The Triangle of Sadness star shares her top five titles.
Filipino actress and breakout star Dolly De Leon is a force to be reckoned with. Full of character and charisma, she recently started receiving the global attention her talent deserves.
Despite 30 years in the entertainment industry, De Leon was mostly earning bit parts in soap operas, television series, and commercials, and had to supplement her passion for acting with side jobs. That all changed with her role in Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness shot her into international stardom.
The film tackles the disparity between rich and poor and flips that notion on its head when a luxury cruise ship filled with entitled billionaires is marooned on a deserted island. De Leon plays Abigail, the ship’s toilet cleaner, who happens to be the only one who knows how to fish.
Nowadays, everyone wants to know what she’s thinking. The actress, who brought power, class, and sex appeal to her character—an OFW cruise ship cleaner, recently sat down for an interview with Vogue Philippines to talk about everything from auditioning, to Filipino culture, and how she would survive being shipwrecked, just like her character in Östlund’s film.
Here are five movies Dolly De Leon said she would bring with her if she was stuck on a remote island:
“I would take would be Alive because I love that film and it’s really about survival and keeping the human spirit alive. So I need that kind of inspiration to hang on if I’m on an island,” De Leon explains.
Directed by Frank Marshall, the 1993 film is a retelling of the 1972 tragedy, which saw an Uruguayan rugby team crashland in the Andes. Led by Ethan Hawke and Josh Hamilton, the movie tackles the plight of the survivors, as well as the unbeatable human spirit when faced with a dire situation.
“Second would beWhite Chicks because it just makes me happy,” De Leon says. “I’ve watched that film like so many times–that and Bridesmaids, maybe those two.”
The 2004 comedy film directed by the Wayans brothers is about two FBI agents who go undercover by transforming into two white women to solve a kidnapping. Despite being nominated for five Razzie awards for worst picture, the film made $113 million worldwide and has become known as an undeniable 21st-century cult classic.
The Greatest Showman
“Then The Greatest Showman,” De Leon continues her list, “because it’s my favorite musical film, and I know all the songs, so I’m just going be singing it and watching it over and over again.”
Directed by Michael Gracey, the 2017 film is based on the story of the famous entertainer P.T. Barnum, creator of Barnum & Bailey Circus. The hit musical starring the likes of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Michelle Williams received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 90th Academy Awards and went on to win a Grammy and a Golden Globe.
“Karnal, which is my favorite Filipino film,” says the actress. “It was made in the seventies, they don’t make films like that anymore in the Philippines. So it’s a very special film to me. I watched it when I was a teenager, so it really impacted me a lot.”
The 1983 film directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya tells the story of a newly-wed couple during the American occupation of the Philippines in the 1930s. It went on to be submitted as the country’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 57th Academy Awards.
My Left Foot
My Left Foot trailer. IMDb
“The fifth would be My Left Foot because I adore Daniel Day-Lewis and to me, he’s good in everything, but that’s his best work.”
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, the 1989 film is a biographical comedy about Irish writer and painter Christy Brown. Day-Lewis went on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, alongside Brenda Fricker who won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Christy Brown’s mother.
Bonus: Triangle of Sadness
“Can I bring six films?” De Leon asks. “I’d like to bring Triangle of Sadness because it’s really the kind of film that you can watch over and over again and you find something new every time you watch it. There’s always an Easter egg that you find. So it’s not something that I would ever get tired of watching over and over again. Even if I’m in it, maybe I’ll just skip my part.”
The 2022 Palme d’Or winning filmTriangle of Sadness is about a luxury cruise ship filled with super-rich passengers that get marooned on a deserted island. Social hierarchies are flipped in Ruben Östlund’s film after a storm hits the vessel.