Cover Lea Salonga on Tatler Talks with Anton San Diego on March 3, 2021

What we learned about Broadway star Lea Salonga during her interview on Tatler Philippines' Tatler Talks.

Celebrated singer and actress Lea Salonga, who shot to global fame with her Tony-winning performance in Broadway musical Miss Saigon, recently joined Tatler Philippines' editor-in-chief Anton San Diego for another episode of Tatler Talks. Sharing her colourful life and engaging with her fans through Facebook live, Salonga continues to charm and inspire the rest of the world. She also imparted insights when asked about the pandemic, the music industry, and her stance against Asian-American discrimination. Throughout the event, we have found many interesting facts about the multitalented singer that just made us admire her more than ever.

See also: Watch: Tatler Talks With Nini Marini

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She was 18 when she performed in 'Miss Saigon'

Salonga was only 18 when she took on the role of Kim in Miss Saigon, the musical. Admittedly, Lea wasn't ready to fly to the United Kingdom all on her own. "I was not in any rush to gain independence from my family," she shared. So when they asked her if she could travel on her own, Salonga refused. "My mom had to come with me," she reminisced. "So I figured if that was not acceptable to them, then they would've been like, 'Okay, we'll move on from you'."

But the show creators found Salonga so special that they decided to take care of her mother as well.

Read more: Cover Story: Lea Salonga On The State Of Philippine Arts And Culture

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She is a huge BTS fan

Online followers of Salonga know of her admiration for the K-pop group BTS. When asked about her bias, or her favourite member, Salonga ardently said: "There's two that I love so much!".

She mentioned Kim Tae-hyung or V—who she described as "the most beautiful human on the planet"—and Jungkook, whom she admires for his dedication in every performance. But she also mentioned Suga, who she declares as her spirit animal. It was quite the treat to watch her adorably fangirl about BTS during the interview.

See also: Netflix Reveals 13 Original Korean Shows For 2021

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She stars in the new film 'Yellow Rose'

Salonga returned to the screen in 2019 in the the filmYellow Rose about a Filipina teen in a small Texas dreaming of becoming a country music performer.

"It was a lot of fun to do, but it was quick because I didn't have a lot of time. I was only able to shoot for two days plus one more for fittings," she shared. "We definitely improvised a few things. I didn't know what the result of this film was going to be. I didn't know that it would turn out to be this beautiful representation of what a lot of our people go through. It's not necessarily a political film—it's a family-centred movie," Salonga said.

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Her favourite leading man will always be Aga Mulach

During a question and answer portion in the interview, Salonga was asked who her favourite leading man was. Of course, the singer mentioned Aga Mulach, her co-star in previous movies. In 1992, Salonga starred in Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal with Mulach as her leading man. Then in 1995, she returned onscreen with Mulach in another Filipino romantic movie titled Sana Maulit Muli. Both movies have received much love and attention from fans and critics alike.

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She remains humble even while having a groundbreaking career

Salonga's mother keeps her trophies in her mother's house. The singer related, "My mom gets a kick out of them... and she loves it."

Funnily, she reenacted how her mother would proudly speak of her victories. However, Salonga does otherwise. "I tend to not place importance on [awards]," she shared. "Importance should be always placed on the quality of the work as you keep moving forward. So my work now is going to be very different from the work that won me the Tony," she said firmly. In 1991, Salonga became the first Asian woman to win the prestigious Broadway theatre award.

See also: Steven Yeun Makes Oscar History As The First Asian American Best Actor Nominee

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