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Yassi and Issa’s Hot Ticket To Fame
Gorgeous sisters Yassi and Issa Pressman are soaring to new showbiz heights. In this exclusive interview with the duo, we find that it is their roots that give them the wings to fly high
The Pressman sisters are on fire
Yasmin Isabel Pressman, popularly known as Yassi, and Louissa Belle Pressman, who goes by her screen name Issa, are going at showbiz the way they do at life—with double the passion, twice the fun. Right off the bat, Yassi sets it straight. “We are both different and the same. Siguro ‘yung tipong you can take us anywhere and make us do anything in an easygoing manner. It’s not hard if you take us to the streets to eat kwek-kwek or isaw. We would both love it and order a lot.”
Born only two years apart, it comes as no surprise that Yassi and Issa share a deep sisterly bond. However, while both can be the spitting image of each other—with Yassi now 21 and Issa 19—they can be as different as day and night. The main force behind their bond is their dad and their deep love for him. Issa confides, “We talk to Dad no matter how sensitive it is or how emotional it is, we can open up to him all the time. He just listens to us every time and understands us. He’s going to tell us what’s wrong and what’s right. Basta, you’ll always feel comfortable to talk to him.”
Both born in Hong Kong to a British dad and Filipina mom who hails from Isabela, the sisters found themselves being moved back to Manila when they were six years old. Yassi relates, “Before that, we were going around the world. My dad is semi-retired now. But before, his business was in Hong Kong and he lived there for twenty to thirty years. He’s British—and everyone knows Hong Kong used to be a British colony. That’s where our parents met. We just didn’t know where to settle down when Dad was about to retire. We went to the U.S. for a while and studied nursery there. We came to the Philippines to visit for six months and then we never left.”
Their start in showbiz could be traced back to baby commercials that had both toddlers going cute and cooing for the cameras until they moved on to modeling as pretty teenagers. Yassi recollects, “All I remember is my first memory of the Philippines was us walking in the mall and then someone approaching us saying ‘Hey, do you want your kids to do commercials?’ It started from that but it was all an accident. When I was six years old, I got my first major commercial. It was two solo commercials and it was both for great brands. Syempre, that was a big thing—with billboards everywhere. I enjoyed it and I was like ‘I want to keep on doing this.’ I started modeling for a lot of brands also. When I was 16, I did twenty or maybe thirty commercials—I modeled for five or six brands. That was a lot and it was something that we kept on doing.”
For her part, Issa remembers, “I started young doing commercials—I was just three years old then. I was really active and I had a number of commercials. I stopped when I was in high school because I wanted to focus on my studies. Then, when I was in my second year of college, that’s when I thought na ‘Oh, I think I can do both.’ Then I started to fall in love with the showbiz industry more. I started diverting my attention to the industry. I had a teleserye then and that took up a lot of my time. I just felt more love in showbiz.”
For Yassi, deciding to get into showbiz happened on her fourth year of high school. “I was really having a hard time. We were shooting then in Tagaytay for a show. My tranpso service the next day would take me straight to school. So during breaks, I would freshen up and try to wake up. It was so hard na. Instead of eating, I would be sleeping. Then I said I didn’t want to be in two things that I didn’t do well in. I’d rather choose one and try to focus on it. So after that, I decided to continue working on that show that I got into. Then, I started dancing. After that, I started acting and then hosting.”
Despite their closeness, the two beauties possess different personalities. Yassi confides, “Siguro ako ‘yung mas spontaneous. I would be everywhere;I will try new things all the time. We ask Issa to describe her sister to us using only three descriptions and she obliges with, “I would say that she’s confident, that’s one. She’s also super responsible as a friend,as a person at home, in the showbiz industry, on set. I said kanina na fun but I’d like to change it to corny because she’s corny.” Yassi quickly counters this, “I think I’m only funny because I’m baduy. I love playing roles on TV but in real life, I’m not the one who likes to pretend to be somebody that I’m not.”
Yassi describes Issa as “OC. That’s why I like it when she fixes my room.” Issa reveals, “Before, I would say na I would be quiet lang talaga and now parang I’ve grown a lot compared to how I was before. I was your laidback, normal school girl. I wouldn’t say na life before showbiz wasn’t exciting because it wasn’t boring din kasi. But now it’s just become more exciting.” Yassi is a vortex of bubbling energy whereas Issa possesses a calmer, quieter vibe. Yassi oozes good vibes and loads of positivity. “I have a great support system in my life. I have a great team, a great family. My sister is always there, my Dad is always there. I have great fans. So it’s all positivity around me. I really try to eliminate what’s not.”
