Tag Archives: A quick chat

tv + film by Patricia Chong

A Quick Chat with Deric McCabe

The Filipino-American ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ star on the book, representation, and his crush on ScarJo.


When the trailer to A Wrinkle in Time dropped, eagle-eyed devotees of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved book series were on the hunt for even a sliver of Charles Wallace—main character Meg Murry’s little brother (who eventually becomes the main character in a later book). And they found him, there in the form of eight-year-old Filipino-American actor Deric McCabe. He tells us about working on his first big film project, his trailer, and his love for Scarlett Johansson.


How did you get into acting?
Well, I was once watching a Scarlett Johansson movie—The Avengers—doing stunts, and I was like “Wooow! I wanna do that!”

I heard you’ve got a huge photo of her! How did you get it?
So Ava [DuVernay], the director, was the first person that I told that I have a huge crush on Scarlett Johansson. So as a starting gift, when we first started filming, she gave me a huge photo of her, and I put it up in my trailer.

When you were auditioning for A Wrinkle in Time, were you already a fan of the book?
I didn’t know there was a book until Ava told me! So I had no idea that it was already a story. I’m still reading it right now, because you know, it’s like a looong book. It’s really good because I get to compare the two, the movie and the book.

Noticed any big differences?
Well, there’s nothing I would have done differently [as Charles Wallace], but definitely I’m noticing huge differences from the movie and in the book. The flowers! They don’t talk at all, and they’re not used to catch people falling out of the sky. They’re actually just to get oxygen for the people.

So what was the filming like?
It was really fun filming, because there were so many blue screens and green screens! And it’s really fun to watch it come to life. But I really liked filming the cave scene—with Zach Galifianakis—because it was a place where they built it, and they didn’t use any CGI on it. There wasn’t any blue screen—they built the whole thing!


Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, and Reese Witherspoon


Speaking of Zack Galifianakis—you got to work with a lot of more experienced actors in the film.
Well, it was really funny, because at first, I didn’t know who any of them were. My mom was just like, “Oh my god, you’re going to work with Oprah Winfrey.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh! Oprah! Oh my gosh, she’s so amazing… who is she and what did she do?” And when I met them, it was really amazing because they’re so down to earth, and they’re just regular people. Levi [Miller] was super sarcastic in many different ways—he’d tell a story that was completely made up and with a completely straight face, so I didn’t believe him. So at the end of filming, I didn’t believe anything he’d say. So he’d say, “Hi,” and I’d say, “Oh yeah, right.”

And this is your first big film project after doing mostly commercials—was there anything you had to adjust to?
It was crazy because they have all these lights now, and they build so many things by hand. They also have these big cameras, and it’s really crazy! But other than that, nothing, really, other than having a huge trailer.

What’s in your trailer?
My Scarlett Johansson poster, a bathroom, a TV, and a couch—oh, and a fireplace!

Last question! Representation is a huge topic in film right now. What do you feel about representing Filipinos in an American film?
Well, I feel like we’re not in films as much, so I feel like I have to represent Filipinos in the industry—and I’m really proud of it, being a Filipino. So I feel like there’s a lot of pressure, but I can’t let it get to me.

Patricia Chong
Patricia Chong was cursed at birth with a common name and now goes around calling herself Pacho. She hides out in her cave with an anime or the Lord of the Rings extended trilogy, and comes out for good food, spontaneous adventures, and (ugh) work.
wellness by Cindy Go

A Quick Chat with Ria Tirazona

The plus-sized yogi redefines “fit”

Yoga teacher is not what immediately comes to mind for most people when they look at Ria Tirazona. This is because of her plus-sized figure. While it’s something she readily acknowledges, she also muses, “But what does a yoga teacher look like anyway?”

In a culture obsessed with calling people out on their weight, our standard for fit is mostly skewed toward the skinnier side. But Ria is proof that fit comes in all shapes. As a plus-sized yoga teacher, her goal is to empower women by bringing body diversity to the fitness industry with the hope of making it more accessible. “We need teachers that will help shift the way we relate to our bodies,” she shares. “It’s not all about the number that shows up on the scale, but how we nourish and care for our body.”

We paid a visit to her studio and talked to her about the benefits of yoga, dealing with negativity, finding self-acceptance and starting a work out routine.

How did you get into yoga?
I got into yoga in 2011 as a New Year’s resolution. However, it wasn’t difficult for me to stick to it because the first class I took made me feel like I’ve finally found my way home. It was a place that made sense, supported me and let me see a side of myself that I was unaware of or had forgotten.

What do you like about the practice?
I love how it makes my body feel. It is accessible to anybody—even if you’re in a wheelchair, overweight, elderly, or young and fit. It’s also a low impact work out and a good stress buster.
But more than the physical benefits, it taught me to celebrate my body and to take pride in what it can accomplish. Yoga has been key in empowering me despite all my body issues. Although that doesn’t mean not working on changing bad habits like poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, and stress. The practice also reminds me that I am an active participant in what happens to me and my body.


Have you ever had to deal with negativity?
Of course! I remember one time someone made a comment on my social media post about my armpits being dark. It hurt me at first, but I realize that I can not change how people talk or react. I can only change how I respond. Another important tool in helping me deal with negativity is to keep a daily gratitude journal. I’ve been doing this since 2012 or 2013, and it has made the biggest difference in my life.

What advice can you give people about body acceptance?
Don’t worry about what everyone else says! Take time to reflect on what your body can do and be grateful for it. Recognize challenges you are facing, and list down action points. Remember that being skinny and slim is not always a measure of good health.

Also, self-love is important. Take pride in who you are. Embrace your uniqueness and appreciate your value. After that, working on weight issues may come more comfortably and naturally. Be happy with who you are, that’s the important part.

Do you believe that plus-size people can also be healthy?
The common misconception is that fat people are not fit. They are also assumed as lazy and unmotivated. However, this is exactly what it is: a misconception. Plus-sized people can also be healthy. I think it is also important to highlight that there should be no room for shaming an overweight person who tries to work on losing weight. I remember one of my fears before starting yoga was that people would judge me and ridicule me for being a fat yogi. What I found was the opposite though.

It’s also important to remind teachers and instructors in the fitness industry that just because you’re working with an overweight person it doesn’t mean you need to dumb down the workout to accommodate them. You’ll be surprised at what they can do.


How do you focus on being the healthiest version of yourself?
This is an on-going process. It is important for me to take time out for self-care activities, especially since I know I am a stress eater. Through this, I am more attuned to the needs of my body and I can respond accordingly. I do fail at this sometimes, and it’s very helpful to have a community that supports me.

What’s the best way for someone plus-size to start exercising but doesn’t know where to begin?
Just show up. That’s where it begins. Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, Crossfit…whatever it is, show up. Nothing will change until you make the choice to show up for yourself. I teach beginner and size-friendly classes at Yoga+ Makati regularly. Come!

Cindy Go
Cindy Go
She is the Beauty and Wellness editor of TheNeighborhood.ph. She loves dogs.