After years of being in a love team with her real-life boyfriend Enrique Gil, Liza Soberano has been making headlines for choosing to focus on her solo career in Hollywood. In the latest episode of DIVE Studios' GET REAL episode, Liza opened up about her rebranding further and talked about what it felt like to be in a love team for most of her career.
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"In the Philippines, there's this huge phenomenon called love teams. [A] love team is when they put two actors together and they become kind of like a BrAngelina," she explained to GET REAL hosts Ashley Choi and BTOB's Peniel, naming Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as an example.
"In this scenario, we're supposed to be real and reel. We're supposed to be a real couple on and off cam, and we're only allowed to work with each other throughout our whole careers. So if you look at all of my previous movies and TV shows, I'm mainly with just one co-actor," Liza shared.
She then added that once fans begin "shipping" you with your on-screen partner IRL, they no longer want to see you work alongside other actors of the opposite sex. She also revealed that new pairings typically receive minor roles first to gauge initial audience reactions.
"What happens in the beginning of your career is they kind of test you. They put you in a project together where you guys aren't necessarily the leads, and it's kind of like a chemistry test," Liza said. "If it becomes popular amongst the viewers, then they put you in that movie or TV show. And if that really takes off, then you become a love team. You get shipped really hard."
Liza didn't specify any personal experiences in the interview, but this actually happened to her and Enrique as well. Before they starred in their first teleserye together in 2014, LizQuen had a brief appearance in Must Be Love, another love team-centric movie that skyrocketed Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla to fame.
Liza further explained that love teams usually aren't allowed to disclose their official relationship status to keep fans interested: "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 your love team, you're not allowed to say that you are dating because you want to keep the fans kind of hungry for you guys to actually be dating. It helps with the projects because they're always excited."
"Whenever we do interviews going into the projects, they're always asking about whether we're dating already or not," she added, mentioning that it's not unusual for fans to confuse on-screen pairings for real-life relationships. "So it becomes this whole thing where your career and your personal life, the lines between the two get blurred and people just don't know what reality is."
Liza concluded, "In the Philippines, the only way to become a big star really—if you're not a singer, you're an actor—is to be in a love team."
This prompted Peniel to ask about what happens when love team partners want to explore working with different actors. Liza answered that they do branch out to other projects at some point, but only when supporters grow tired of the tandem later on in their careers.
"It's usually when they're not at the height of their career anymore. You can only go for so long doing projects together, people will get bored eventually. To spice things up a bit, they'll pair you with another actor," she said. "It's kind of been changing up a little bit in the previous years. I would say it actually is good, but they don't do it until very late in your career."
Although Liza acknowledged that some love teams are genuinely happy together, she also touched on extreme fan culture and invasive shipping behavior. She said, "The fans become so caught up in this kind of illusion that the love team is actually a real-life couple, that when you're seen with another person—even if they're you're real life significant other—they'll think that your real partner is stealing you from your love team. They create controversies that you're either cheating in your love team, or that you're wild and crazy. Sometimes, it really affects your career in a negative way."
You can watch Liza's full interview here: