Ruby Ruiz proves big breaks see no age

Landing the Hollywood dream: Ruby Ruiz proves big breaks see no age

/ 06:35 PM January 31, 2024

Landing the Hollywood dream: Ruby Ruiz proves big breaks see no ageRuby Ruiz, during her media conference for "Expats," on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. | Image: Jessica Ann Evangelista/

Ruby Ruiz, during her media conference for “Expats,” on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. | Image: Jessica Ann Evangelista/

Ruby Ruiz is the Filipina embodiment of Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh’s quotation, “Don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime,” after she recently landed the role of a lifetime in Hollywood.

With more than 50 movies and 20 TV shows under her belt in her two-decade career in Philippine entertainment, the 63-year-old Ruiz made her first global acting debut in the Nicole Kidman-starrer Hollywood series “Expats.” She plays Essie, a middle-aged live-in nanny of Margaret (Kidman).


During her first media conference in the Philippines on Tuesday, January 30, after she attended the New York premiere of the series, Ruiz was bubbly as she detailed how she bagged her first Hollywood role and what went down during their 11-month filming in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, California.


The “Linlang” actress revealed that she has no idea she will be starring alongside Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, and it was only when she got the call from “Expats” director Lulu Wang to tell her she got the part that she auditioned for that she became aware of the information.

Second thoughts

Ruiz recalled that she was doing her self-tape videos for the audition during the locked-in taping of Niña Niño and admitted she had second thoughts about accepting the Hollywood project considering she has an on-going show in the Philippines and the risk of going to Hong Kong amid the pandemic at her age. 

The Filipina star said a fellow independent actress recommended her to audition for the role considering she fits the bill of what the casting director was looking for. She recalled, “Nung sinabi sakin ni Chanel, sabi ko, ‘Hindi naman ako nakukuha sa ganyan. Lagi lang akong shortlisted. So I’m not really interested kasi meron akong serye na kasali ako.’” 

This isn’t the first time that Ruiz has tried to audition for a Hollywood role. She also went in for “Triangle of Sadness,” which was eventually bagged by another Filipina, Dolly de Leon. However, given that she felt the eagerness of the “Expats” casting crew in emailing her, Ruiz took her shot again, and the rest is history.

The “Iska” actress revealed that she thought her nanny role in “Expats” would simply showcase her as a helper, with the scenes mostly her serving and with fewer lines to deliver, but the Prime Video series took the narrative deeper into the importance and struggles of domestic helpers.

Nicole’s scene

Ruiz said that there would be an episode showcasing the depth of being a domestic helper and the relationship that gets developed between the helpers and the people they are taking care of, and it was the scene that became her favorite as she was also in a one-on-one confrontation with Kidman.


“Favorite ko ‘yon dahil doon ko naranasan kung gaano ka-powerful ang isang Nicole Kidman. Nakatingin lang ako sa mata niya, nagpadala lang ako, ika nga. When people congratulate me for that scene, I say, ‘No, it was Nicole. It was really her scene’ Ang ginawa ko lang nag-react lang ako sa kanya,” said Ruiz.  

The “Bourne Legacy” actress obviously brought her A-game to Hollywood, as she noted that it was the least she could do given the elite treatment and the professionalism that the production crew and cast showed her and everyone else involved in making the series on-and-off camera.

Don’t look for comfort

As many actors and actresses also dream to one day conquer Hollywood, Ruiz extended advice to aspirants, saying aside from being “true and humble” they also need to live in the mindset that “hope should always endure.”

“Importante po ‘yung attitude. Basta matyaga ka. Never give up. Kung ako nga diba, ika nga ni Michelle Yeoh, walang age limit. No one should tell you that you are overage, she said something like that. Walang age limit ang pangarap. Hope should endure,” she affirmed. 

Ruiz also noted that one should know how to look back where they came from and should not compare the experience of this thing from another. 

“Lagi mo lang babalikan kung saan ka nanggaling. Kapag nandito ka na, huwag mong hahanapin ‘yung comfort. Doon kasi magkaiba naman talaga ang resources. Pero ‘yung attitude sa trabaho and professionalism, and other things you can improve on, dapat gawin natin,” she said. 

“Expats” is a story set in Hong Kong, depicting the lives of three different women after a single encounter yields a series of life-altering events that lead them to navigate in the realms of blame and accountability. It is based on the novel “The Expatriates” by Janice Y.K. Lee and also stars Ji-young Yoo and Sarayu Blue. Early rave reviews are already in, with Time Magazine tagging the series as the “first must-see show of 2024.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The first two episodes of “Expats” are currently streaming, but the rest of the episodes will premier every week until February 23.

TAGS: Hollywood, Nicole Kidman, Ruby Ruiz

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.