For the first leading role of Francine Diaz in Bola Bola, she has to go through a rigorous process to get into character.
From starting out in bit roles, Francine Diaz has risen to become one of the brightest leading ladies of the new generation. In just a few years, her roles have landed her a coveted young star status. And just recently, the young actress achieved a major career milestone when she landed her first ever lead role in a series. Last March 25, fans and viewers alike got a chance to finally see this much-awaited project when Bola Bola finally landed on iWantTFC.
BOLA BOLA IS HERE
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker JP Habac (I’m Drunk, I Love You, Gaya Sa Pelikula), Bola Bola follows 17-year-old Thea (Francine Diaz), a 200-pound late bloomer who loves life and most especially, food. She and her friends Julian (KD Estrada) and Issa (Analain Salvador) are set to go off to college and are currently enjoying their summer break. But plans change for Thea when her childhood crush, Lucas (Akira Morishita), returns from the US and moves back into their community. Now, Thea is on a mission to get with Lucas, but that is complicated by the fact that he already has a girlfriend.
Aside from the love story and rom-com aspect to Bola Bola, the limited series also impresses with how it’s early episodes have dealt with the all-too important issues of weight and body size. In the show, Thea is made fun of for her love of food and her weight. But we see in the premiere episode that Thea’s love of food was borne out of a traumatic experience and like many, it helps her deal with her emotions. Bola Bola is opening up those discussions of how body, weight loss, and what makes you happy isn’t a one-dimensional discussion.
Of course, the show wouldn’t impress if it weren’t for the good acting from the cast, most especially Francine Diaz. Not only is the show Francine’s first ever lead role, but she also had to undergo a major transformation to become Thea. In order to become Thea, she had to put on face prosthetics and a fat suit, which wasn’t an easy process.
TURNING INTO THEA
On her YouTube channel, Francine Diaz showed the behind the scenes process of how her transformation into Thea came to be. In the vlog, we see that it starts with Francine putting on a bald cap to protect her hair. Her entire head, neck, and shoulders are then covered in the prosthetic formula. And when we say covered, as in all of it, as if they mummified her. As seen in the vlog, she couldn’t move and only her nose was not covered. She had to breathe through that during the entire process. Though according to Francine, she felt safe and enjoyed the transformation.
Afterwards, the effects department move on to the rest of her body. They start with the legs, which is covered in tight plastic wrap followed by the same substance that was used for her head. After the initial mold had cooled, they then did her arms, chest, and tummy. Once the molds for her entire body were made, the team then did their thing to turn them into the prosthetics we see Francine wear on the show.
Francine is a naturally petite young woman, so for her to have to put on all that for many scenes must not be easy. But like the pro she is, Chin pulls it off. For anyone who has worked with prosthetics before, you know that it’s not an easy process. Props to the effects department for their work and Francine for her dedication to the character. Bola Bola is currently streaming on iWantTFC with new episodes coming every week.