Issa reflects, “The best thing about being me, I’d say, is my being game. Put me anywhere and I’ll do anything. Wala akong reklamo. I’m just so game and, for me, whatever it is, if it’s something new or something I’ve never done before, I would like to do it even more. It’s something interesting for me. I’m very adventurous.”
We ask Issa how she feels when the issue of sibling rivalry comes up and she confides, “Some people compare us and ask me na ‘Hindi ba daw ako nape-pressure?’ For me, it’s not something that I should be scared of. We actually help each other in this field. So there’s really no issue. For Yassi to be there already makes it easier for me. At least I have someone who will guide and inspire me.”
Showbiz Sisters, Showbiz Stars
Now, the Pressman girls are busy reaping the fruits of the showbiz seeds they planted early on.
Yassi declares, “Now, I’m in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.It is a huge thing for me. I want to thank Dreamscape, my VIVA family and, of course, ABS-CBN. I think it’s great to be back. My first teleserye was Gulong ng Palad. The role was a young me played by Issa. Then she turned into me and I turned into Ate Kristine Hermosa. That was our first project together. I’m really happy that I’m back. Ang Probinsyano is really great for me. The role is also challenging. I’m a reporter and there’s a certain way they speak, a certain way they act. It’s very precise and the whole team is very much into details. That’s challenging and hard but, at the same time, exciting for me. So now, I’m really focused on the show.
Issa confesses, “For me, focusing on the horror genre is what I’m doing right now. I started with a movie-serye for TV5, my first horror project. Then now, I have another horror film. I’m doing that with Direk Lawrence Fajardo. The next one is a movie. ‘Yung sa teleserye, ako ‘yung tinatakot so it’s more of screaming and getting scared and crying. But then this time mas challenging ‘yung role. It’s more than just screaming and crying, it’s different and very challenging.”
Yassi is quick to proudly interject that her sister is “on the Jadine Tour with her girl group.” Issa readily confirms this. “We’re going around the Philippines. We’ve already done Cebu. Our next stops are Davao, Dagupan and Bacolod.” Aside from this, Issa is slated to appear in a big movie helmed by an award-winning director, although the project being kept under wraps for now. Her excitement over her new role is palpable as it seems apparent this may become a breakthrough performance for the young artist.
As for their future showbiz goals, Yassi intimates, “One thing that pushes me every single day is my love for the art. It’s not that I was doing something half-heartedly because I’m not. I love dancing, singing, acting, and hosting. The fire in me even if I’m exhausted—I always go back to the time where I wasn’t given the opportunity and that really pushes me. Issa knows we barely see each other now because we’re both busy.”
When asked, Issa reveals the part of showbiz she’d like focus on “would be acting. For me, singing and dancing will always be there, like a plus. It’s a big factor for me if you really know how to act—not normal acting, but acting professionally.”
At the end of the day, both sisters running after their showbiz dreams go back to that place they are most familiar with and the man who rules their lives. Yassi shares their dad taught them that “when you fail, it’s okay because you will just keep on failing until you succeed. But if you don’t even try, then there’s nothing that will happen. You will just stay in your place. The biggest lesson that he taught us talaga is to be happy. In general if you’re happy, life is good. Find a place that’s going to make you happy, if it’s a place—or people. That’s going to give you the best life. Issa agrees, “Yeah, that’s pretty much how he talk to us if he wants us to understand. Iba talaga our Dad he’s one of a kind. Like not human almost. That’s the best thing about him.
Recently, Issa’s name got dragged in the Gab Valenciano-Tricia Centenera split, a rumor that Yassi is quick to dismiss as completely untrue and baseless. “I never really wanted to say anything about this because I’m the one who is friends with Gab, and I’m the one who is friends with Kiana. You would probably see many photos of us together. Issa and Gab met one time in Pool Club, and she was with me so she wasn’t unguarded or anything. Then after that, maybe after three days, I already said na ‘You know what, just stop talking na lang about it.’”