It is highly unlikely that a day goes by that you do not see Anne Curtis either on television or along major highway billboards, in the mall, on magazine covers, at the supermarket, when you go online, or even hear her voice on the radio. As the “Princess of All Media” turns 28 this month, her star’s light is blinding, and is shining even brighter as each year passes. What makes this woman everyone’s favorite sweetheart? Here are 10 things you should know about Anne Curtis Smith.
1. She doesn’t deny being a party girl when she was younger, and points out she was never obsessed over her looks.
“Sobrang fun! Uuwi kami may araw na. Nights of going home at 7 a.m., because we’d eat out after going out, then even do badminton the next day,” Anne recalls of her gimmick days. “I was so happy that I did it when I was young. I was around 18, 19, 20, till 21. Those were the days na it was fun, it wasn’t as hectic as it is now.” She says there was no one instance that turned her from partyphile to responsible adult, it was only age. “I guess it comes to that point na you all start growing up, everyone starts having boyfriends, starts settling down, it just came naturally. You reach that point when you just don’t want to go out anymore. You would just rather hang out to catch up.
“I was chubby! I was so chubby in the cheeks and I was so white,” Anne bashfully adds about how she looked a decade ago. “I guess I wasn’t so conscious back then. I don’t recall wanting to be thin, but I knew I had to lose weight. I learned about the South Beach diet and it worked. Now, it’s such a trend to be fit or thin.”
2. Four lessons in love that Anne learned from past relationships:
“No more naming names,” Anne begged off with a smile. “I don’t want that I’m in a relationship but I’m still talking about my exes.” (Anne is currently in a relationship with businessman and food blogger Erwan Heussaff.) She shares that she’s been lucky to have “good” breakups in all her past relationships, and that though communication was cut for a few months, she ended up being friends with all of them.
1. “I don’t like to say they were mistakes or regrets; because if you ever really did love someone, you may not be in ‘love’ with them, but you still have that love because it was something that was genuine at the time.”
2. “I’ve learned how to balance my career and personal life — which is hard! If you make an effort to make them feel that they’re important and that you have time for them, it can work. But it doesn’t happen overnight.”
3. “To just be more sensitive. As girls we sometimes have that brattiness, that ‘I’m gonna get my way, I don’t care what you say.’”
4. “I used to have this behavior of ‘getting even.’ Now no more. When you get even, the only person you end up hurting is yourself. It’s better to just say, ‘Okay, moving on.’”
3. She has 10 brothers and sisters and never had any angst about her family setup. “We were very, very lucky that we all grew up together.”
“I don’t say ‘This is my half-brother or half-sister.’ This is my sister this is my brother. It’s really about not having that barrier of saying this is my half, regardless of the color of your hair or skin is, you all have the same blood somehow,” Anne explains. “I’m the panganay of the second batch,” she says. “Then now Dad has a new family with Charlie, and Clare Bear who passed away.” Both her father James and mom Carmen had a family prior to their getting together, and both sides got along well even before she was born. “No one ever had that feeling of, ‘Why does he love this family more?’ Because we were all together.
“When we’re out in Australia, it’s so funny, we’ll meet random people when we’re out drinking beers and we’ll ask, ‘Guess what our relation is?’ And they’ll stay there looking at us, ‘Umm, cousins? Sisters? Whaaat?’” Anne says with a laugh.
4. Looking back, if she could have done things differently, would she have not quit school rather than entering show business? “I think so, yes.”
“I wish that I had done high school the normal four years, but you know, at the end of the day I have no regrets. It got me to where I am today,” Anne says. “I think now, it’s more doable to do both (school and showbiz), that’s why with Jasmine (Anne’s younger sister who recently entered showbiz), we’re very strict.”
She admits it was quite a struggle when she decided to leave school to focus on her career. “I was probably around 15, I was two or three years into showbiz. At that point, you can’t turn down work. Either I do it or I miss my break. At the school I was in, they don’t accept artistas, so they were the ones who suggested I go to DECS for home study. My whole high school stage took me maybe six years to finish. It was just so hard.” For her junior and senior year, she was able to get a special class schedule at Angelicum. “I got to do cheerdancing na, at least I got to go to junior prom, I had that sense of being in school rather than being at home just doing my modules.”
