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Liza Soberano is finally living her Hollywood dream with ‘Lisa Frankenstein’

MANILA, Philippines, February 7 ------ It took more than a year of waiting but finally, Liza Soberano’s Hollywood debut is happening. 


In the quirky horror-romance set in 1989, “Lisa Frankenstein,” directed by Zelda Williams and written by the Oscar-winning Diablo Cody, the Filipina actress plays Taffy, the very social and popular but clueless stepsister of the titular character Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton). With Taffy’s help, Lisa tries to fit into her new family, school and life after the traumatic death of her mom and quick remarriage of her dad Dale (Joe Chrest) to Taffy’s mother Janet (Carla Gugino). Feeling out of place even among the outsiders at school, Lisa seeks solace at a neighborhood cemetery where she accidentally “resurrects” a corpse called The Creature (Cole Sprouse), which is in fact a 19th-century gentleman who wants to serve as her protector despite the condition — missing body parts and all — he’s in. No one could be more excited than Liza herself and the fans who have supported her decision to uproot herself from the local showbiz scene to pursue her big Hollywood dreams. 


In a way, Liza who turned 26 last Jan. 4 manifested the project. “When I actually signed on to my new management (Careless), they had asked me what it is that I’m looking for and I told them, like verbatim, I want to play a high school student because I want to be able to prolong the longevity of my career. I want to go back to playing teenagers because I feel like I could still pass as a teenager even though I’m 26. “And I said, I want to do a horror thriller that’s gory and has blood and everything. But I wanted to have a bit of a romantic-comedy aspect to it so that people aren’t too thrown off. And I had said this a year before I started filming for ‘Lisa Frankenstein.’” 


When Liza got hold of the script, her first reaction was: “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t think I would find a project that had all of those elements in one. I knew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.” She further recalled, “Even if I was in Korea at the time, filming for other stuff and I was working every day, when they sent me the audition invite, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, cancel everything today. I need to audition for this.’” Despite having acted since the age of 13 and reaching the status where she no longer had to audition for roles in the country, she started from scratch for “Lisa Frankenstein,” relearning how to do auditions, let alone do self-tapes. She landed the role two days after her submission. 


Liza disclosed that she was nervous coming into the movie set because she initially felt she wasn’t good enough to be cast as Taffy. “I felt undeserving in a way, but with anything that I do, I always try my hardest,” she shared. For one, as soon as she found out she got the part, which was just a week before the shoot started, she said that every day, she would read the script at least four times. “I really wanted to be able to digest it and pick up on all the little nuances I probably didn’t pick up in my first pass, second pass.” She consumed a lot of ‘80s movies, including the ones the director recommended and referenced when creating the film. These included the classics like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Back To The Future,” and “Beetlejuice,” along with the sitcom “New Girl” and various comedy titles. “I wanted to understand what is funny to Americans,” the actress said. Liza can confidently say that she gave “Lisa Frankenstein” her all. Zelda, daughter of the late Robin Williams and herself part-Filipina, has previously mentioned in interviews that Taffy is her favorite character in the movie. “I really tried not to hold back, which was my tendency before,” said Liza. “In the past, I would always try to control and give people what I thought they wanted instead of just allowing myself to be creative.”  




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