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Live-action ‘Trese’ fantasy casting: 9 actresses we’d like to see as Alexandra Trese

By Paul Rubio Published Jun 20, 2021 1:16 pm

Treseis the name on everyone’s lips these days.

A winning combination of organic audience clamor and a highly ingenious marketing blitz made sure that there isn’t a corner of Filipino internet culture that isn’t currently awash in everything Trese–from viral tweets to hilarious memes to inspired fan art and everything in between.

Based on the acclaimed comics by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, the series deftly combines gritty urban noir with the various elementals and supernatural creatures that populate Philippine lower mythology. Across the six-episode first season released right in time for the Philippine Independence Day weekend, longtime fans and newcomers alike fell under the spell of Alexandra Trese and her various cohorts in the fight against evil forces.

Amid all the chatter, one of the more notable narratives taking shape online is: “We need a live-action Trese!”.

And honestly, yes. Yes, we do. The often hyperrealistic artwork the show created to depict a present day Manila infested by an all-star cabal of local creepy crawlies and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night practically begs for a live action adaptation. That opening sequence alone of the many aswang henchmen clambering onto the elevated train tracks right by the Guadalupe station would be so delicious in a live action setting. It would, as the youths say, slap so hard.

In the spirit of this fun exercise in wishful thinking, we have decided to put on our imaginary casting director hats and give you our favorite picks of who we think should bring our favorite babaylan mandirigma to life, in case a local live-action adaptation does happen in the future. Read on!

Glaiza de Castro

The "Glaiza de Castro as Alexandra Trese" movement reached fever pitch after a tweet saying she would be perfect for the role went viral one day after the series was launched–but this was hardly the first time that this conversation was raised. Glaiza de Castro has been a perennial favorite fancast in Trese-specific Facebook groups even when the comics series was just known in niche circles, and we can certainly see why: her bespoke blend of mystique and badassery has elevated much of her TV and film work. She is also no stranger to genre television, having memorably played the haughty and fiery Sang’gre Pirena in the 2016 Encantadia reboot. Here’s to hoping she’s down trading in the Fire Gem for Alexandra Trese’s mystical kris Sinag.

Charlie Dizon

Charlie Dizon’s arrival via the 2020 film Fan Girl may seem meteoric to most people, but—like Trese’s journey to mainstream prominence—her success story is actually more of a slow burn. She spent many years waiting in the wings: countless bit parts, auditions, the works. The aforementioned film introduced her as a rare raw talent who is unafraid to go to very dark places with the characters she plays, which is something that could be very exciting to watch against the backdrop of the battle between good and evil that is the beating heart of Trese.

Yassi Pressman

Yassi Pressman is primarily known for her bright-eyed roles in teen rom-coms and, more indelibly, for her time in ABS-CBN’s mammoth FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano as the even-keeled Alyana Dalisay. But in iWant’s criminally under the radar supernatural-tinged limited series The Tapes (2020), she proved that she is more than capable of shining in darker, heftier fare. Her turn as troubled Baguio City cop Alice Lagaac served as the emotional anchor for the moody, twisty tale. It is a prime indication that she is ready to carry a project all by herself and Trese may just be the perfect vehicle for her to explore even darker territories.

Julia Montes

At 26, Julia Montes has already built for herself an impressive career of always understanding the assignment. For our entertainment, she has been a child comedian (Goin’ Bulilit), an alarmingly antagonistic teen (the Mara Clara remake), a swoony romantic lead (Walang Hanggan), a pair of twins (Doble Kara–one of them is evil, of course), an EMT (Asintado), a young mother heroically trying to stop an impending epidemic (24/7). And she has done a bang up job in all of them. So there should be no doubt that she will give us a layered and compelling Alexandra Trese if given the chance.

Kylie Padilla

Glaiza de Castro’s Encantadia sister is another prime candidate for Trese. Kylie Padilla certainly looks the part—both the animated and the comic iterations of the character bear a striking resemblance to her. Additionally, she most definitely already knows her way around a fight scene, thanks to her Muay Thai, Wushu, gymnastics and Arnis training. Aswangs, best beware.

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Jasmine Curtis-Smith

Anne Curtis’ baby sister has grown into her own quite impressively. Having already won several acting awards in her relatively short career, Jasmine Curtis-Smith has long proven that she has the chops, and her highly assured and complex performances in memorable films like Dementia, I’m Drunk I Love You and Baka Bukas is high indication that she would be a force of nature as Alexandra Trese.

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Maja Salvador

Maja Salvador, aka Ivy Aguas, aka Camila dela Torre, has proven that she’s unmatched when it comes to playing larger-than-life women consumed by wrath and revenge. That’s why it’s easy to forget that she has the range to pull off more subdued and inward characters, like in her Gawad Urian-winning role in the sports drama Thelma. The laser focus that she harnessed in portraying the boundary-breaking track star Thelma can be transposed directly into the also hyper-focused kicker of evil butt Trese. Besides, Maja’s iconic death glare is exactly what would whip the perpetual goofballs Kambal into shape.

Angel Locsin

Perhaps no other actress in any generation has cornered the “strong female lead” market quite like Angel Locsin has. She has played a veritable string of iconic badasses: a soldier-turned-spy in The General’s Daughter, an Indiana Jones type in Asian Treasures, an avian warrior princess in Mulawin, a werewolf in Lobo, Imortal and La Luna Sangre, and of course, her pièce de résistance, Darna in, well, Darna. The best Angel Locsin characters are the quiet storm types laced with unexpected pathos which is exactly what Alexandra Trese is.

Liza Soberano

Of course. Liza Soberano has already delivered a capable job voice acting Alexandra Trese in the anime’s Filipino dub, and we have zero doubt that she would also kick ass as a living, breathing, three dimensional Trese. Currently at the peak of her game, Liza has already done so much since her teenybopper era, and she has a full lifetime of future classics ahead of her. We wouldn’t mind at all if yet another depiction of Alexandra Trese would be one of them.

Banner photo from Netflix, Instagram/Liza Soberano, Glaiza de Castro