Yassi Pressman on grieving: You appreciate the high times when you experience the lows


Pressman throughout the interview

Her sort smile and inscrutable countenance give little away, however Yassi Pressman’s eyes say all of them. She might have misplaced a liked one (her dad) even earlier than she turned 25 final yr and endured different struggles over the course of the pandemic, however Yassi, who has fought lengthy and onerous to get to the place she is now, isn’t giving up with no good combat.

Given what has transpired in the previous two years or so, the actress-dancer actually is aware of a factor or two about grief, sense of uncertainty and nervousness.

And that is the place the Pinoy adaptation of the 2009 Korean movie “More Than Blue”—about two orphans, Ok (JC Santos) and Cream (Yassi), who discover consolation in one another’s woes—and Yassi’s psychological well being advocacy cross paths.

You learn that proper. Yassi needs to assist draw extra consideration to and unfold consciousness for the nation’s underserved psychological well being wants, that are urgently wanted in difficult times like this.

First and youngest

So, early this yr, the actress grew to become the first and youngest feminine investor of Mind You, a psychological well being service firm that “aims to create happier healthier and more productive workforces by making mental health care accessible, systematic and sustainable.”

For its half, “More Than Blue,” which exhibits how high the stakes are for each characters and the lengths they’d go to keep away from hurting one another much more, started streaming on Vivamax final Friday.

“I didn’t watch the original Korea version because I didn’t want it to influence my performance,” Yassi defined over Zoom when we spoke to her for this one-on-one interview. “I wished to embrace the character with out copying or imitating something from what I’d see in the movie, so I selected to not watch it. I wished the portrayal to be as uncooked as potential.

“But I’ve to confess that I used to be additionally a little bit scared, as a result of I assumed, ‘Maybe I should watch it, just out of respect for the project.’ So, when I used to be already on the set, I noticed the Taiwanese model, then I requested Direk (Nuel Naval), who additionally didn’t watch it, if I ought to make the character a little bit extra expressive and provides her larger actions.

“Direk mentioned that he wished to create what would seem like new materials … for him and for the viewers. So, I used to be completely happy I didn’t get to see the Korean unique … and our model is certainly extra Pinoy at coronary heart.

“Fans of the movie will certainly acknowledge the acquainted story, however the Korean one has that bouncy really feel, whereas Cream in the Taiwanese model is a bit more energetic and over the prime.

“Those earlier versions have some sensitive topics that do not apply to our culture. So, we made the story more culturally appropriate. Having said that, the backbone of the story is almost the same. I hope Filipino viewers will like it.”

Wonderful experience

Asked how she spent the break she obtained when she lastly left “Ang Probinsyano,” Yassi disclosed, “I needed to journey so much this yr—a couple of month at a time—as a result of it was getting a little bit too unhappy right here! It was the first time in my life that I took journeys that lengthy. It was a beautiful experience as a result of no person knew who I used to be, and I may simply stroll in every single place I wished.

“Dito kasi was sad because everybody’s wearing face masks and shields. It was just nice to get out. When I was younger kasi, I couldn’t really afford to travel like that. So now that I’m done with ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and my bosses have allowed me to take a break, I was able to go out.”


Yassi Pressman in Vivamax’s “More Than Blue”

Our Q&A with Yassi:

I learn someplace that the precise translation of the Korean title of “More Than Blue” is “a story sadder than sadness.” You’ve had your individual battle with grief and nervousness, so this makes the film an excellent platform to precise that and put your bottled-up feelings to good use. But what helped you the most in coping with yours?

I really feel like time is certainly wanted for me to have the ability to transfer on. But time does heal all the pieces. You do must go on your individual tempo. I had to return to work, however I felt like I wanted to hide my emotions. So, I shifted my focus onto many issues, which at all times helped me.

That’s the place my character Cream and I are alike. She additionally doesn’t wish to really feel unhappy or get distracted by no matter she’s going by. Then, I spotted that I can not at all times run away from the issues that I don’t wish to really feel, and that helped me course of my feelings a little bit bit extra.

