MANILA – Veteran actress Jaclyn Jose just added to her roster probably the most prestigious accolade she has received so far – a Best Actress award from the recently concluded 69th Cannes Film Festival.
She portrayed the main character Rosa, a matriarch of a poor family struggling under the hands of corrupt police, in acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s drama film “Ma’ Rosa.”
Jaclyn bested two-time Cannes best actress Isabelle Huppart, Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Charlize Theron, and Hollywood favorite Kristen Stewart.
As a sweetshop owner and small-time drug dealer, the character was not an easy one to play for the 52-year-old actress who has starred in various dramas, horror-thrillers, and romantic comedies in her 30 years in the business.
“The biggest challenge for me was not to act. Especially since I am coming from television shows where I play loud and campy characters,” Jaclyn told reporters. “[The challenge was to] tone everything down to zero.”
“I am thankful for [Brillante’s] gift, for his honesty in depicting what is happening in our country,” she said in her acceptance speech.
The versatile actress remembered simply sitting in the gallery, “enjoying the show and admiring the polished production” when her name was pronounced the winner.
“I thought there was another actress named Jaclyn because they pronounce my name differently there… It was only when the presenter said ‘Jose’ that I realized I had won,” she recalled in an Inquirer.net report.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be mentioned in the same breath as Pacquiao and Pia [Wurtzbach]. This is a first not only for the country, but also for Southeast Asia,” she added.
After her big win, will Jaclyn be off to Hollywood anytime soon?
“No way. I’m okay where I am, [here in the Philippines]… I don’t want to leave my granddaughter,” she said in a Philippine Star report, referring to Andi Eigenmann’s daughter, Ellie. “Andi might be the one who would get a Hollywood offer because she has been having pictorials with the international media.”