Judy Ann Santos’ meteoric rise ultimately becoming one of the country’s top dramatic actresses has all the plot elements inherent to an inspiring movie.
As a child, her dreams were pure and simple – to save money for school.
Missing her father whom she rarely spend time with, and her mother, who was working in Canada, Judy Ann found solace in the company of her co-stars as with film staff and crew who made her feel at home.
“I look forward to the day na may tapings kasi yung mga cameramen, crew, lahat ng staff and engineers, sobrang close ako. Sa kanila ako nakakakuha ng kalinga,” recalled Judy Ann in a recent interview with Senator Joel Villanueva on “AksyonTime.”
While Judy Ann totally enjoyed acting in front of camera even as a child, she never imagined she would be doing it for more than three decades until now.
“Kung bata ka kasi, hinahanap mo lang naman kung ano yung nakapapagpasaya sa iyo at that time. Yung ang feeling ko, masaya ako sa ginagawa ko. Kumikita ako kahit paano. And gusto ko yung ginagawa ko that’s why medyo magagawa ko ito (acting) ng medyo mas mahaba-haba pa,” shared Judy Ann.
With her innate talent and commitment to her craft, Judy Ann was blessed with an avalanche of acting projects.
As a teen, she was so busy she had to put a halt to her studies.
“I have to decide kung ipu-pursue ko ba ang pagka-college ko, or tatapusin ko lang yung pagiging high school ko and move forward to acting. ‘Cause at that time wala rin kaming pera for enrolment and marami naming projects na pumapasok,” said Judy Ann.
She would become a skilled chef later, passing the TESDA National Certification exam in 2009.
With one teleserye hit after another, Judy Ann was dubbed “Queen of Pinoy Soap Opera.”
Her foray into movies was a success as well.
In 1999 she was named “Box Office Queen” by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
A consummate actress, Juday bagged the Best Actress award at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival for Brillante Mendoza’s “Mindanao” in 2019.
“Habang nagkaka-edad ka parang you are looking for more challenging roles. Bilang artista noong mga time na yung gusto ko nang mag-move forward, not (really) daring roles, pero mas may sustansyang projects. Okay lang gumawa ng rom-com films pero yung puso mo mas naghahanap na ng may kabuluhan. Mas malalim na acting,” she said.
With the passion to grow as an actress, Judy Ann revealed that there was never a point in her career where her decision to take on a project was based on how her followers would react.
“Siguro yun yung wala ako (kaba). Para sa akin kung hindi ko gusto yung project hindi sya tatawid onscreen. Kasi andun ako sa paniniwala na kung susuportahan ako ng mga tao kung mahal talaga nila ako, susuportahan nila kung ano man ang proyektong ilabas ko.”
Catch more of “AksyonTime” every Saturday, 10:15 pm, on A2Z Channel 11.