Jasmine In Full Bloom
SEP 3, 2015 | by Nicole Blanco Ramos, Art by Alexandra Lara
Photography: JC Cerilla. Creative Direction: Suki Salvador of At East | Jed Root. Art Direction: Alexandra Lara. Styling: Nicole Blanco Ramos. Sitting Editors: Angelo Ramirez de Cartagena & Sarah Santiago. Makeup: John Pagaduan. Hairstyling: Apriel Seguin. Nails: I Do Nails. Production Design: Tipping Point Collective.
We’ll say it: Jasmine Curtis-Smith isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill actress. The #SandboxNoFilter star has earned her rightful place in the spotlight, carving out an indie cred in her own unambiguously brilliant way.
This isn’t your typical girl-on-a-mission story.
The curtains rise and reveal a girl who is starry-eyed, a girl who finds a dream, a girl who says: “Ha! Watch me!” and the girl sets out to take on the world and leave her mark. There are no flashy details in this story, no scandalous turning points, no manufactured chapters of success, because honestly, there’s no need for them. Jasmine Curtis-Smith is real, and her story is inspiring and relatable. This is precisely why people are so charmed by her. She tells it like it is: the good, the bad—and why the bad doesn’t have to be such a terrible thing to deal with.
Early successes are not cues for complacency. And Jasmine’s love for her craft, her focus and her determination to produce quality work never overpowers her other facets. She is well aware of her limits both as an artist and as a 21-year-old girl with her own battles, priorities and desires. “I thought I’d only finish one contract and after that, I’m good. The plan was to head back to Australia and go back to school. What really did it for me was being part of a film (Transit, 2013) that made me fall in love with this craft. From then on, I decided to stay,” she shares. “I used to shuttle back and forth between Australia and the Philippines, but I’m here now for good. I’m working full-time but also taking up a subject online for a behavioral studies course.”
With an admirable level of self-awareness, Jasmine was unafraid to tackle certain realities from her early years in the industry, admitting she didn’t really have the skill [for acting] to begin with, expressing that she tried her hand at acting because she really wanted to buy a car for her mother. “I have had thoughts about whether or not I’m really cut out for this industry,” reveals Jasmine. “I’m willing to work hard to acquire certain skills needed from me.” She then takes time to pause, takes a deep breath and continues, “However, there are times where I actually question if I can handle the stress, the hours, the emotional struggles that I sometimes put myself through or that I receive from [being in the industry]. I could just totally drop everything and become a full-time student again.” This is a surprising admission coming from an actress, whose brilliant performance in her first major film, Transit, garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Award in Cinemalaya.
On joining her sister Anne Curtis in the industry, Jasmine says, “I used to think we had to really try—and we did for a while—to consciously make decisions for endorsements, television shows and projects in order to showcase our differences.” If there should exist any pressure of being the little sister of an actress and entertainer like Anne, who is held in such high regard not only by her [Anne’s] fans but the industry itself, Jasmine handles it with grace. “It’s inevitable to be compared—to anyone. Even if you’re not in this industry, it happens! Yung mga mag-ate, mag-pinsan, mag-kuya, they get compared in family reunions nga eh diba? It happens everywhere,” she says. “Eventually, I stopped caring [about comparisons]. Why should I let these opinions bother me? Anne is my ate to begin with. And she’s a completely different person.”
Jasmine goes on to explain her turning point: “When we did No Filter this year, that was when I really stopped caring about the competition. I said, ‘You know what? I love what I do, so why do I have to put myself down and feel like I’m falling behind or I’m not up to par with everyone else in my generation.’”
Through tough moments working in the industry, what is your coping mechanism?
I take a break. Even if it’s just two or three days, I take a break from work. I do whatever I want; I watch films. I laze around at home—pero hindi yung lazing around na just because work was cancelled today, I get to rest. Hindi ganun. I really set days off. For example, just last week, I went to Australia. Because just before that, I went into full-on work mode with a project and I kind of went ballistic afterwards. [Laughs] So I took five days off and I went to Australia just to kind of hit refresh for myself, kind of a reset button.
What kind of role would you love to take on?
I really, really want to [be part of a psychology thriller], similar to the character in Orphan Black. Whether it’s the same person endowed with multiple personalities or different characters played by one person within the same series, it’s a big dream to have given our industry and what sells here, but it’s a role I would love to take on.
Who are the actresses that you look up to?
One of them would have to be Jessica Lange, one of the leading actresses on American Horror Story. I absolutely love her because she may play the dominant character, but when she becomes weak, she transforms—she becomes very, very brittle. So that shift in character [development] that she’s mastered is incredible and that’s something I want to learn. I also look up to Lupita Nyong’o because I feel like we had a similar start wherein her first film was where she was first recognized after graduating. Ako naman, after graduating high school, I participated in a film and I got recognized for my performance then. It kind of felt like we were mirroring like soul sisters. [Laughs] I also look up to Miss Irma Adlawan. She’s an amazing person to begin with and an incredible actress. She’s a pro. The first time she won best actress was the same time I won my award and I feel like we had such a good team-up for our film together. I think she contributed a lot into my performance and that’s where I saw my soul in this industry and craft.
