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Amy Adams: Hollywood’s Princess Charming

Amy Adams. Image: Wikimedia

There’s no question that Amy Adams is considered every moviegoer’s darling with her charm and sunny disposition which she imbues both on and off screen.

Born Amy Lou Adams on August 20, 1974 in Vicenza, Italy, Adams got her first taste of performing for a crowd when she joined her school choir during high school while training as a ballerina. After high school, she entered the musical theatre scene. 

When she was 18, she was working as a Gap store greeter to support herself while acting on community theatres. She later on worked as a hostess in Hooters before launching a career on stage in dinner theaters. Adams later admitted that only reason why she became an actor was because she "needed a job."

"I graduated high school and I didn’t have a skill set and I didn’t want to go to college. I needed a job. This is what I could do. And I like it, but it can be very painful. You feel so vulnerable all the time on set, so exposed," she explained.

In 1999, she made her screen debut in the 1999 black comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, which was followed by a slew of guest appearances on TV and small roles in B-movies. 

Her first major role came when she grabbed the part of Brenda Strong in Catch Me If You Can (2002). Her breakthrough came next in indie flick Junebug (2005). There, she played the role of the young, gay and garrulous pregnant woman named Ashley Johnsten. Her performance was strong enough to earn her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

The pressures of initial success of course had their toll on Adams' life. In an interview with Elle UK, she confesses: "I choked. I felt this pressure to suddenly be this level of actress that I wasn’t confident enough to be. I did a series of really bad auditions, I let the nerves get the best of me."

She eventually managed to pull herself through. Adams then hit her first commercial success after being cast as Princess Giselle in the colossally successful film Enchanted (2007). Her performance grabbed her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress.

In a press release interview, Adams revealed that we both "flattered" and "well little intimidated" about her character.

"Her [Giselle's] waist is a lot smaller than mine so I thought there'd be no late night Mexican food binges while shooting this. But I thought they did a really good job at capturing some of my quirks and my movements. I run pigeon-toed and she does too. Sometimes you get self-conscious because you know they're looking for what will define this character. I just think they're so wonderful. Like I said, I grew up watching those films and James Baxter's animation so it was a huge compliment to me to be animated by him," she explained.

In 2008, Adams scored her second Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations portraying a young nun, Sister James, in Doubt, opposite Meryl Streep.  

Amy Adams is highly regarded and well-lauded for her versatility. Her performances indeed varied from romantic comedies to serious dramas. However, she is still best remembered for her cheerful characters, something that moviegoers are always excited to see on screen.

In 2009, Adams was featured as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The same year, she was cast once again opposite Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia where she played the role of writer Julie Powell.

2010 was another banner year for her, as her role as Charlene Fleming in The Fighter scored her her her third Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, her second BAFTA nomination, and her fifth Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. The film, as well as Adams’ costars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (who won the Oscars for best supporting actress) also got critical nods.

In 2012, Adams rendered another Oscar-nominated performance for best supporting actress for her role as Peggy Dodd, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s coldblooded and control-freak wife in The Master.

In 2013, she was landed the role of Lois Lane in the 2013 Superman film Man of Steel.

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Lilet Never Happened: The Saga of Child Prostitution in the Philippines

Lilet Never Happened
Lilet Never Happened, a Dutch-Filipino production filmed in 2012, scooped the Best Youth Film honors at the 2013 Copenhagen International Film Festival.

The movie, entirely shot in Manila, centered on the plight of Lilet, a 15-year-old maladjusted Filipino-American street-girl who is prostituted by her mother and stepfather.

“Once upon a time there was a girl in the Philippines named Snow White. But one day, her mother and stepfather made her eat a poisoned apple,” opened the film trailers. Lilet aptly depicts the malady that forces helpless families to drive their family members to unheard-of activities—including prostituting their own children.

