Showbiz royalties Lovi Poe and Janine Gutierrez share what it’s like to be spawns of prestigious lineages and what they are doing to carve their own path and let their own stars shine.
This is an excerpt from MEGA Entertainment’s September 2022 cover story.
When you are the daughter of the “King of Philippine Movies” or the granddaughter of the “Superstar” and “Asia’s Queen of Songs” and the daughter of an iconic ’80’s loveteam, it must be quite a daunting life to live up to the illustrious family name.
Lovi Poe is, of course, the daughter of the late great Fernando Poe, Jr. And being the only one in her family to carry the “King’s” torch in acting, she has done quite well for herself. She’s also the half-sister of Senator Grace Poe and disc jockey Ron Poe.
“I would always say before, in the beginning, it was more of a challenge for me. But as time went by, it helped me a lot because people from the industry have so much respect for my dad’s legacy. They were just always out there to help and give back, whatever it is that the kind of relationship they’ve had in the past, and somehow make me feel loved in such a way, and they give it back to my dad through me. Yeah, it helped me a lot,” Lovi says.
But being her father’s daughter didn’t make her feel entitled to have good roles or to receive special treatment, but rather, it made her work even harder as an actress.
“Let’s be honest, I can never fill his shoes. It’s never going to be the same. But just the fact that I could somehow give a piece of it is already a big deal,” she proudly proclaims.
Although her father was such a large figure in the industry, Lovi didn’t grow up with him, but she still relished the relationship they had.
“Let’s just say we didn’t have something that was really concrete because of the situation. But I’d like to say the relationship was more for me, the presence or the absence inspired me at the same time.”
“His presence inspires me in so many ways because the legacy that he left behind is something that I will always cherish. I’m just glad to be part of that somehow. And then, his absence, I don’t think I would be an actress if it wasn’t for the things that I went through growing up.”
Janine Gutierrez, on the other hand, grew up in the presence of greats, with her paternal grandfather being the legendary actor Eddie Gutierrez and her grandmother being the iconic songstress Pilita Corrales, and her parents being ’80s matinee idols Ramon Christopher and Lotlot De Leon. Her grandmother on her maternal side is, of course, Superstar and National Artist Nora Aunor. Not to mention a bunch of other esteemed actors and popular personalities in her family that in includes Ruffa Gutierrez, Richard Gutierrez, Tonton Gutierrez, Jackie Lou Blanco, Ian de Leon, and Matet de Leon.
“When I was starting, I would always say na, ‘Oh, it’s fine. It’s great being part of such a famous showbiz family,’ ganyan. ’Tapos, one time, I was interviewed and they said that, ‘I read all your interviews and I noticed na parang apprehensive ka about your family history na parang ayaw mo madikit doon.’ And then, doon ko lang na-realize na, ‘Oo nga no, parang I always try to distance myself from it because, like, it’s so much.’ And whether you admit it or not, it is nakaka-pressure kasi siyempre you don’t want to embarrass your family, be the black sheep or whatever, with your career. But I realized that we’re all made up of our family members and whatever they have done in their lives is also in us, so you just use it in your career and I’m really grateful for it,” Janine recalls.
She is particularly close to her Mamita Pilita and respects that era of celebrities.
“’Yong dad ni Lovi, sila Mamita, parang iba talaga ’yong charisma nila. Right now we have Twitter, we have Instagram. You can reach people so easily. Pero noon, to be able to reach so many people just through TV, grabe ’yong pagmamahal sa kanila.”
As for her relationship with her other superstar grandmother, Janine admits she doesn’t get to see her as much as her Mamita.
“I understand why everybody loves her so much. Meron talagang siyang presence and power when she enters a room, like when you watch her close. And it’s surreal to be her granddaughter,” Janine professes.
As for her mom, veteran actress LotLot De Leon, Janine is all praises and is her self-proclaimed number one fan.
“I think my mom’s really… Like, I love her so much and she’s so talented. ’Yon nga, she had this whole superstardom when she was so young, and then she got married so young, like at the peak of her career, and then I appreciated her more as an actress. Of course, when we entered the industry, mas maiintindihan mo talaga. And gustong-gusto ko na she kind of had this renaissance when she got older as like a serious actress, like doing the movie On the Job, and then ’yong mga indies niya na umikot sa festival. So, I really learned most of how to be a professional from her and from my grandparents. I can’t forget na, Lovi also said, one time na all the good things her dad did bumabalik sa kanya, and I guess I feel the same way,” she adds.
Apart from this gratitude that both stars have for their family’s acting legacy, they are very aware of the contributions their family has made to the entertainment industry. But at the same time, are also both very oblivious to the kind of stars they have both become.
Photography BJ PASCUAL
Creative direction NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion direction and Styling RYUJI SHIOMITSU assisted by BEA GUERRERO and MIGUEL QUILANG
Beauty direction MIA CASTRO
Makeup (Janine) ANTHEA BUENO and (Lovi) MARK QUA
Hair (Janine) JOSELITO AQUINO and (Lovi) EZEKIEL OTILLA
Videography EXCEL PANLAQUE
Shoot coordination KZ FRANCISCO and MJ ALMERO
Shot on location AD ASTRA STUDIO
Special thanks to ANGELINA DELA CRUZ of AD ASTRA STUDIO