It made me appreciate myself higher … appreciate being in grief greater than pushing it away … as a result of with ache and grief, you appreciate pleasure a little bit extra. You appreciate the high times when you experience the low ones.

I’m not afraid to “feel” any extra. But I guarantee that when I do, I’ve the proper individuals round me … the ones who maintain me grounded, the ones who remind me of who I’m, why I’m right here, and why I’m doing the issues that I like to do.

What’s your takeaway from the film?

Love will at all times win! But I additionally love what JC says about this … that the film will remind individuals to inform their family members each day how a lot they love them. Because we don’t know what’s going to occur tomorrow.

Were you expressive when you had been youthful?

Super! I’m not simply very expressive, I’m nonetheless such a hugger. I really like expressing my emotions by giving individuals hugs or aakbayan ko po sila or I’ll maintain their hand. That is one in all my love languages.

Touch for me means a lot. Even when individuals don’t inform me plenty of issues, in the event that they contact me by my shoulder they usually look me in the eye, I really feel like they’re saying that all the pieces’s going to be OK. And which means a lot to me.

How did your participation in Mind You come about?

Thank you a lot for asking—this may assist us unfold consciousness for it. Mind You is a psychological well being service firm that I invested in early this yr as a result of I noticed a lot potential in it. I used to be approached by my good friend Michael Needham, who informed me he was constructing a workforce, however that they wanted somebody to assist them inside the subsequent two weeks. I met them two days later and determined to return in as a companion the following week.

Mind You’s entire mission is to have the ability to assist Filipinos, particularly these days with the suicide charges going up throughout the pandemic. Nobody needs to speak about what they’re going by as a result of they’re terrified of judgment. So, as an alternative of individuals placing their hand out, saying, ‘I need help,’ they assume as an alternative, ‘Tatawagin akong baliw, kaya titiisin ko na lang.”

That doesn’t work all the time, nevertheless. But you don’t must undergo all the pieces alone as a result of there are people who find themselves going to grasp you … you simply have to seek out them. Unfortunately, simply on the lookout for entry to psychologists is difficult—it’s usually inaccessible and never reasonably priced.

Mind You is now servicing different companies—we have already got Ayala, GCash, Ateneo and different corporations on board—providing free service for his or her staff. In the subsequent 5 years, it additionally intends to offer assist for 1 million Filipinos who can’t afford it.

Is it true that Liza Soberano and Nadine Lustre are a part of the firm now? And can you speak extra about your individual struggles?

Niligawan ko talaga sina Liza and Nadine for a really very long time (laughs)! And sure, they’re now a part of Mind You—they only got here in, that’s why I’m very excited and proud.

As far as my very own struggles are involved, I used to push my emotions to the facet. I solely skilled battling with nervousness a few years in the past, however I didn’t know what it was or tips on how to clarify it.

But issues modified when it began to get a bit extra bodily. So when nervousness assaults occur, typically you’ll have bodily results whereby your muscle mass would tense up. You don’t know what to do, and it seems like a stroke.

Then, I spotted I simply wanted to “unload” and speak to somebody, whether or not I had an issue or I simply wanted to course of my ideas and feelings. That’s how I realized to “let go” of anger, disappointment or no matter I used to be going by. It allowed me to begin the week recent once more.

If you may return in time and meet the younger Yassi, what recommendation would you give her?

The younger Yassi made plenty of quick selections, and I feel I nonetheless do this. But then, the younger Yassi was molded by my father, who at all times informed me to by no means quit. I’m very fortunate to have had that rock in my life who taught me to simply maintain going. And if I fell, I knew that he was there to catch me.

My dad helped construct the willpower and confidence in me, even when I didn’t consider in myself. And there was actually some extent the place I misplaced focus and simply gave up! Thank God, I got here again … so right here we’re.

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