“Whatever shape you may have at the moment, you should be proud of yourself and your body,” declared Yassi Pressman, as a response to the mixed reactions from netizens after posting a TikTok video of herself dancing in a skimpy two-piece bikini.
“Just keep doing you,” she advised her followers. “This used to be one of my fears. I used to feel conscious of what other people think. Now I just say, ‘This is me! Accept me and all my quirks!’ At least now, if they’re laughing, they’re laughing with me and not at me.”
Yassi finds nothing wrong with women like her being seen wearing swimsuits. “At least I didn’t take my clothes off in public. That’s something I will never do. People are reacting to it because they’re not used to it yet. Most of my TikTok videos are funny ones,” she explained.
“Those of the new generation are more open-minded. I’m 27 years old now, and I’m proud of my body… of what I have been through. I also share on social media if at one point in time, I’m big or small. I try to make women more aware and less self-conscious,” Yassi said during a recent media gathering organized by TV5 to promote her latest project, the TV adaptation of the 1954 movie “Kurdapya.”
In the series directed by Easy Ferrer, Yassi plays two characters: the rich and bratty Daphne Santillan and the naive but lovable Kuring Bolocboloc. The two eventually decide to switch lives, a move that will eventually enable them to learn valuable life lessons.
“Daphne is very sexy. You will most likely see her wearing a swimsuit on social media. In fact, sobrang yabang n’ya in the beginning of the series. Meanwhile, Kuring is nothing like that. This is why, when the two switch lives, Kuring feels uncomfortable in the clothes Daphne is so used to wearing,” Yassi said to explain the difference between the two female leads.
She added that she didn’t watch the movie version, which features Gloria Romero in the lead, prior to taping the series. “I was afraid that I might copy her nuances. I want to be able to come up with the most honest performance. Prior to doing [the Korean adaptation of the romantic film], ‘More Than Blue,’ I was able to watch the original. That was why I felt so pressured while I was filming the local version with JC (Santos). I still plan to watch the classic ‘Kurdapya,’ but only after I’m done with the series,” she said.
Playing four characters
“This is a really challenging project. It’s good that I have the support of my director and the entire production team. There were a lot of times when I felt really confused. I actually play four characters—Kuring, Daphne, Daphne pretending to be Kuring and Kuring pretending to be Daphne. It’s good that we use different tools, like wigs, to help differentiate these characters. To be able to express the right emotion and show the correct nuances in a particular scene seems to be the challenge in doing something of this genre,” Yassi explained.
This is Yassi’s first comedy project, and director Easy is impressed. The latter even described Yassi as “the perfect choice” to do Kurdapya. “In the beginning, I told her, ‘Paglaruan mo lang ang sarili mo ng todo-todo. That’s the goal of comedy.’ On our fifth day, we were already collaborating. We would exchange ideas on how each character should behave,” Easy recalled. “I appreciated it when I saw that she had learned to really love the role. Isinapuso n’ya. She didn’t care about whether she would look good onscreen. What was more important to her was that she was funny. She made my work as a director so easy.”
Yassi agreed with Easy and added: “I feel as if I’m already so baduy, but since Direk Easy approved everything that I did, I guess I’m doing OK. It’s also good that Daphne and Kuring complement each other. This is what I’ve discovered along the way.”
The actress admitted that she didn’t agree to do the project right away. “I asked, ‘May I think about it first?’ I felt so nervous at the start. This was never my forte. It was good that I got to work with Ate Vice (Ganda) in a movie. I got to observe how he would create a story on the spot and how good he is with timing. That’s when I realized that this genre is something else. My bosses told me, ‘Why don’t you give it a try?’ That’s when I opted to take on the challenge.”
Since she had to start taping right away, Yassi said she had no more time to attend acting workshops. “Tinimpla namin ng husto. In the beginning, I was really used to subtle acting, to the more natural kind. Direk Easy told me, ‘Just let it go. Give it your all.’ That’s exactly what I did. I would always check with Direk, and he approved.”
Inspired by Pablo S. Gomez’s popular classic, “Kurdapya” also features Marco Gumabao, Nikko Natividad, Ryza Cenon, Katya Santos, Candy Pangilinan and Lander Vera-Perez. It will air Saturdays, 6 to 7 p.m., starting on March 18 on TV5, with catchup airings on Sari Sari Channel Sundays at 8 p.m. beginning March 19.