Masala: Actress Eva Noblezada Reps Her Filipina Heritage in the New Film ‘Yellow Rose’

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to choose what I wanted to do or what I love,” actress Eva Noblezada said in a recent interview. The Filipina singer and actress is a perfect example of someone who didn’t let society’s expectations stop her from being seen on stage and on screens.

Noblezada’s experiences with acting and theater began in high school, where she was eventually noticed by casting directors who set her up with an audition for the revival of the Broadway musical “Miss Saigon,” which led to receiving her first Tony Award nomination in 2017. This ushered in an even bigger break when director Diane Paragas handed Noblezada the script of the feature film “Yellow Rose,” and told her that she would be playing the lead role of Rose Garcia.

In select theaters since Oct. 9, “Yellow Rose” is a film about an undocumented Filipina teen named Rose Garcia, who struggles with her passion for country music and the feeling that she doesn’t belong anywhere. Whether it’s the struggle to fit in and become more “Americanized,” or dealing with the fear of being discovered and deported by immigration authorities, the film represents struggles that many people of color experience everyday in the United States.

Noblezada explained that every time she plays a character, she approaches the role with authenticity. It’s no different for “Yellow Rose.” “You can relate to any character and any person in at least one way,” she said. “We’re a lot more similar to each other than we think we are.”

The actress went on to share that especially now, as the COVID-19 pandemic and politics create rifts across the nation, the film offers an uplifting message for audiences. “Rose represents so many beautiful people of color who feel like they’re not seen,” Noblezada said. “Especially now, when immigration is such a timely and relevant topic. I hope that people watch this movie and feel like they are seen.”