Jasmine’s brilliant career, so far
Few actresses have won awards for both Cinemalaya and Cinema One movies. Jasmine Curtis-Smith is one such actress—she bagged a Cinemalaya best supporting actress trophy for playing an OFW’s daughter in “Transit” in 2013, and a Cinema One best actress nod for portraying a lesbian in “Baka Bukas” in 2016.
“It feels pretty damn good,” she says of the twin triumphs. “It gives me a feeling of self-empowerment, motivating me to do better.”
More than tchotchkes and trinkets, these trophies “signify progress,” she explains. “They show that my skills are at a level where I need them to be and also prove my love for this wild, wild industry.”
These honors don’t serve as “a challenge” to be the best among her peers, though. “They’re more like a reward for the challenges that I’ve already overcome.”
She hopes to keep improving “by learning and observing all kinds of people.”
An actor is an observer, after all. “I watch, but don’t stare. I listen, but don’t eavesdrop. I become inspired, but don’t necessarily imitate. Although in some cases, like in real-life stories, imitation may be required.”
In sum, she relates, “You have to find a way to be observant without being creepy!”
The indie scene has allowed her to explore an unfamiliar terrain. “It has taught me that our job as storytellers isn’t simply to make money, but to make people listen and learn more about the craziness of our world and the people in it.”
Indie cinema is testament “that even if you aren’t part of a love team, backed by a big-time producer, or in the cast of a cheesy remake of a 1980s movie, people will still watch and love your work,” she said.
She is set to reunite with “Transit” producer, Paul Soriano—who is directing the beach movie “Siargao,” where she’ll play an island girl who loves the ocean—and Jericho Rosales.
Working closely with innovative and indie-minded artists has inspired Jasmine to consider working behind the camera. “The curiosity is building. I want to be able to help troubleshoot or organize a project. I love being in control.”
For a change of pace, she remarks, “I’d love not to control my emotions and help someone achieve that skill.”
On the set of the D5Studio web series, “Forever Sucks,” Jasmine gets to hone her other interests, sharing her concepts with director Joel Ferrer. “Sometimes ideas pop up… and Direk Joel is always open to our suggestions. He makes us feel that we own our characters.”
Direk Joel says of Jasmine: “Between takes, we would go into a huddle and talk like normal people. Then when the camera starts rolling, she’d transform herself and hit her marks perfectly. She studies her character so well. Even if I were a bad director that day, she’d still be a great actress.”
In the web series, she portrays Izabel, a 170-year-old vampire who tries to pass herself off as a typical 21-year-old call center agent.
The show has appealed to not a few millennials, she notes, because “it’s neither heavy nor shallow. The pacing is quicker compared to a regular series. It doesn’t drag.”
The youth’s preference for online entertainment is a global trend, she points out. “My generation has moved from cable to digital shows. It’s because it’s customized to our preference, and we don’t have to wait for a [fixed] schedule to have access to it.”
She herself watches shows on iFlix, YouTube and her own social media sites. “At the moment, I’m following ‘The Good Place,’ ‘Mr. Robot’ and ‘Forever Sucks,’ of course.”
She is thrilled that “Forever Sucks” is now on its third season, which will be unveiled on D5Studio next month (July). Past episodes can also be viewed on YouTube: www.youtube.com/d5studio.
Just how far would she like to go in the biz? She volunteers: “I’d love to make this my career, but an actor should always have time off-camera and live his or her life instead of just living it through a story.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.