At a Glance
- Dolly became fond of acting at 12 while doing a short skit during her class. From then on, Dolly took up theater arts at The University Of The Philippines Diliman, where she studied under the teachings of José Estrella and the late National Artist for Theater Director Tony Mabesa.
- From playing nameless characters throughout her years of acting, the tables turned when Dolly auditioned for the role of Abigail in Ruben Ostlund’s film “Triangle of Sadness” in 2018.
- Dolly made history as the first Filipino actress nominated for best supporting actress at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards.
What started from a simple dream, performing in front of a crowd to eventually making it to international screenings, Dolly de Leon’s journey was more challenging than it looked.
Dolly became fond of acting at 12 while doing a short skit during her class. From then on, Dolly took up theater arts at The University Of The Philippines Diliman, where she studied under the teachings of José Estrella and the late National Artist for Theater Director Tony Mabesa.
With acting as her side hustle during college, Dolly landed her first movie role in Peque Gallaga’s film “Shake Rattle and Roll 3.” But despite appearing on several movie screens, Dolly returns to her true love: theater.
Juggling mom’s life and acting
Navigating her life through cameras and different characters, Dolly also juggles her life of becoming a single mom to her four daughters. During one of her interviews with Karen Davila, Dolly shared that she is proud of raising her children by herself.
“I’m separated, and I have four kids, and I’m proud of my personal life because our personal life also kinda defines our lives as human, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of,” she mentioned.
Since she had to sustain a regular income for her kids, Dolly worked different jobs like training facilitator, waitress, PR, mascot, cashier, and many others to the point where she thinks of quitting acting for good.
“There was one time, I was in this show, na wala akong ibang ginawa kundi matulog sa tent while waiting for my scene, then yung mga co-workers ko parang tamad na tamad na sila, and then sabi ko “Eto ba yung mundo ko, So I talked to my daughter sabi ko, I just wanna focus on facilitating, ayoko na umarte it’s just to depressing, tas sabi niya mommy try mo you know just keep going, as long as people keep calling just keep doing it pa rin, and the calls never stopped that’s why I’m still here,” Dolly said.
(There was one time I was in this show, and I did nothing but sleep in the tent while waiting for my scene. Then my co-workers seemed very lazy, and I said, “Is this my world? , So I talked to my daughter. I said I want to focus on facilitating. I don’t want to act like it’s just too depressing. She told me, mommy, you know, keep going, as long as people keep calling, keep doing it anyway, and the calls never stop. That’s why I’m still here).
From no-name characters to Abigail, the captain
From playing nameless characters throughout her years of acting, the tables turned when Dolly auditioned for the role of Abigail in Ruben Ostlund’s film “Triangle of Sadness” in 2018.
According to Dolly, the casting director Pauline Hansson, flew to the Philippines to conduct an 11-day audition. The chosen candidates will have a one-on-one interview with Ruben Ostlund to discuss the character.
With a little chance of getting the part, Dolly was officially welcomed as Abigail in January 2019.
After making its premiere at Cannes Film Festival in May 2022, Dolly’s excellent portrayal of Abigail has gained positive comments from film critics. Since then, she has been getting international recognition for her performance.
Dolly made history as the first Filipino actress nominated for best supporting actress at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards. During her homecoming media conference in February, Dolly recalled her experience on the Golden Globes Red Carpet.
“Sa totoo lang, sobrang sabaw na sabaw ako nung araw na yun dahil nasa Golden Globes ako never ko ma-imagine na makakarating ako dun” she said.
(To be honest, I was a bit aloof that day, because I never thought that I would be attending the Golden Globes.)
Aside from her nominations, Dolly won at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for best supporting performance together with Key Hu Quan for the film “Everything, Everywhere all at Once.”
Dolly is now working on a new project in the US where she is playing the evil step-mom of Jason Schwartzman.
Life outside limelight
Aside from acting, Dolly also partakes in helping people in the community. In 2013, Dolly and her long-time friends Zena Bernardo, Judith Albano, and Jasmine Ong formed the group Ladies Who Launch.
During the pandemic, the group initiated community kitchens as a form of pandemic response when Ana Patricia Non (Zena’s daughter) created the Maginhawa Community Pantry.
Helping many communities outside Metro Manila, the group launched another initiative called “Project Hulmahan,” a collaboration between Ladies Who Launch and Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya with UP Artists’ Circle Fraternity.
The “Project Hulmahan” showcases various artworks on exhibit. and the proceeds will go to the Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya livelihood projects.
“At the end of the day, tayo-tayo rin ang magtutulungan. Ang daming nawala sa’tin noong pandemya, so ito ang paraan namin na tumulong kasi konektado tayo lahat,” Dolly also said.
(At the end of the day, we are the ones who will work together. We lost a lot during the pandemic, so this is our way to help because we are all connected) — Carissa Alcantara
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph