Love teams have always been a big deal, if not the only deal, in Philippine showbiz. And looks like Liza Soberano has a bit of a warning to all those hooked on the decades-long craze.
In her recent interview with Korean singers Ashley Choi and Peniel for their podcast "Get Real," the former Star Magic talent revealed that local love teams have been required by their management to hide their real dating status "to keep the fans kind of hungry" about their relationship.
The show began with the actress admitting that she's a "loyal fan" of BTS, apart from several girl groups like BLACKPINK, ITZY, Mamamoo, and NewJeans, among others. It was followed by her confession about being "kind of controversial for a good two weeks" in the Philippines because of her rebranding.
"It actually had to do with that rebrand. When I archived everything on my social media accounts everybody thought that I got hacked and lost my social media accounts. And then I didn't post anything till like three days after And I when I posted, I posted a photo along with a poem, a poem that I created," Liza said.
Titled "A flower's dream," the poem talks about the actress' "dream of being more than just a flower" confined in a love team.
"So love team is when they put two actors together and they're kind of like a Brangelina," she told the two Korean hosts in reference to Hollywood ex-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. "But in this scenario, we're supposed to be reel and real," she continued.
"We're supposed to be like a real couple on-and-off cam and only have to work with each other through our whole career," Liza said.
"So if you look at all of my previous movies and tv shows, I'm mainly with one co-actor. And [in] love teams, you're expected to be with that one person throughout your career and your personal life. And people don't want to see you aside any other male actor or any other male in general."
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The 25-year-old actress said that love teams are formed with talent agencies doing a "chemistry test" between the two actors. It involves pairing them up on a project, like a film or TV show, but not as the lead stars just yet.
"If that really takes off, then you become a love team. you get shipped really hard," Liza continued. "And then once you're in a love team you guys star in project after project together."
Asked what would happen if the actors of a love team don't date in real life, Liza said that they would have to hide it from the public, regardless.
"Some love teams don't actually date in real life, but you're not allowed to say that. The thing is, in the beginning of the love team, too, you're not allowed to say you are dating because you want to keep the fans kind of hungry for you guys to be actually dating," she explained.
"And it helps with the projects because whenever we do interviews, going into the projects, they were always asking if we are already dating—officially dating—or not," Liza continued. "So it becomes this whole thing where your career and your personal life, the lines between the two, gets blurred and people just don't know what reality is."
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The Careless talent noted that it's a practice that's been going on in Philippine showbiz "for a long time, like '70s, '80s."
"And in the Philippines the only way to be a big star really—if you're not a singer, if you're an actor—is to be in a love team," she added.
Liza made her acting debut in 2011 through an episode of ABS-CBN's anthology show Wansapanatym. The following year, she had a minor role as Claire Raymundo in Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo
She rose to fame being in a love team with her reel-to-real boyfriend Enrique Gil. The two first worked together on the 2013 film She's The One, where Enrique played Bea Alonzo's boyfriend while Liza portrayed his best friend who has feelings for him.
They began embarking on projects as the popular LizQuen love team in October 2014 through their first teleserye, Forevermore. Their last project together prior to Liza's rebranding was the romantic comedy TV show Make It With You which premiered in January 2020.