Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s Own Identity
She used to live in the shadow of her more popular sister – but not anymore! Jasmine Curtis-Smith is all grown up and has become one of the actresses to watch out for, sought-after TV, print, and product endorser, and an independent woman. What makes her tick and what makes her different? Let’s find out.
By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata
PHOTOGRAPHY BY VON ONEIL BUENCONSEJO
MAKEUP BY JOHN PAGADUAN OF SHU EUMURA
HAIR STYLE BY APRIL SEGUIN
STYLED BY CATH SOBREVEGA OF QURATOR
ASSISTED BY KATRINA AQUINO AND RACHEL FELICIA
SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE FILLING STATION, 5012 P. BURGOS ST., MAKATI CITY
SPECIAL THANKS TO VIDANES CELEBRITY MARKETING, RONALYN BAGUIO (ROAD MANAGER),
THERESE RAMOS (TALENT MANAGER)
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE BY MICHAELA SARAH DE LEON AND AENCILLE SANTOS
She was sitting in a makeup chair when I approached her, and the first impression I had on her was, she’s like a little Anne Curtis. Her voice, her accent, also resembles that of Anne’s.
But as we go along with our conversation, I realized that Jasmine Curtis-Smith or Jas, as she’s fondly called, is different, and she’s not just Anne’s little sister.
Her own identity
Most people tag her as “Anne’s little sister” without even considering that Jas has her own personality.
Yes, the sisters maybe both in the showbiz industry, but they’re not exactly alike. Even their projects are very much different from one another.
Anne started in 1997 at the age of 12, while Jas started only in 2011 at the age of 17.
While Jas had some modeling stints when she was younger, she has never envisioned herself to be an actress or even in the showbiz industry.
“I was a shy kid. I was too shy going to castings or VTRs,” she admits. “I never exuded confidence. I only returned when I got my braces off, and when I felt more comfortable with my skin,” she says.
Gradually, she learned to enjoy the industry and then everything else fell into its own place. Everything else skyrocketed from there after a few years, and now she’s glad as to where she is now.
“When the offer came along, I saw that a chance to earn money so I can contribute in buying my mom a car, that’s when I took the opportunity,” she shares.
So how was she able to gain self-confidence?
Jas thinks confidence comes as one matures, and as one learns to stand up for herself. She also attributes her confidence to good friends who supported her during troubled times, and from her family who talked to her and comforted her when she’s down.
The rest, according to her, depends on how one takes care of herself.
But for Jas, attending regular scheduled classes, doing movies and shows don’t really mix well. So she took a year of leave of absence and looked at online options for studying.
“I just wanted to finish studying. That was my goal,” she cited, explaining that she never had a childhood dream and lives each day on its own.
She’s considering taking up behavioral studies. “I’m very interested in human mind and how people react,” Jasmine shares.
She took up Communications, though, because she also wants to do advertising and marketing.
Due to her interest in human behavior, her dream role is to play someone who’s mentally challenged. She wants to research on their (mentally challenged people) nuances and learn tips she can apply to that character.
We see her on billboards, TV and print ads, and everyone will agree that she exudes a very pretty face. But not everyone knows that she was once a victim of bullying.
She was in kinder then and early in grade school. “When I went to Australia, I faced racism because the ethnicity is vast there,” reveals Jas, citing the different types of nationalities (Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Vietnamese).
“It’s a melting pot in Australia,” she quips. “Racism was very harsh, and it still can be depending on the maturity levels of the people,” she continues.
Good thing, Jas has learned to speak up and brush it off whenever people would comment on her ethnicity.
That time, she didn’t tell anyone she was being bullied.
“I’m not the type who would tell someone or open up about it when I’m hurt. I usually try to solve it myself,” she says.
But that became the turning point for her maturity. She realized that sometimes, one is not mature enough to handle it on his own so he really has to ask someone for help.
As she acknowledged that it’s totally normal and it’s good, Jas says, “there has to come a point where you will be able to stand up on your own also and speak up for yourself, because you will not always have someone to do that for you.”
Before she entered high school, Jas was able to stand up and defend herself, encouraging victims of bullying to do the same became one of her advocacies.
“I try to speak up about bullying. I try to encourage those who are being bullied to stand up against it and be confident about themselves whether they are cyber bullied, physically, or emotionally bullied at school.”
She’s also the ambassador for the Philippine Rice Association, wherein she encourages people to take notice of our farmers who work hard in the field and the whole day under the sun.
She also partnered with Ms. Teen Philippines, showing youth the importance of focus and nourishment in education.
Moreover, Jas is a loyal partner of the World Vision. She mentioned that when she was in high school, World Vision is one of the charities that her school was partnering with, and she was then involved with World Vision Australia.
