World, meet Charlie Dizon
In February 2019, direk Tonette Jadaone shocked us all when she posted a call for auditions on her Twitter account. She was looking for “a girl, not yet a woman” to star in her upcoming film, Fan Girl. It should come as no surprise, but over 600 aspiring actresses heeded the call—and now we all know who came out on top: Charlie Dizon.
Fan Girl, which will have its premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival, follows the story of Jane (Charlie Dizon) and her obsession with Paulo Avelino (who plays himself). She weasels her way into his car one day and, by one circumstance or another, ends up in his home. Jane comes face-to-face with an unfamiliar Paulo Avelino; someone quite a distance from the idol she fell in love with.
The film comes with a warning, an eerie “Never meet your heroes,” and maybe we shouldn’t. But sometimes seeing the real thing—or person—is better than the idea we have of them. So let us properly introduce you to the real Charlie Dizon.
Wonder: How has the Fan Girl journey been? How did you first hear about the film?
Charlie: Actually, I didn’t know about the project at first. I think destiny paved the way para makapag-audition ako. I heard marami pang nangyari before that—until, at least, nabigyan rin ako ng chance to audition also.
During [the shoot], ginamit ni direk Tonette yung process ng method acting sa amin so yun yung isa sa mga challenges na hinarap ko. Pero si direk Tonette was very helpful and talagang ginuide niya ako; same with Paulo. I believe that I evolved, not just as an actress but also as a person.
(Actually, I didn’t know about the project at first. I think destiny paved the way so that I could audition. I heard that a lot happened—until, at least, I was given the chance to audition.
During the shoot, direk Tonette wanted us to use method acting, which became one of the challenges for me. Although direk Tonette was very helpful and she really guided me through the process; same with Paulo. I believe that I evolved, not just as an actress but also as a person.)
Wonder: Were you a fan of Paulo before shooting?
Charlie: Yes, when I was younger. Kasi before, naging support talent ako for his endorsement. Naala ko, nagpapapicture talaga ako every time na nakikita ko siya sa labas. So hindi rin ako makapaniwala nung audition na sinabi si Paulo yung magiging ka-partner ko.
(Yes, when I was younger. I became a support talent for one of his endorsements. I remember, I would always ask for a picture whenever I would see him outside. So I couldn’t really believe it when they told me at the audition that Paulo was going to be my partner.
Wonder: There are some big names attached to Fan Girl. Did that excite you or make you anxious?
Charlie: Actually, both. Of course, nakaka-pressure kasi direk Tonette—coming from love teams na sikat talaga and popular actors mga dinedirect niya before—so nakakapressure for me na bago lang sa industry. Si Paulo, likewise, kasi alam naman natin na award-winning actor din si Paulo. So nakaka-pressure, pero syempre excited ako sa journey and sa mga natutunan ko din dun. Sobrang worth it.
(Actually, both. Of course, I was pressured because direk Tonette—coming from love teams that are well-known and directing popular actors—so there was pressure for me as someone who’s new to the industry. With Paulo, likewise; we all know he’s an award-winning actor. So there was a lot of pressure, but I was also excited about the journey and I learned a lot from it. It was super worth it.)
Wonder: Why do you think a story like this is so important to tell? It's kind of everyone's dream to meet the person who they look up to, but there's a warning with the film: “Never meet your heroes.” Do you believe this?
Charlie: I believe yung hashtag namin na #NeverMeetYourIdol kase, diba we have a fantasy and expectation of our idols. Naturally, we feel disappointed kapag hindi na-meet yun ng idols natin, so I believe na yun din pinapakita ng movie na toh. Siguro, para hindi nga masira yung fantasy if ever. Or kung ready naman nila i-accept na hindi perfect yung idols nila, di okay lang rin.
(I believe our hashtag, #NeverMeetYourIdol, because we have a fantasy and expectation of our idols. Naturally, we feel disappointed when our idols don’t meet them, so I believe that this is what the movie is trying to say. So that the fantasy isn’t broken. Or if you’re ready to accept that your idol isn’t perfect, then it’s fine.)
Wonder: Are you a lover of dreams or an advocate of reality? How come?
Charlie: Both eh! Kasi ako, dreamer talaga ako. Ako, naniniwala talaga ako na kapag may sinet ka talaga na goal or dream mo, kahit ilang taon ka pa, ma-a-achieve mo yan kung sinet mo talaga sa utak mo. And yung sa advocate of reality, kasi as you go sa process, ma-fe-feel mo din yung reality. So I believe dapat same yun. Pero hindi rin kasi pwede na wala kang dream; ang lungkot nun kung walang dream ang tao.
(Both! I’m a dreamer; I believe that once you set your goal or dream, no matter how many years it takes, you’ll achieve it once you set your mind on it. And for being an advocate of reality, it’s because, as you go along the process, you’ll feel that reality as well. So I believe that they’re the same. But you can’t not have a dream; it’s sad if a person doesn’t have one.)
View this post on Instagram
Wonder: What attaches you to the film, on a personal level? What's a lesson you've learned from it?
Charlie: Ang dami eh! Actually, after ko gawin yung Fan Girl, parang dun ko mas minahal yung craft. Sobrang dami kong na-experience sa movie na yun. Of course, yung sa method acting palang and yung advice ni Paulo about professionalism and of course ni direk Tonette. At si direk Tonette kasi, hindi ko lang siya nakakausap during shoot, nakakausap ko rin siya after. Kung, halimbawa, chini-check niya kung may kailangan ako o nahihirapan ako, may scenes ba na uncomfortable ako. Kaya sobrang grateful din ako sa experience talaga—dun palang: na naka-work ko si Paulo at si direk Tonette.
(So many! Actually, after filming Fan Girl, that’s when I loved the craft [of acting] more. I experienced so much from the movie. Of course, the method acting alone and the advice of Paulo on professionalism and, of course, from direk Tonette. And with direk Tonette, it wasn’t just during shooting that I talked to her; we spoke even after. For example, she would check if I needed anything or if I was having trouble or if there were scenes that I was uncomfortable with. So I’m really grateful for the experience—even just with that: being able to work with Paulo and direk Tonette.)
Wonder: What about your audience, what would like them to learn from the movie?
Charlie: Sana makita din nila yung foreground and background nung movie. Madaming layers yung movie; it’s not just about the fan girl and Paulo Avelino. Sana ma-realize nila na tao lang yung idols natin, may pinagdadaan rin na problems like the rest of us. Feeling ko yun yung matutunan nila sa movie na ‘to, maappreciate din nila yung reality ng idols natin off-cam. Yung totoong pagkatao nila.
(Hopefully they see the background and foreground of the movie. It has a lot of layers; it’s not just about the fan girl and Paulo Avelino. Hopefully they realize that our idols are still people, they go through problems like the rest of us. I feel like that’s what they’ll learn from the movie, that they will appreciate the reality of our idols off-cam. The actual person.)
Wonder: Your portrayal in the film has been kept a secret for quite a while. Are you ready to face the music?
Charlie: Yeah, of course! Kase siyempre, ang tagal ko na rin hinintay ‘to. And I believe na kapag binigay na ng universe, kailangan talaga i-accept. So of course I’m ready!
(Yeah, of course! I’ve waited for this for a long time. And I believe that when the universe gives you something, you need to accept it. So of course I’m ready!)
View this post on Instagram
It doesn’t take much time for you to realize how personable Charlie is. She’s beautiful, yes, but she’s eager in the best way and she’s ready for us. But are we ready for her?
Fan Girl, starring Paulo Avelino and Charlie Dizon and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, will have its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival later this month.
Art Alexandra Lara