International social worker Claire entered the scene on a bid to rescue the young girl to safety but her efforts proved fruitless. Though Lilet was given many opportunities to redeem herself, she stubbornly chose the hard way. The film is based on interviews with Lilet, a little girl, who became Manila’s most famous child prostitute (

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Breaking Bad, Modern Grab Emmy Top Honors: More Surprises in this Year's Emmys

What could be more surprising in this year's Emmy Awards is the fact that it's so full of surprises! Best actor heavy weight contender Bryan Cranston lost the game, Downtown Abbey went home empty handed, the usual shoo-ins Claire Danes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and "Modern Family", well, unsurprisingly won, and Breaking Bad finally took the top honors. After all has been said and done, Congratulations to this year's winners!
Breaking Bad, Best Drama Series

Best Drama Series
"Breaking Bad"

Best Drama Actor
Jeff Daniels, "Newsroom"

Best Drama Actress
Claire Danes, "Homeland"

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire"

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"

Modern Family, Best Comedy Series

Best Comedy Series
"Modern Family"

Best Comedy Actor
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Best Comedy Actress
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Tony Hale, "Veep"

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Merritt Wever, "Nurse Jackie"

Behind the Candelabra, Best Miniseries or
Made-for-TV Movie

Best Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie
"Behind the Candelabra"

Best Actor in a miniseries or movie
Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra"

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Laura Linney, "The Big C: Hereafter"

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Online Drama Competes with Traditional TV Series for Emmy Top Honors

"House of Cards." Image:
The Primetime Emmy has never been this much exciting as the online drama "House of Cards" aims to trump traditional TV series for the Emmy top honors this Sunday, September 22.

The Netflix political drama is top-billed by screen veteran Kevin Spacey and is the first and so far the only web series to get a major nod at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy awards, television's match to filmdom's Academy Awards.

While House's nomination was a feat in its own, it does not go without stiff competition. Critically-acclaimed thriller "Breaking Bad," is another Emmy frontrunner as well, after its 5th nomination.

The terrifying thriller "Homeland" and the Emmy-winning "Mad Men" have also been shortlisted for the best drama category, while "American Horror Story: Asylum" is hoping to become this year's runaway winner, after earning 17 nominations.

Of course, the period drama and perennial Emmy favorite "Downton Abbey" once again scored an outstanding drama series nomination.

Among the night's highlight is Elton John's debut appearance as he gives a tribute to piano legend Liberace, who was also the subject of highly-praised biopic "Behind the Candelabra," which scooped 15 nominations. Just last week, "Candelabra" won 8 trophies at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for its outstanding production.

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Pinoy Screen Legend: Alice Vergel—The Action Queen of Philippine Cinema

Alicia Vergel. Image: Beverly Vergel
It is a rarity among actors and actresses today to possess certain versatility in the way they project themselves in the camera. Some are good in drama, others excel in comedy, many though are simply too good-looking to give a rousing performance. But the same could never be said of Alicia Vergel, the screen thespian who reigned in the 50s and 60s. She was pretty as much as she was talented and versatile as a performer. She proved her mettle in action flicks many times over but more than held her own in a slew of drama and comedy features, too. But among her many performances, it was her stint in the action genre that made her the indelible and unforgettable queen of action movies. She had such an agile physique that she didn’t need to have a double to perform even the riskiest scenes actresses of her days dared not do. Years later, she entered public service and kept her life literally in “action” despite the lack of klieg and glitter that filmdom had to offer. Nevertheless, she sporadically lent her acting prowess to a few but worthwhile pictures in the 70s and 80s. These, she did while staying true to the vow of motherhood, rearing her children, who themselves carved their niches in show business. Indeed, Alicia Vergel is one, true lady for all seasons.

Early Years in Acting

Alicia Vergel started her acting career in Sampaguita Pictures, where she had a cameo role in the Tita Duran-Pancho Magalona starrer Milagro ng Birhen ng mga Rosas, a 1949 film that depicted a real-life miraculous event in Lipa, Batangas. In 1950, she landed a role in a “dream sequence” production number in the musical Huwag Ka Nang Magtampo. The film also saw Paraluman, Linda Estrella, Lillian Leonardo, Maria Corazon, Lita Rio, Norma Vales and Tessie Quintana do the routine performances.

Career Heights

Huling Patak ng Dugo (1950)

Bernardo Carpio (1951)

Berdugo ng mga Anghel (1951)

Basahang Ginto (1952)
Madam X (1952)
Alicia Vergel’s star began to shine after being cast opposite Pancho Magalona in the action flick Huling Patak ng Dugo in 1950. This was when she saw promise as a leading-lady doubled as an action star. She eventually reigned supreme as the country’s Queen of Action Movies, appearing opposite reel and real life romantic partner Cesar Ramirez in such films as Bernardo Carpio (1951), Espada (1952), Diwani (1953), Ukala (1954), and Lupang Hinirang (1955), perhaps their most unforgettable film together.