Taking on fashion this time: how would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very lazy; I’m always in a t-shirt or shorts or leggings or pants. I suppose you can say that it’s basic or normcore. I don’t like to wear too many prints or colors. My clothes are either in black or white or gray or navy. The only times I really dress up is when someone dresses me up. That’s the only time I end up wearing prints and different types of colors.
I’m more into the safe, classic styles—something you might have seen already but the trick is putting a new spin on it. You can never go wrong with staple pieces like the white t-shirt. The basic pieces are the most dependable pieces.
What is your go-to look if you want to feel your most confident?
I probably would go for a black dress. And from there, maybe dress it down with flats or sneakers.
What is your go-to look if you want to feel your sexiest?
To feel my sexiest, I would go for a loose v-neck shirt with pants. Usually, people would associate tight-fitting clothes with being sexy, but it’s the other way around for me. Loose, comfortable clothing keeps an illusion of how your body is shaped. There’s an element of mystery there. You’re leaving something to the imagination and that is what holds interest. Also, sexy is something you do for yourself; with loose clothes, you get to move. You’re comfortable to move in whatever way. Sexy doesn’t have to be in-your-face sexy.
What is your go-to look for conquering the daily grind?
That would be pants or shorts and a nice top…in black…most likely. [Laughs] I was looking for color a while ago while dressing up before coming to this shoot, because I really wanted to wear these nice black [silky, lace] shorts today. I thought that I should wear something different for my top naman and then I stopped and looked at my wardrobe and I was like, “Parang walang kulay yung wardrobe ko!”
How would you say your style has evolved over the years?
I think I’ve stayed true to who I really am. I grew up wearing shorts everyday and I think I just know how to make it more presentable and adaptable to wherever I’m going or who I’m meeting with, what the occasion is. Also I’m willing to try new things now. I’ve become more flexible. Before naman kasi I had no idea whatsoever about fashion. I mean, I grew up playing in the streets. So fashion was something I didn’t care about. I then started to observe my ate or her friends. And since I’m exposed to it in this industry, it becomes second nature to want to try new things and look stylish.
Are you big on accessories?
I used to be. There was a time where I tried to develop the habit of wearing accessories from a friend of mine who is all about accessorizing—big chunky bangles, big necklaces, big prints and loud colors. I tried to do that as well, but all those pieces are just stored away in my accessories box. I realized that it was too much look for me. I like my accessories simple: stud earrings, multiple or stacked rings and hardly ever a necklace or bracelet.
Since September is the New Year in fashion, how does your New Year look like so far?
There are several seasons this year for me: turning 21, traveling to different places and then starting new projects. I’m always up for trying something new not just in terms of fashion but also in everything I do. I always try to challenge myself and keep it interesting for myself so I’m not bored with what I do and so I don’t feel like I should stop what I’m doing. This year, especially, there have been so many instances where I feel like I’ve tried to kind of restart. I really made an effort to consciously decide that okay for my 21st my body’s going to look like this, I’m going to be stronger—mentally, emotionally, physically. It’s about always trying to evolve and change and begin again.
What are some of the highlights of your 2015?
One would be bungee jumping in Thailand. That, for me, felt like turning a new leaf, because you sign up for it and just before you go and make the jump, you think to yourself, ‘What did I just do?! Why am I doing this?! Bakit ko ‘to ginagawa sa sarili ko?!’ It was a way of letting go, it was a release. Since then, I make it a point to challenge myself. I [now] know that I can choose certain things for myself and just be happy with what I have and with who I am and try to make that conscious effort to be happy as well.
What’s next for Jasmine?
Definitely more travel adventures and more challenges when it comes to developing skills. I often find myself boring when I’m hanging out with my friends like, “Parang wala akong nako-contribute sa inyo.” [Laughing] I want to learn how to be more involved with people. I also want to venture (more) into theater.
Jasmine Curtis-Smith has earned her place on the stage and in the spotlight, her career blossoming and her talent unfolding on her terms and by her own rules. Jasmine is a go-getter, a girl who somehow dreams looking out at the great, big world, while looking in. With a level of self-awareness even adults struggle mastering, she still has her fun. However that does not mean getting carried away by distractions. She knows to dream big but to also consciously, habitually put in the work and plot small points along her path to slowly move towards that big dream. She has become a true leader of the pack, showing millennials that it’s best to invest in getting to know your true self and life is better living with #NoFilter.
Download the MEGAstyle.ph September 2015 e-magazine featuring Jasmine Curtis-Smith FOR FREE on Magzter, via the official MEGAstyle.ph app (available on Google Play) or the Magzter app (available on AppStore and Google Play)
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