Unconventional, spunky, and not your usual leading lady – Alessandra De Rossi begins her reign at the box office as her independent film Kita Kita continues to grace the big screen. Wildly casual and comfortable in her own skin Alex brings us into the birth of Kita Kita and how her handicapped persona changed her career as we know it.
Decked out in silhouettes of Dark Sensuality, Alex brings out the drama in her different ensembles that embodies a modern day dominatrix in leather.
How does it feel to be the leading lady of a box office hit in the independent movie scene?
It feels nice. It’s about time that an indie movie in the Philippines gets recognition, because most are really nice, but not a lot get enough exposure like mainstream films. We didn’t have budget for TV trailers, TV guestings, and going around for promotions. I’m happy with the way things turned out. It wasn’t a dream of mine for Kita Kita to become a box office hit, not at all. I just wanted to make a movie that is great on its own.
Does it feel any different knowing it came with a handicapped role?
No, it wasn’t a challenge to play a handicapped role. The real challenge was to keep your composure when you’re in scene with Empoy, it’s so difficult! There are times in the movie that I couldn’t hold my laugh but I just went with it because I felt it was more natural that way.
How did you land yourself the role?
The role was really written for me and Empoy by Lucky Blanco. He was always teasing me that I wasn’t leading lady-material. I told him I really wasn’t [laughs]. He said it was because I wasn’t as the usual type of attractive with usual female protagonists, then he came up with the idea “what if gumawa siya ng movie na yung mga actors hindi yung usual leading lady or leading man material – Alex and Empoy.” He asked me if I was up for it, and I said yes!
How did you prepare yourself for the role of Lea? Any interesting methods on how you prepped yourself with?
I’m not really a method actor. To prove it, I had a walking stick that Sigrid [director] asked me to practice a week before shooting and I didn’t get to do it [laughs]. While I was packing for the flight, I actually almost forgot it [laughs]. I prefer being candid and natural, so it comes out more raw on camera.
You’ve starred in countless films before. How would you say Kita Kita is different from the others?
I think [the film] has a flavor for the audience. It’s the type of movie you’ll go out to see because it’s cute and it’s relatable. My other roles aren’t the most relatable, I’ve been a police officer, a labandera, a poor girl that’s hard up on life – lots wouldn’t want to be me [laughs]. At least with this role people can identify themselves with what Lea went through.
Has the movie changed your career in some way after its release?
Yes, I’m more ‘bankable’ now as they tell me. Normally, some movies don’t really consider me right away, they would go for more famous artists. Now that Kita Kita has garnered this much success, I guess it’s no longer risky to cast me.
How do you find the aesthetic of the film?
It’s very colorful and cutesy, it appeals to the public and relatable. The team avoided personifying the usual ‘leading lady’ image, the girl with heels, perfect hair. Here in the Philippines, we are always creating the image of high-maintenance-looking girls. That’s what [the team] is trying to break, we wanted to dress a girl simply but she’s still cute of course [laughs].
Many of your outfits were styled great. Would you say Lea’s fashion sense is the same with yours?
Some of the oufits they used were actually mine, they raided my closet! Me and Lea match in fashion sense sometimes, it depends on my mood, but we’re alike in terms of comfort. I put comfort before style.
How would you describe your own taste in clothes?
Very very moody. My style depends on what I feel in a day. Like today I chose to be in a dress because I wanted to be comfortable, but I’m not so sure if my shoes match, oh well [laughs].
Seeing the collection by H&M you’ve modeled in today, any piece/s catch your attention?
I relate well with the blacks and whites; it’s also the easiest to match in the morning. As they say, when in doubt, go black.
Is H&M a usual clothing shop on your favorites? How so?
Once in awhile I visit their stores. I’m a fan of their pants, it’s very rare to find pants that fit really well with my frame.
What do you usually shop for at H&M?
Definitely their pants, jeans, and also their jackets.
Any words of wisdom to your fans who aspire to dress like you, or become like you in the future?
Never ever become like me, be your own person. That’s the only way you’ll shine in your own light. No one else can recreate what you do or who you are.
Words: Louise Sicat | Art Direction: Carmina Aglipay and EJ L. Kampitan | Photographer: Erwin Canlas | Styling: RJ Roque Assisted by Dyn Montalban | Makeup: Boggy Diaz | Hair: Katch Mejias | Location and Special Thanks to First United Building, Escolta