New 'Umagang Kay Ganda' host Iya Villania says character roles are a good challenge.
After playing the role of the alluring Scarlet in the recently concluded Primetime Bida series Kristine, Iya Villania admitted that she is ready to embrace a more mature and sexy image after years of doing teenybopper roles onscreen. "I think I started it already with Kristine, but I'rsquo;d like to just keep it at that for the meantime. I don'rsquo;t want to take a step too far, too soon. You know, I'rsquo;m happy with what I'rsquo;ve been doing and I'rsquo;m sure there'rsquo;s still a lot for me to improve on in terms of that. Not from the stage that I'rsquo;m at right now so I'rsquo;ll work on that na lang," she told Push.com.ph during the Umagang Kay Ganda presscon held last February 11 at the ABS-CBN compound.
Iya played Atty. Scarlet Saavedra, a feisty character that she admits she really enjoyed doing. "If I get offered another role like that, I wouldn'rsquo;t mind. I also don'rsquo;t mind being the kontrabida. I actually enjoy doing character roles. That'rsquo;s why I like actresses like Miss Cherie Gil, Judy Ann Santos, Angelina Jolie, and Natalie Portman," she shared with Push.com.ph.
After doing a sexy calendar for a liquor brand, Iya said she still hasn'rsquo;t totally gotten used to the fact that she is now seen as a sex symbol. "I'rsquo;ve never really thought of it that way. I don'rsquo;t mind being thought of in that way because who wouldn'rsquo;t want to be sexy? It'rsquo;s just funny kasi for the longest time I'rsquo;ve been wearing hanging t-shirts, short shorts, heels but nobody really paid me attention that'rsquo;s why now, because of Tanduay. But really guys, it'rsquo;s nothing new. (laughs) I'rsquo;ve had guys tell me they can'rsquo;t believe I did Tanduay and that they were shocked. I think it'rsquo;s because of what they know of the brand. Because of the reputation and their past calendars. But when they see my calendar they say hindi naman pala ganun. So there was obviously a change when I did the Tanduay calendar. Initially they did get shocked but when they see it, it'rsquo;s like they know na it'rsquo;s not what they thought it would be. When they offered it to me, I saw that there was no reason for me to turn down the offer. Because when I saw the pegs, sabi ko na if this is it, then it'rsquo;s something I can do," she recalled.
With her relationship with longtime boyfriend Drew Arellano still going strong, Iya said he was not bothered by her recent change of image. "He wasn'rsquo;t able to watch me on the show. But it'rsquo;s not that it'rsquo;s okay with him, of course certain scenes can make him feel uncomfortable, which is quite normal for a boyfriend. But he'rsquo;s never been the type to stop me from doing anything that I want to do. And for me, the reason why I allowed myself to do it is because I knew that it wasn'rsquo;t Iya kissing onscreen, it was Scarlet. And Scarlet is so different from who I am. That'rsquo;s why I found so much joy in playing Scarlet. It was liberating for me," she said.
The 24 year-old said that Drew has always been a very supportive boyfriend. "He never stopped me. He allows me to make my own decisions, whether they may be wrong or right decisions. Of course, he wants me to learn from the mistakes, but if they'rsquo;re right, then he'rsquo;d be happy for me. He wants me to make my own decisions because he wants me to become my own person," she