Lea Salonga wants her daughter to be left alone: 'She’s not a celebrity'
Though her daughter is about to make her musical debut, the award-winning actress and singer remains adamant about shielding her from the spotlight
Even if Lea Salonga’s 11-year-old daughter Nicole Beverly will be taking the stage soon as part of Matilda the Musical, the theater veteran wants everyone to know that Nicole’s not interested in the “celebrity aspect” of being an actress.
“She is not a celebrity,” Lea emphasized in an interview with entertainment website PEP. “For me, it’s like I wish I could just tell people, ‘Please leave her alone.’”
Knowing the expectations of fans, she took time to warn them not to count on Nicole being friendly all the time.
“She will not always be the nice person,” she continued, “she will be immediately suspicious of you.”
When asked if she considers herself a ‘stage mom,’ Lea compared herself to her mom Ligaya, who would always be by her side for “however many hours” she had to work. She admits to ABS-CBN news that to this day her mom, who’s now 80 years old, still watches over her.
It’s a little different to her relationship with Nicole, who was not drawn to the stage by the call of becoming a famous celebrity.
“She is very suspicious of people who go near her, like, ‘I have a feeling they only want to be friends with me because of you,’” revealed Lea, who adds how she and husband Robert Chien aren’t happy that people can’t seem to leave their unica hija alone.
Naturally, Lea is preparing her daughter for the stage by imparting wisdom and tips on professionalism, like the values of listening, focus, constantly studying and preparing, responsibility, kindness, and of course, having a good time.
“Ginusto mo ‘to, pinasukan mo ‘to, ikaw mismo nag-audition, so ‘ayan, careful what you wish for,” Lea recalls telling Nicole.
The internationally acclaimed actress will be preparing for a role, too. She will be making her much anticipated return to Broadway in Once On This Island.
So who will be tasked to watch over Nicole while she’s gone.
“I’ve been taking her to rehearsals,” Lea told ABS-CBN news. “Once I head off to the States, it’s going to have to fall in my mom’s and Rob’s lap.”
But Lea is confident that her 11-year-old can manage while she’s away, as she’s “growing up to be responsible and she knows what she needs to bring every day.”