Many thought young actress LJ Reyes’ career was doomed when she got pregnant two years back. But she came out blazing after giving birth — did some interesting photo shoots that earned for her the tag, hot momma, and even made a mark as an actress by winning acting awards. In an interview with tabloid!, LJ Reyes spoke about how she overcame challenges in her personal life and her career.
Q: A lot of people thought you were going to just disappear from the limelight when you got pregnant. But you proved them wrong.
A: To be honest, I thought so, too. But it was a good thing I had a great support system from Paulo [Avelino, her partner who is also an actor], from my family, and from my home studio, GMA 7. They didn’t give up on me, and so there was no reason for me to give up. Plus, my baby was such a great inspiration. I thought I had to work harder. So I got back in shape, and started taking risks with my career. I guess maturity comes with being a mother. I was not ashamed at all, I had to be strong I was a teenage mother.
Q: You had some steamy photo shoots after giving birth. Was there any objection from your partner or family?
A: Initially there was, but I met with my handlers and decided this was the way to go for my career. The gamble paid off.
Q: You won an acting award two years ago for The Leaving. And now you’re getting good TV roles and a new indie film. What’s your reaction?
A: The challenges I had to deal with before the pregnancy and after that certainly made me a better person. When you experience the worst of fears or depression, you get tougher. And when you face great emotional challenges like I did, you have something deeper to draw on. I guess what happened really helped me in approaching my roles, and giving depth to the characters that I play.
Q: With Intoy Syokoy, your new film, a lot of people say you could be in for another acting award. Your thoughts?
A: I don’t want to expect. Even before with The Leaving, I wasn’t expecting. I was in New York about to give birth. I just give my all, and if the recognitions come, thank you. That’s another incentive to work harder. It’s something that I don’t really let get into my head; although I share the joy with my family, especially my baby. That’s something I want Ethan [her son] to be proud of.
Q: Rumours are rife that you and Paulo have split up. Can you clarify?
A: Paulo and I are still together. After what we have been through, I doubt if there is anything that can break us apart. We’re as strong as ever.