Yassi Pressman: ‘I’m proud of my body’

Twenty-seven must be the perfect age for actor Yassi Pressman to begin blooming fully as a star. Viva Artists Agency, her management team, is seeing to it that she is highly visible these days. And she herself proclaims she is at that age where her talent and physical assets can be on full display.

The Filipina-British Pressman topbills the comedy series Kurdapya on TV5, which premieres on 18 March at 6 pm. She plays the dual role of pedestrian Kuring and supposedly refined Daphne, under the direction of Easy Ferrer. Because she plays a dual role, she has two leading men: Marco Gumabao, as a stree-corner bum; and Nikko Natividad, as a boisterous nouveau riche guy.

It’s the first time the three are teamed up, and also their first comedy series. Ryza Cenon also has a major role in the show.

Just a few months ago, Pressman made waves when she was unveiled as the 2023 Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl. The product is for the mass market of male drinkers, so the five poster calendars are not about classy elegance but about barely-there outfits with trimmings and tassels here and there and in the most seductive poses, of course.

photograph courtesy
of IG/ Yassi Pressman
Yassi Pressman

In February, seemingly as a follow up to her liquor calendars, Pressman came up with a series of TikTok dances with sizzling moves while wearing minimal clothing.

At the recent press conference for Kurdapya at the TV5 studios in Mandaluyong, Pressman said, “I’m 27 years old na, I’m growing. I’m proud of my body. I’m proud of what I’ve been through… Whatever you look like, you should be proud of yourself and be proud of your body.”

She had to make such a pronouncement in answer to a question about her seeming overdrive for seductive pictorials and short sexy performances for the cameras. Her Daphne in Kurdapya wears sexy outfits, too.

Commercial model
Pressman was born in Hong Kong in 1995 as Yasmin Isabel Pressman. Her family moved to the Philippines in the 2000s, and Pressman became a toothpaste commercial model when she was six years old.
In 2006, she was cast in the ABS-CBN drama series Gulong ng Palad as the young Luisa. In 2009, she became a regular GMA Network talent, as one of the female dancers of the Sunday noontime variety show SOP. When SOP was replaced by Party Pilipinas, Pressman came to be known in the show as the “Princess of the Dance Floor. “

In 2016, Pressman joined the ABS-CBN reality-talent search show Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7. Another contestant in that edition was Nikko Natividad, now one of her leading men in TV5’s Kurdapya. Her stint in the show led to her being signed up as a regular performer in the network’s Sunday noontime variety show ASAP. And since the network knew she was also an actor, it cast her in what would become the longest running series on Philippine television, Coco Martin’s re-imagining of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Pressman had the breakthrough role of Alyana, the wife of the heroic policeman Cardo Dalisay (Martin) who was eventually shot in a crossfire that also left Cardo fighting for his life. That was in January 2021. Cardo went on to live, and the series ended in August 2022.

Viva, co-producing with Cignal TV and TV5, had another project for Pressman in 2021 to highlight her game-show hosting skills: Rolling It in the Philippines, patterned after a gameshow of the same title in the United Kingdom. Its first season premiered on TV5 on 5 June 2021 and ended on 2 October 2021. The show had its second season kick-off in 28 May of the next year and ended in September 2022.

By then, Pressman had been quietly signed up to be the 2023 Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl. The stint puts her in the same league as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who was the liquor brand’s 2019 calendar girl.

Kurdapya will air back-to-back with reel- and real-life couple Jerald Napoles and Kim Molina’s Team A, a family-comedy series that tackles in a funny way household issues such as the usual complaints about in-laws in Filipino families.

Come May, another sitcom is set to air on TV5: Jack and Jill sa Diamond Hills. It spotlights Sue Ramirez and Jake Cuenca, and it is not an adaptation of the 1987 comedy movie of the same title. Sue and Jake’s sitcom has action scenes and is a good project for the two who are coming from their hard-hitting Eros (Jake) and Venus (Sue) roles in ABS-CBN’s Iron Heart, topbilled by Richard Gutierrez.

Fabulous careers
Meanwhile, Pressman isn’t the only actor enjoying fabulous careers and doing daring scenes on film/TV and pictorials for their social media accounts. Bea Alonzo is 35, Lovi Poe is 34, and Bela Padilla, 31, and they’re all thriving, high-achieving women in the industry.

The seemingly suddenly assertive and defensive Liza “Hope” Soberano is 25, and so is Nadine Lustre who has turned docile toward her mother studio, Viva Films, which she once denounced and turned her back on (seemingly influenced by her then real-life boyfriend James Reid, now the manager of the suddenly vociferous Soberano).

GMA7’s Barbie Forteza, who has become incredibly popular for her performance in the network’s recently concluded Maria Clara at Ibarra, is also 25. Julie Anne San Jose, the female lead in the well-followed re-imagining of Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere, is 28.

Meanwhile, Kapamilya star Kathryn Bernardo is 26 years old. And so is GMA 7’s Sanya Lopez.

Ashley Ortega, GMA 7’s latest female lead star in the drama series Hearts on Ice is 24. In the series, she even has a scene in a bikini while ice skating. Kapamilya’s Alexa Ilacad is 23 while Belle Mariano is only 20, which we hope is not the only reason she hasn’t done a pictorial in bikini or even a full swimsuit.

These female actors have so far not done prolonged sex scenes in their films. (Those who do such scenes belong to another cluster whose films are only shown online and rarely in theaters.) At most, they come out in bikinis of varying skimpiness to show their curves. Most of them appeal not to be subjected to body-shaming, since they say they do love their bodies and take serious care of them. They consider loving and showing off their bodies as part of women power. Well and good, we say.

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