and Glamorous Celebrity” category, it never takes long to notice how laid-back and fuss-free Jessy is—the definition of walang kaartehan—and it’s unmistakable that for her, it isn’t about the fame.
Download the MEGAstyle.ph July 2015 e-magazine featuring Jessy Mendiola FOR FREE on Magzter, via the official MEGAstyle.ph app (available on Google Play) or the Magzter app (available on AppStore and Google Play)
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