Thanks to actress Jaclyn Jose, we have another reason to take pride in being a Filipino.
For her gripping portrayal of a poverty-stricken mom who turns into selling drugs in Brillante Medoza's opus Ma' Rosa, she became the first Southeast Asian to take home the Best Actress award from the Cannes Film Festival.
With kabogera Maria Isabel Lopez and Jaclyn's own daughter, May 2016 Cover Girl Andi Eigenmann, giving us enough (visually arresting) reasons to check out the Cannes festivities, the "Queen of Underacting" making history has demanded our full attention. She may not have owned the red carpet, but Jaclyn made sure to leave a mark on the prestigious international gala.
But did you know that before she was recognized as one of the country's top thespians, she started out as a sexy star, a legit headturner among her contemporaries?
Jaclyn was obviously comfortable in her own skin, as seen in these sizzling throwback photo shoots.
The thing that separated Jaclyn from her peers though was that, despite the controversial, sexy, and for-adults-only nature of her earlier films, she had brilliantly chosen the ones that showcased her formidable acting prowess. Olongapo: The Great American Dream, Takaw Tukso, Private Show, and Itanong Mo Sa Buwan were some of the most critically hailed movies in our history, winning for her numerous acting awards.
Also, despite her raunchy roots, she was one of the exceptional and rare actresses who could excel in sexy and non-sexy roles.
Among her award-winning non-sexy works were 1986's Magdusa Ka, which established her signature understated acting style; and 1995's The Flor Contemplation Story, which got her three Best Supporting Actress awards (Gawad Urian, Star Awards for Movies, Luna Awards).
Jaclyn kept her successful run going on TV, co-starring in soap operas like Mula Sa Puso (1997), Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga (2001), Zorro (2009), Mundo Mo'y Akin (2013), and currently, The Milionaire's Wife, among others.
Ma' Rosa isn't her first independent film, she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Asian Film Awards for her performance in Mendoza's Serbis (2008).
In a 2014 interview with InterAksyon, Jaclyn credited all the directors she has worked with—namely Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Laurice Guillen, Chito Roño, Adolfo Alix, Jr. and Brillante—as the reasons why she's survived such a cutthroat industry.
"I learned a lot from those directors. Tulad ng disiplina sa sarili, pagmamahal sa craft mo, yung pagiging professional. Lahat yun, dala-dala ko hanggang ngayon," she said.
Ironically, Jaclyn also said in the same interview that she is not looking to forward to anything more in her career, and leaves all decision-making to her longtime manager Ed Instrella. But with her Cannes victory, she now has enough awards in her trophy case—12 in all—to make her contemporaries drool in envy.
A toast to a once-in-a-lifetime actress, who is also one of the reasons why we have a Cover Girl this month.
Photos via Missosology.info, Lilokpelikula.wordpress.com, Movie-industry.blogspot.com, Spot.ph, Anemographic.rssing.com