She explained that she has become a strong partner because she sees where her money goes and sees the hard work that World Vision puts in.
When not working, Jas just stays at home and rest, watch movies, hang out with friends. She doesn’t like clubbing so much.
“I’m not the type who would spend nights out and get wasted. I like spending nights inside [the house], watch movies, order food, and binge eat at home with friends,” she says.
She’s also into writing and enjoys writing on topics that concerns her or those where she has a strong opinion on. Writing also serves as an outlet for her to release what’s on her mind.
“Rather than having to bother someone who’s busy, I try to first let it out on my own first before I tap anyone else,” Jas says.
She has just moved out from her ate Anne’s place by the time of interview, and neither does she live with any of her siblings.
The 20-year-old actress shared that her family is actually scattered around the world – her mom lives in Australia with her brother, her dad is in Pampanga, while her half sisters are in England, Bahrain, and Australia.
With this setting, they don’t get to see each other as much, but she noted that they do keep in touch. They have a chat group where they share their stories (daily lives) and update each other.
“We take the effort to keep in touch and deepen our relationship,” she utters, adding that since her age gap is so huge from all of her siblings, she finds it difficult to relate with them, but she tries her best.
On being her own self
Though many people compare her with her sister, Jas said she learned to just roll with whatever title people give her, work on that, make it better, and improve on her own.
“You can’t latch onto something and expect that one day it would just change on its own,” she stresses. “Up to now, even if people recognize me as my own person, I’m still ‘Anne’s little sister’ and that is something that will be there until the end of my career.”
And this, according to her, is something she can’t erase and something she has to accept.
“You just have to learn to embrace it. Work with it and own it as something that’s a compliment to your career rather than getting annoyed and feeling like it’s such a burden to just be known as the little sister of Anne,” emphasizes Jas.
Moreover, she emphasized that the greatest lesson she has learned is that: You just have to roll with the punches that life gives you.
“People will always have something to say, good or bad, and you can’t control it. Just don’t make a stopover on the road when someone says something that brings you down,” notes Jasmine.
She added: “Let it consume you for like five minutes then learn to get over it and just live with what people’s opinions are, because you still have your own opinion and you don’t want people contradicting that because you’ve made up your mind.”
Meanwhile, since she has done a few projects with Anne, Jas cited that they act professionals on set, do their own thing, and avoid wasting their time.
After work, that’s the only time they look after each other as sisters.
“We’re good, we’re happy,” she shares about her relationship with VJ, host, singer, and dancer, Sam Concepcion.
She said that they get along with each other well and that both her parents also do get along with him.
“Those two people are the most important persons to like him because if they don’t, then I’m in trouble and I don’t know how it would work between us,” Jas says with a smile.
The young actress describes Sam as very attentive whenever she needs him and she wants him to be around. He’s also very funny and talented.
“He’s very charming not only to me, but also to everyone around him and to people he works with,” she shares.
The couple talks about their schedules to see if they could, for example, drop by and bring food in the set.
“We really try to make time for each other,” she notes.
Her top priorities
Over and above all her accomplishments as an actress, Jas sees to it that her relationship with the people around her, plus making sure that she’s healthy, having a good environment and good influencers she can look up to are on her top most priorities in life.
Jas ensures that her clients are happy, and that she influences her fans in a good way.
“For the kids who may glance upon my name or may see me, I’d like them to see that I’m a good contribution to the people, and that we’re not just a pretty face that stands there and looks good,” says Jas.
So far, the most challenging role she portrayed in the movie, Transit, because she had to speak Hebrew. The accent was very hard to adapt and to learn. At the same time, to add an emotion to it to make her seem like an authentic Israeli was very difficult.
But the role was worth it because she was named 2013 Cinemalaya best supporting actress for that.
Among other projects she did recently are Jasmine (TV Series), which ran for nine episodes on TV5, the movie, Dementia, a psycho-thriller which she starred with superstar, Nora Aunor; and movies, MARA with Regal Films, and “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo”, one of the official entries for Metro Manila Film Festival 2014 alongside with teen king, Daniel Padilla.
Indeed, Jas has come a long way to be where she is right now. But through it all, she wants to be remembered as a person of substance, who tries to surpass her own standards; and uplift the image that is usually stereotyped among the new breed of stars.
“I want be an image of difference for my age bracket and show that we’re not all the same,” she told Zen Health.
For sure, Jas will achieve that goal. And for a 30-minute interview, I’ve come to prove that Jas is a different person. She’s not just “Anne’s little sister”, she’s Jasmine Curtis-Smith, on her own.