Liza Soberano Wows Film Critics On ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ Hollywood Debut

Filipino actress Liza Soberano wowed film critics on her Hollywood debut performance on horror-comedy film Lisa Frankenstein.

Liza Soberano Wows Film Critics On ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ Hollywood Debut

Filipino actress Liza Soberano wowed film critics on her Hollywood debut performance on horror-comedy film Lisa Frankenstein. 

The film marks Liza’s major milestone as an actress, landing her first Hollywood film acting gig that garnered rave reviews with her performance as Taffy, the peppy popular cheerleader step sister of Lisa Swallows, the titular character of the film.

Lisa Frankenstein Official Trailer

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With Zelda Williams, the half-Filipino daughter of Robin Williams, teams up with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody for her feature directorial debut, comes the horror-comedy coming-of-age film Lisa Frankenstein.

The film stars Kathryn Newton whose previous works include Big Little Lies and Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, along with Cole Sprouse, who is best known for his starring roles on The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody, Five Feet Apart, and on CW’s Riverdale, the two are paired for the very first time as the leads of the gory, campy ‘80s-themed film.

It also features notable actors such as Joe Chrest (Stranger Things, 21 Jump Street, and Quiz Lady), Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and San Andreas), and Henry Eikenberry (Euphoria and The Crowded Room).

How Liza landed her role in Lisa Frankenstein

Liza Soberano Wows Film Critics On ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ Hollywood Debut

In her trip to Los Angeles, California, Liza Soberano met director Zelda Williams who recently got this project greenlighted at the time. 

“I met Zelda on a trip to LA and she brought up this project. I was instantly hooked,” Soberano recalled.

“It’s amazing because the day I met her was the same day the studio greenlit the project. When she found out it was a go, [she told me] ‘They’ve got their main leads lined-up. They were looking to fill other roles. How about auditioning for one?’ I was like, ‘Sure, let me check out the script. If it’s something that interests me, I’m in.’ And when I saw Diablo Cody was on board, I just had to audition for it,” the actress shared.

Exploring opportunities in the US, the 26-year old actress was ecstatic about this opportunity, which was also her debut role in Hollywood.

“It’s set in the 80s, so the whole look—the hair, makeup—is totally 80s, which is new for me,” she said. Many of her previous roles in the local scene are in romance, drama, and comedy genres. 

“It’s the kind of movie I’ve always wanted to do. It has horror, comedy, and romance in one. I was looking for a role that would really push me. Sure, it’s a huge risk for my career, but that’s what’s exciting about it. I know I’ve learned a lot no matter how it turns out. That’s what counts,” the actress said.

What critics have to say

Anna Hornaday, Washington Post

“The brightest light in these dismal proceedings might be Liza Soberano’s Taffy, whose character delivers disarmingly sincere comeuppance to clichéd tropes of vapid beauty queens and mean-girl cheerleaders.”

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“They might, as I did, spend much of the movie wishing it instead focused on Lisa’s stepsister, the sweet and chipper Taffy (Liza Soberano), a pert foil for all of Lisa’s increasingly mannered quirk. Cody does a good job of rounding out a stock character’s dimensions—Taffy has a tartness, an edge that makes her more fully human than she might be in a lesser writer’s hands. Or in a lesser actor’s. Soberano, a star in her native Philippines making her Stateside debut, is an ace scene stealer.”

Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

“The breakout star and true discovery of ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ is Soberano, who has a real gift for imbuing Cody’s famously clever and convoluted dialogue with a sincerity that elevates the character beyond an ironic archetype as she morphs from mean teen to scream queen. In fact, Soberano might be too good in the role— she’s so charming and sympathetic that there’s an emotional domino effect that exposes some problems with the script.”

Valerie Complex, Deadline

“Soberano, as Taffy delivers her lines with a humor that, whether by design or by accident, adds a quirky charm to the story. Her portrayal injects a dose of levity, highlighting the film’s campy sensibilities amidst its darker moments.”

Taylor Gates, Collider

“Soberano is the perfect foil for Newton. She’s been thriving in Filipino cinema for years, and it’s not hard to see why. Her comedic timing and delivery are phenomenal, and she’s able to bring vulnerability and sincerity to every scene, even when the material she has to say would look completely out-of-pocket and callous on paper. The sisterhood between Lisa and Taffy is a highlight of the film, running the gambit from sibling rivalry to forming an unexpected but affecting bond. In lesser hands, Taffy could be a stereotype—a one-dimensional character we’ve seen hundreds of times—but Soberano puts a refreshing spin on her, giving her real depth and scene-stealing moments.”

Dylan Roth, Observer

“Cole Sprouse is at the center of the movie’s gross-out slapstick and makes a solid comic foil for Newton, but the real second lead of the film is Liza Soberano as Lisa’s stepsister Taffy. Where an actual 1989 comedy about a high school outcast would probably frame the popular cheerleader as her vain and vapid opposite, Taffy is the heart of the movie.”

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle Datebook

“The only thing to take from the wreckage of ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ is the performance of Soberano, in her Hollywood debut. She finds comedy in a weak script and radiates goodness without being boring. Let’s hope she has better movies in her future.”

BJ Colangelo, Slash Film

“In lesser hands, Taffy would be nothing more than an archetypal Valley Girl coasting off of a 1000-watt smile and vocal fry, but in Soberano’s more than capable hands, Taffy earns her spot in the ‘amazing sister’ roster of the teen girl movie canon. Her comedic chops were a genuine surprise and if she’s not waking up on Monday to an inbox filled with leading role offers, something is seriously wrong.”

Lex Briscuso, The Wrap

“If there was a breakout star of this film she is certainly the one. Soberano is hilarious and heart-warming and it never feels as though she’s making fun of the archetype she’s inhabiting. There’s a genuine quality there that makes the performance work.”

What’s next for Liza Soberano in Hollywood? 

Liza Soberano is one of the most prominent women in the entertainment industry, alongside her contemporaries Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, among others.

has been working under the management of Careless PH for more than a year. Careless PH executive James Reid teased about what’s in store for the actress after her Hollywood debut film. 

“I can’t really speak too much right now, but she’s currently in LA. She’ll be there for a while. She has a lot of projects coming soon. She’ll be there for [a] few months. We’re excited for the projects both internationally and locally,” said Reid.

He didn’t disclose any more details about her future projects but assured fans that she will be back with local projects too.

Lisa Frankenstein was released on Amazon Prime Video last February 27 and had its theatrical release last February 7 in theaters nationwide.

Have you seen Lisa Frankenstein? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

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