MN (1954)

Ukala: Ang Walang Suko (1954)

Balisong (1955)

Lupang Kayumanggi (1955)

Mambo-Dyambo (1955)
Vergel was also comfortable in starring with other leading mans, including Fred Montilla in Tenyente Ramirez (1951), Oscar Moreno in Dugong Bughaw (1951) and Ramon Revilla in Balisong (1955). Vergel was equally adept in drama and in comedy, as she was at home in performing feisty and tough characters. For her dramatic outings, she was well-received in Madam x (1952), where her character was based on the life of a millionairess and in MN (1954), where her durability as an actress came face to face with drama queen Carmen Rosales’ own. Her stint in comedy, especially in the film Mambo-Jumbo (1955) opposite Dolphy was also well-received by audience and critics alike.

Taong Putik (1956)

Kahariang Bato (1957)

Maskara (1957)
 With the end of her contract in Sampaguita, Vergel decided to freelance. While her status as a top leading lady considerably diminished during this time, Vergel’s acting skills remained evident though in such films as Bicol Express (1957), Day of the Trumpet (1958), Kadenang Putik (1960), NBI (1961) and Viva Caballeras (1961).
The Day of the Trumpet (1957)

Anak ng Lasengga (1958)

Cavalry Command (1958) 

Obra Maestra (1958)
Thereafter, Vergel kept herself busy as a public servant after getting elected as barangay captain of Brgy. Santo Domingo in Quezon City, a position she held for 22 years. She occasionally got lured from semiretirement whenever meaty roles came her way, such as starring with her own son Ace Vergel in the film Inay (1977). She also lent her dramatic appeal in such tearjerkers as Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (1987), Isusumbong Kita sa Diyos (1998) and Mundo Man Ay Magunaw (1990).

Kadenang Putik (1960)

Inay (1977)

Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (1987)
Career Achievements

Vergel’s career has been highlighted by many spotlights. In a time when actresses used doubles when doing difficult stunts, Vergel insisted on doing them on her own. She was also the only actress during her generation to enjoy enormous popularity as an action film regular. In the awards department, Vergel was the first actress to grab the Maria Clara Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mapuputing Kamay (1950). She was also the first actress to win the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award for Best Actress for her role in Basahang Ginto (1952).

Personal life

Alicia Vergel was born on June 7, 1927. Her real name was Erlinda Gaerlan Asturias. She was married to screen partner Cesar Ramirez and they had two children: Ace Vergel, who went on as the "the Bad Boy of the Philippine Cinema” and Beverly Vergel, an actress, acting coach and director of the ABS-CBN Center for Communication Arts, Inc. Vergel and Ramirez separated; Vergel married another man and they had another child, Mike Vergel. She died in 1992.


1990 Mundo man ay magunaw 
1989 Bakit iisa lamang ang puso? 
1988 Isusumbong kita sa Diyos 
1987 Saan nagtatago ang pag-ibig? 
1985 Victor Lopez Jr. 
1985 Jandro Nakpil: halang ang kaluluwa 
1977 Inay 
1976 Tatlong kasalanan 
1965 Tagani 
1961 Konsiyerto ng kamatayan (segment "Noche Azul")
1960 Kadenang putik 
1958 Anak ng lasengga 
1958 Cavalry Command 
1958 Obra Maestra (segment "Macao")
1957 Kahariang bato 
1957 Maskara 
1956 Taong putik 
1955 Mambo-dyambo 
1955 Lupang kayumanggi 
1955 Balisong 
1955 Kuripot 
1955 Artista 
1954 Aristokrata 
1954 MN 
1954 Eskandalosa 
1954 Ukala: Ang walang suko 
1953 Diwani 
1952 Basahang ginto 
1952 Madame X 
1952 Hiram na mukha 
1951 Bernardo Carpio 
1950 Huling Patak ng Dugo 
1950 Mapuputing kamay 
1949 Milagro ng birhen ng mga rosas 
1949 Teniente Ramirez 

Watch Alicia Vergel in this film clip of her 1954 film MN

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