Arts & Leisure

Jaclyn Jose wins best actress at Cannes

Posted on May 24, 2016

SOAP STAR Jaclyn Jose won best actress at the Cannes film festival on Sunday, for her mesmerizing performance as a slum matriarch who falls prey to corrupt police.

Actress Jaclyn Jose celebrates onstage after being awarded with the Best Actress prize during the closing ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 22. -- AFP
She said she had to forget everything she learned in her 30 years in the business for the role as a sweetshop owner and small-time drug dealer in Ma’ Rosa.

“The biggest challenge for me was not to act. Especially since I am coming from television shows where I play loud and campy characters,” she told reporters.

The 52-year old said she had to “tone everything down to zero” -- for the stark, realistic portrait of a woman fighting to do the best for her family in director Brillante Mendoza’s gritty film.

It is a dramatic change from her regular job, playing a spoiled, rich woman in the popular Philippine TV soap opera, The Millionaire’s Wife.

Variety magazine praised Jose for the “naturalistic grace” of her film performance, playing the matriarch of a family struggling to survive amid squalor.

Filipinos took to social media to congratulate the actress for her win.

Actress Andi Eigenmann, who was onstage with Mr. Mendoza when Ms. Jose received her award, later went on Twitter to enthusiastically congratulate her mother: “MY VERY OWN MOTHER, TO BE THE FIRST EVER FILIPINO TO WIN THE BEST ACTRESS AWARD AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.”

Director Jun Robles Lana, who worked with Ms. Jose on the GMA 7 series Zorro, wrote on Facebook: “Wohoooo! Congrats! Thank you Ms Jacklyn Jose and Direk Brillante Mendoza for bringing so much pride and honor to our country! To the entire cast and crew of Ma’ Rosa, mabuhay kayo! Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino! (Long live Filipino cinema!)”

Entertainment writer Mario A. Hernando observed on Facebook that “After this, every local actor will be saying: ‘I want to be directed by Brilliante Mendoza.’”

Actresses Maria Isabel Lopez (Ms. Jose’s co-star in Ma’ Rosa) and Dawn Zulueta (who reprised a role played by Ms. Jose in the remake of the 1997 ABS-CBN show Mula sa Puso) took to Twitter to send their best wishes, with Zulueta noting that the win was “historical.”

Andrea Torres, who co-starred with Ms. Jose in the GMA series, The Millionaire’s Wife took to Instagram with an enthusiastic post: “OMG OMG OMG!!! Kahit 4:30am magiInstagram ako!!! CONGRATULATIONS TITA JANE!!! Cannes BEST ACTRESS!

Acot Jake Ejercito noted on Twitter: “Your talent has always been world class!”

The daughter of a Filipina mother and a largely absent American serviceman father, Ms. Jose first became famous in local showbiz circles for her ethereal beauty.

But she has proved to be a versatile and hard-working actress, starring in dramas, comedies, horror stories, romances as well as television soap operas.

She has won numerous acting awards in the Philippines and worked with its most prestigious filmmakers.

But it is her relationship with Ma ‘Rosa director Mendoza -- a friend for over three decades -- which has brought her into the international limelight.

She appeared in Mr. Mendoza’s first movie The Masseur 11 years ago and also his drama Serbis, which competed in Cannes in 2008. -- AFP with Z.B. Chua