This year marks Julie Anne San Jose’s return to the acting scene. Prior to the pandemic, the 27-year-old singer’s last stint as a television leading lady was in 2018, with the GMA 7 romance teleserye “My Guitar Princess.”
She returned to the scene back in June, when she starred in the GMA 7 enemies-to-lovers romance “Heartful Café,” playing a writer-slash-cafe owner who goes head to head with a businessman played by actor David Licauco. This November, San Jose stepped away from the typical rom-com as headstrong songwriter Laura in the Viu original series “Still.”
“Still” is set in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, following aspiring musicians who get stuck at a songwriting camp due to heightened quarantine protocols. San Jose acts alongside Bituin Escalante, Christian Bautista, and Gab Pangilinan, as well as a cast of theater actors including Gabby Padilla, Mike Shimamoto, Abe Autea, and Lance Reblando.
The musical series is helmed by a powerhouse production team, with writing by Pat Valera (“Dekada ‘70 the Musical,” “Mula Sa Buwan”) and directed by Treb Monteras II (“Respeto”). It also features original songs written and composed by some of the show’s cast members in collaboration with OPM greats Nica del Rosario and Jumbo “Bojam” de Belen. The choice to take on the project, San Jose says, was a decision made for her growth and because it was a chance to grow while doing what she loves the most: singing.
“I’ve fallen in love with singing and music ever since I was a kid and I have always been passionate about it. Without it, parang hindi ako whole,” she says on a video call with CNN Philippines Life.
In an entertainment industry where you’re expected to be versatile, San Jose saw the musical series as an opportunity for her to expand her horizons.
And it seems that choice was a good one. After filming “Still,” San Jose says that she felt her growth, “not only as an individual, but as an artist.”
Below, San Jose talks to CNN Philippines Life about her passion for music, her similarities and differences with her “Still” character, and her realizations in the past few months.
“Still” is now streaming on Viu.
Interview and video by SAMANTHA LEE