Dolly De Leon: 5 Things To Know About Star Of ‘Triangle Of Sadness’ Nominated For Golden Globe

Dolly De Leon is a single mother whose breakout role came in 2022's 'Triangle of Sadness'. Learn about her here.

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  • Dolly De Leon received her first Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in ‘Triangle of Sadness’
  • Dolly De Leon won an award for her supporting work in the 2022 film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association
  • Dolly is a single mother of four who never gave up on acting, even when others told her to

Dolly De Leon‘s career has been flourishing the last few years, and in 2022, she reached a huge milestone: She was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actress category for her impressive performance as Abigail in the 2022 movie Triangle of Sadness. Not only was the nomination a huge feat for Dolly; it was historic, as she became the first Filipino to be nominated in the category.

The 53-year-old actress said she cried when she learned of her nomination. “I was with friends, and we were out having dinner and the moment we found out they ordered champagne and we celebrated,” she told Deadline on Jan. 10, 2023. “And the reason I got so emotional, I think, is that when you do your job, you’re doing it because you love it, but when people recognize you or they say, ‘You did a good job, I love your work,’ it gives you a strong sense of affirmation, a sense that, yes, you are doing the right thing, you are on the right track, and you are in the right profession.”

Dolly De Leon
Dolly De Leon poses at the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema & Television in Nov. 2022 (Photo: CraSH/Shutterstock)

Dolly is already heading into the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards a winner, as she took home the Best Supporting Performance award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association at the Dec. 2022 ceremony.

Dolly De Leon’s first professional acting gig came in 1991, per IMDb, but her career really took off following her role in the Philippine primetime series, Sa dulo ng walang hanggan. Despite her more than 40 acting credits, very little is known about Dolly. Read on to learn five things about the talented actress nominated for the 2023 Golden Globes.

Dolly De Leon Studied Acting At The University Of The Philippines

Dolly said she was first captivated by acting when she was in fourth grade and living in Manila, Philippines. She then studied it in college and obtained her bachelor’s degree in theater. “I took it seriously in college. I took it up as a course, theatre arts, at the University of the Philippines and that’s where I really sunk my teeth into acting,” she told Forbes in Dec. 2022.

“From doing plays, I started doing some television and some films and I would usually do background characters until very recently,” she continued. “Shortly before Triangle of Sadness, that’s when I started getting better roles, better character to play. Not so much a background actor anymore, but also not a supporting actor. Characters with lines, roles with lines. It was after Triangle of Sadness, when we filmed in 2020, is when I started doing more meaningful roles, more interesting characters.”

Dolly De Leon Triangle of Sadness
Dolly De Leon plays Abigail in ‘Triangle of Sadness’ (Photo: Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Dolly Is A Single Mom Of Four

Dolly raised four kids as a single mother while working on her craft, but acting didn’t always pay the bills. So, she worked a myriad of jobs over the years to support her family. “I think I’ve done all kinds of jobs. I’ve been a cashier. I’ve been a sales clerk. I’ve been a babysitter. I have also done corporate work,” she told Forbes. “I’ve done PR, I’ve done media relations. I’ve also done facilitation of team building and team development programs. I’ve sold insurance.”

“I’ve done so many things because it’s really not easy being an actor in the Philippines,” she continued. “I don’t really get that much work and when I do, I don’t really get paid very well. I have to find other ways to augment my income, but not to be fully employed because I still wanted to continue acting.”

And even though she was always working, Dolly admitted she didn’t always have the means to support her kids. “I’ve been through a lot of hardships. I’ve borrowed money. I’ve been in debt. I’ve been hungry, starving for a long time,” she remembered. “There was a time when my son had to stop school because I couldn’t pay for his tuition.”

Dolly said some people encouraged her to give up on her acting dreams so she could better support herself and her kids, but she’s glad she didn’t give in. “I didn’t want to really let go of acting. It’s really my passion and it’s really something I really want to never let go of. Thank god, I never did because now the offers are improving,” she proudly stated. “I’m getting more exciting roles to play and it was really worth all the heartache. I suffered for more than 30 years in this profession. Thank God, I stuck with it!”

Dolly’s Dad Is Her ‘Hero’

In June 2021, Dolly shared a photo to her Instagram of her late father’s Philippines Navy identification card and wished him a happy Father’s Day by describing how much he means to her.  “My hero. The man who never let me down, who never hurt me, who never made me feel unworthy nor insignificant,” she began the sweet post. “We may not have shared the same ideologies but he always made me feel proud of who I was. I always wonder what he’s up to – probably giving God a good laugh and giving little angels happy meals. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I will always, always miss you.”

Dolly Describes Herself As Shy

During her chat with Forbes, Dolly admitted she is nothing like her breakout Triangle of Sadness character. “[Abigail is] brave, she’s fierce, nothing will stop her. She takes the initiative. She grabbed her leadership by the reins without having any second thoughts about it or without waiting for anyone’s approval,” she noted. “I’m very shy. I’m really a shy person. It takes a lot for me to just come out and stand up for myself.” However, she did say that like Abigail, she is resourceful and could “definitely” survive if she were lost on a remote island.

Dolly Has A Very Creative Bucket List

Although Dolly’s career has simply skyrocketed over the last few years, she has plenty more she wants to accomplish. “I do have a bucket list,” she told Deadline. “I would love to work on a script that is collaborative, that I can work on with the writer and the director together and really flesh out the character. I would love to explore other schools of learning, other styles of filmmaking. I would love to write, that’s one of my dreams. I would love to write a screenplay or a series. I have so many ideas in my head, I just have to sit down and put them all on paper.”

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