Idol of Morena: Michelle Aldana’s role ‘one of the highlights’ of Dutch beer ad

Aldana (right) in a global advertisement for Heineken beer

My supposed small role became one of the highlights,” said Filipino actress Michelle Aldana, based in South Africa, as she recalled landing a role in a global ad recently released by a brand. of Dutch beer.

Michelle said it was because Francois Rousselet, Heineken’s advertising manager, told her he admired her beauty, especially the color of her skin.

“I hope Filipino women understand that our beauty is appreciated internationally. This director, who worked with Kristen Stewart on the recent Rolling Stones music video, told me exactly that. I had luck because my role in advertising became a highlight. What I had was a small role that got bigger. I’m so grateful to him,” Michelle, who is currently in Manila, told Inquire Entertainment.

On Facebook, Michelle posted the YouTube link to the ad, then captioned it with, “I’m not gonna lie. I’m super happy to be part of this new ad, but disappointed that they didn’t use the version where I spoke Filipino or Mandarin. I was hoping to be that Tagalog-speaking Filipino in a global ad. But still, here’s to all the cultural minorities who are pushing the boundaries of this industry. Cheers!”

When asked by Inquirer Entertainment if she knew she served as an icon for women of morena appearance, especially in the 90s, Michelle, who was crowned Miss Asia-Pacific in 1993, said that she had only recently become aware of it.

“Honestly, I didn’t know that until recently, when I heard some people – considered by today’s generation as titas and titos (aunts and uncles) – introduced me like, ‘This is Michelle. This’ is the idol of many morenas. I didn’t realize that I had such an impact on Filipina women in this way. I always thought it was because I was a beauty queen. C “It’s nice to hear that from women. Having fair skin has been the norm for a very long time, even until today with all popular all-girl Korean bands,” Michelle said.

past discrimination

Being iconic doesn’t mean she’s never been looked down on because of the color of her skin, Michelle said. “I will never forget this incident in Germany,” she began. “I did some modeling when I was there. I tried out for a bra ad. One of the casting people kept telling the others she didn’t like me I heard everything she said. She probably didn’t think I spoke German. She said no! I don’t like her. She’s too dark for that! The others said, “What? she tries on first. She might look good in a bra. I guess she was leading the group because no one agreed when she said ‘No!’

Michelle continued, “I guess they were looking for a lighter-skinned Asian, maybe a Chinese. You see, people from elsewhere, especially those who haven’t traveled to Asia, when they think of Asians, they think of the Chinese. I cried when I got home. I was still a whiner then. These are the things that make you stronger. Now I look back and laugh at this incident. People are more aware now. I’m glad the younger generation is now awake,” said Michelle, now 49, but still beautiful and slender.

After her Miss Asia-Pacific reign, Michelle tried her hand at acting by appearing alongside the late Fernando Poe Jr. in the 1994 action movie, “Hindi Pa Tapos ang Laban.” But it was Michelle’s performance in Tikoy Aguiluz’s 1996 drama “Segurista” that won her praise from film critics. However, she left to live abroad two years later.

“I got engaged in 1998 and moved to Germany. At that time I was studying European languages ​​at UP (University of the Philippines) so I thought what better than to be in Europe to practice languages. I got married there in 2000, but I had to leave for South Africa because my husband at the time had been asked to set up a regional office there for his company. divorced in 2008, but I still live in South Africa,” Michelle said.

Michelle has three children: Dustin, 21, and Kai, 18, from her first marriage; then, Io, 8, of his second. She remarried in 2014.

Michelle successfully built an acting career in South Africa, where she starred in the “Generations: The Legacy” series. She has also appeared in television commercials, including one for Samsung.

Stimulating role

Michelle has been in Manila since June visiting family and friends and later working on a GMA 7 series slated for release in September. She said “yes” to the project for three reasons: “The talent fee is good. I am a businesswoman. I have to make sure my trip here is worth it. Second, it’s a good role. Last year, GMA 7 offered me a very challenging role. I was supposed to play someone with mental health issues. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. When they called me back this year, it was for an equally demanding project. I will be a kontrabida, something I have never done before.

“Finally, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for so long. It’s heartwarming to play in Tagalog. I just want to try again to help ease the feeling of nostalgia. I really missed it,” Michelle said. INQ

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