SHOWBIZ is sometimes fleeting – you can be hugely popular at one time, and then considered a has-been the next. Or worse, a flash in the pan that no one remembers. Surviving the entertainment landscape means having to adapt, loving what you do and showing your skillset and natural talent continuously.
For some actors, aging has not precluded them from getting projects and offers. Two of them – award-winning performers Dina Bonnevie and Jaclyn Jose – recently shared the keys to their longevity in an industry that churns out stars day in, day out, according to an article in the Philippine Star.
Jaclyn Jose, who started acting in the 1980s in films like “White Slavery,” “Private Show,” “Macho Dancer” and “Takaw Tukso,” revealed that she had a different goal when she entered showbiz. She had gotten into acting by way of her mom, who encouraged her to do so. Jaclyn is also sister to ‘70s actress Veronica Jones.
“I had a different aim or goal in mind when I entered the industry, not the stardom, not the glitz and glamour of being an actor. I wanted to be an actor to portray characters and I aimed for longevity… I wanted to have a lengthy career because I loved acting. That’s my main reason,” she was quoted as saying.
Jaclyn, who has won multiple acting awards, including a Best Actress trophy at the Cannes Film Festival for the Brillante Mendoza-directed drama movie “Ma’ Rosa,” thanks her lucky stars that she found the true meaning in making films at an early age and got to work with the industry’s heavyweights.
“I saw its meaning,” Jaclyn related, referring to playing characters onscreen and making films, adding, “I got to know them (Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Ricky Lee, Bing Lao and others) in the early part of my career and saw the significance of doing movies. Film, as they say, is the soul of the nation. What the interests were of the people around me became my interests when I was starting out. They showed me that filmmaking has meaning and has worth.”
Having been in the industry for so long has also allowed Jaclyn the opportunity to work with established stars, and she shared a lesson taught to her by one of the most consummate professionals in Philippine showbiz, Charito Solis.
“She told me, ‘Be professional… Teach this (professionalism) to the next generation [of actors]. If not, the industry will suffer because of people who lack concern or love for it.’ We need to pass on our learnings [to younger actors],” the FAMAS, Gawad Urian, Luna, PMPC and MMFF acting awardee said.
As she loves acting, Jaclyn always assesses her performances before calling it a day.
“Before I go to sleep, I assess my work for that day and ask myself if there is continuity in my work or if I did it well. I can have those ‘I should have done it this way or that way’ moments. [Then], I tell myself that I will do better the next time,” she revealed.
Dina Bonnevie, for her part, says being professional has served her well.
“First and foremost, it’s professionalism,” Dina was quoted as saying. “I don’t think there was ever a time that a director or a co-actor got mad at me because I came late. I try to memorize my lines even before I come to the set… I make sure that the costumes are there, the makeup is already OK.”
The award-winning actress, who got noticed soon after winning first runner-up in Miss Magnolia, also said that tackling varied roles has helped lengthen her career.
“I strived to have (and play) different roles, like the ones I did in Magdusa Ka! and Tinik sa Dibdib,” Dina related. “I try to have versatility so that people will see that Dina Bonnevie is not limited to doing certain roles or characters.” (Dina won a slew of awards for her roles in the aforementioned movies.)
“I think I was born for this… I was born to really perform. That’s what I do best,” she added, while stating that as a youngster she was into school play acting, writing and directing.
Studying the characters she portrays and looking at all angles are also important things that the “Katorse” star and “Bakit Ba Ganyan?” singer has done over the decades.
“There’s a difference between a star artist and a thinking actor. As the latter, you analyze the script, study it… like how your character will morph from being powerless to becoming empowered, from being poor to becoming rich, and vice versa. You really have to study (the) script,” Dina said.
And just like Jose, Dina strives for perfection.
“There was a time when we did a scene in this soap and I really couldn’t go to sleep afterwards. I felt bad because I felt as though the second director wanted a different approach,” Dina recalled. “I kept running the scene through my mind… I couldn’t sleep. The following day, I approached direk Dom (Zapata), and said, ‘Direk, I’m so sorry. But you know, I really feel so bad about this scene… can I do it again?’”
“I have always felt that if I can make the scene more beautiful, I will keep on asking the director if I can do it again, unless he or she says, ‘But it’s fine, this is my interpretation’… that’s when I will stop. (If you don’t critique yourself,) you will not grow, you will stop there. For me, it’s always good to criticize yourself until you achieve perfection,” she added.
As for when she might decide to retire from showbiz, Dina, who has also done work as a talk show host on television, won’t give a definitive answer.
“I won’t give myself a limit,” she answered. “If people enjoy seeing me in the movies or in television, maybe that’s my purpose in life… to inspire people through the characters I play.”
Jaclyn and Dina can both be seen currently in GMA-7 (Kapuso) network’s “The World Between Us” led by Alden Richards, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Tom Rodriguez.