With his boy-next-door looks, bright-eyed charm, and humble character, it's not hard to be endeared to breakout star Edward Barber. But as much as he seems promising on his own, being half of a massively adored loveteam known as MayWard with fellow Pinoy Big Brother alum MayMay Entrata could mean that his individuality may be overlooked.
"I was a shy guy, group-dependent, couldn't do anything alone, always asked for help," Edward reveals as he talks about his evolution from being a school boy in Germany to one of the biggest teen sensations in the Philippines. Two years into his showbiz career, he admits he's yet to find his footing in the industry on his own ("I mean, this Chalk shoot was me alone! I'm not used to that. I'm used to working with MayMay.")
But that doesn't mean we won't be seeing Edward maximize his full potential soon. In fact, he's already dipping his toes in a territory outside of his tandem with MayMay. He just shot a movie where he's taking on a supporting role to lead stars Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo set to be released towards the end of the year. "It was the first acting work that I did by myself. It was in Canada, and it was with two of the biggest actors in Philippine history. I was so scared! I was texting MayMay saying 'May, I don’t know how to do this,'" he recalls. But what Edward learned from this experience is that he's completely capable of conquering the unknown. "You can really get through anything if you put your head into it," he says.
Aside from his dedication at work, another thing to be admired about Edward is his sense of self that is palpable in the air of maturity he effortlessly carries. From the way he seems to balance out the ecstatic nature of MayMay to his courteous attitude towards everything and everyone, his character is quite impressive for his age. But when asked if he thinks he's ahead of his years, Edward denies this notion saying, "I don’t want to think that I am ahead of my age in terms of my way of thinking. I just always grew up thinking like this."
Freshly 18, Edward is at the peak of self-discovery. Raised in a well-off family with the utmost comfort, good education, and ample resources to enjoy his youth, he says he never felt like he had to struggle while growing up. But as soon as he stepped into the spotlight, that's when Edward had to do some stretching. "For the last two years, I’ve been really pushing myself to learn more about who I am. I guess something that I’ve discovered so far is that I’m a quick learner. Even if I’m not good at something, if I work hard enough at it or if I'm given direction by someone, I learn it quicker than others."
Among other things, Edward's eagerness at his craft is something that his fans laud him for. But when asked if he sees himself as a role model, disbelief washes over his face. "The fact that people look up to me surprises me because I grew up looking up to others–superheroes, athletes, the olders kids at school. I never expected that I could be a role model because I was just me; I didn’t think that I was anything special," he says.
Currently, his Wansapanataym: Ikaw Ang Ghosto Ko episodes with MayMay are airing where his lines are in full Filipino, a challenge he gladly took on to sharpen his acting chops. Beyond his immediate commitments, however, Edward doesn't like to look further down the road. "My mindset is to take one step at a time," he says, proving that it's never in his character to get ahead of himself. "I believe that if you think too far in the future, mawawala ka, mawawala 'yung focus mo. All the things that are important will fade away because your head is in the clouds."
After our longer-than-usual interview, Edward's dad Kevin, who accompanied him to the shoot, tells us, "He talks too much, right? He got it from me." The room laughs. Despite having a "shy" exterior, Edward has a real knack at holding interesting conversations. Indeed, he can outtalk anyone, but we wouldn't mind listening all day.
ALSO READ: #ChalkGen18: Kira Balinger On Navigating The Showbiz Scene At 18
Photographed by Cenon Norial III and John Maverick Bernardo
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu
Grooming by Aimee Grey
Hair by John Valle