Hello, Dolly: This Cannes Breakout Star Was Trained by Tony Mabesa and Dulaang UP - Arts & Culture

Many praised Dolly de Leon’s performance in Triangle of Sadness.

Filipino actress Dolly de Leon has received international acclaim as the star of the Palme d’Or-winning Triangle of Sadness at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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The film that took home the festival’s the top prize had received an eight-minute standing ovation. This was partly due to De Leon’s portrayal of cleaner-turned-leader Abigail.

“A cruise for the super-rich sinks thus leaving survivors, including a fashion model celebrity couple, trapped on an island,” reads the film’s synopsis.

Critics from different media outlets gave rave reviews Triangle of Sadness while singling out De Leon’s performance among the cast.

Variety’s Clayton Davis even said De Leon has a good chance of walking away with Oscars recognition come awards season.

“Her committed turn not only makes her the defining supporting performance of the year thus far. But also, if enough Academy members make a note to focus on quality (and not simply name recognition as they can often do), she could be the frontrunner walking into awards season,” Davis wrote.

Extra mile

De Leon, who comes from a big family, was born and raised in Manila. The thespian studied theatre arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman, where she trained under the late Tony Mabesa at Dulaang UP.

For much of her career, De Leon collected film and television credits as an extra. These included nameless bit roles like a psychologist, receptionist, health consultant, clerk of court, doctor, dormmate, and more.

Her most recent accolade is winning the FAMAS Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2020 for Verdict.

Based on her multiple interviews with the media, De Leon auditioned for the role in 2018 prior to the pandemic.

The actress learned that she landed the role once Palme d’Or-winning director Ruben Östlund started holding individual Skype meetings. Here, they already discussed the character of Abigail without making De Leon audition any further.

“I hope you get to watch Triangle of Sadness once it comes out here. Because I’m very proud and want to share with you this film that we poured our effort, sweat, and love into. And I also want you to meet Abigail, a character I fell in love with and miss. She’s a force to be reckoned with and I hope she inspires you the way she inspired me.,” De Leon posted on social media.

Banner Photo by Fredrik Wenzel

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