On college: “I really want to go!” Anne reveals she signed up for open university in Australia late last year, and got accepted. “Basically, you’re online for a class and everyone can talk to each other. But I don’t know, I would just get awkward, because you have forums so everyone can talk to you. I’m like, ‘Ack! I don’t want to talk, I’m shy!” Anne shrieks. Anne, shy? “I just put it off for a little while, maybe I’d do better if I’m actually with people.” She is leaning towards the field of Early Education. “I love kids!”
5. The seven life-changing decisions Anne made:
1. Saying yes to guesting on TGIS. “It was a Christmas Special in Star City to promote Magic Kingdom, the film I did that time. The director Dominic Zapata asked me, “Do you want to be part of TGIS? I said yes,” Anne says with a big smile. “Then I became part of the cast.”
2. Moving from GMA to ABS-CBN in 2004. “I was in Nuts Entertainment with Carmina and Gelli, and I was talking to them about it — I should transfer, how I love Nuts Entertainment and that “it’s so much fun. They asked, ‘Gusto mo bang umarte?’ ‘Here kasi I always get the balikbayan roles, mga comedy, and I want to act.’ They said, ‘Then gawin mo.’ And I did. And that was majorly life changing.”
3. Auditioning for Kampanerang Kuba. “I knew at that time that direk Wenn (Deramas) was eyeing a different actress. So I went into the audition knowing that there was already someone for the role. But I was so happy that I got the role. Having the guts to say, you know what, go, why not.”
4. Deciding to own up to her actions. “It was when I fell over in Boracay. There was no such thing as social media back then so it was by word of mouth, chismis, ganyan, that I was too drunk and I fell. So when they interviewed me about it, I was 18 at that time, I said, ‘Yes, nakainom po ako.’ And if you’re known to do teenybopper roles, it’s more like, ‘Ano ba yan napaka liberated naman.’ It’s about just being very honest all the time, even if it was negative I always owned up to it. I think that that is one of the major reasons why people trust my word, because I don’t lie.”
5. Choosing to play the other woman in No Other Woman. “Instead of playing the wife, which Viva wanted me to do.” (Anne won a FAMAS Best Actress award for No Other Woman.)
6. Doing Showtime. “It definitely helped change my career all together. People got to see who I was as a person. When I act, I get roles that are either fashionista or mayaman or kontrabida. But they saw how kalog I am in real life which is really, really who I am.”
7. Signing up on Twitter. “A friend just convinced us to join and we were following all these Hollywood celebrities. It’s been a big way that I’ve been able to connect to people, to make it more personal and reachable.”
6. On how she chooses her battles: “I choose not to have a battle.”
The year 2013 began with a bang for Anne, as she hit the four-million follower mark on Twitter, solidifying her status as the most followed Filipino on the site, with a number much higher than that of international celebrities. But with more clout also comes more critics. “I’ve learned the art of deadma (not minding bashers) perfectly na. Because of all the chismis that have come my way, I’ve learned to just say okay and brush them off,” Anne shares. “But the one thing that always gets to me is if anything is said about my sister, or my mother, or my family. I can’t explain it! Grrr! I cross the line if someone crosses the line.”
7. On what fearless Anne is actually afraid to do: “I admire people who have the guts to just pack up and leave and never look back. That’s one of the things I’ll never have the guts to do.”
“After auditioning for a role in an indie film in the States (she played the role of Crystal in Blood Ransom), it crossed my mind. Should I go? Should I try it out?” Anne shares. “But why give up something when you don’t have a concrete plan? It’s all about taking risks and chances, but I’m not yet ready to pack up and leave. I came from Australia and I made a life here. To just leave and build a whole new life, it takes a lot of courage.
“I know that I’ll follow that dream one day, but there’s no rush,” she adds.
8. Anne’s personal and professional bucketlist:
1. Start a business. “I haven’t gotten anywhere near it and it’s hard. Because I haven’t started college, I don’t know a thing about marketing or business management. But there are people who have studied that, and it’s all about finding someone I can team up with for that. So definitely, maybe this year.”
2. To go skydiving. “My gosh, it’s so scary! I’ve gone bungee jumping already. But this, if your parachute doesn’t open...”
3. More concerts. “So many concerts to watch and festivals to go to!” What’s on top of the list? “U2!”
4. More challenging roles. “I definitely want to do something action, like Angelina Jolie. But it’s hard because sometimes there’s no audience for that. Or maybe a romantic comedy with action like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Or a dark role, like Girl Interrupted.”
5. An Australian tour. “Erwan and I really make an effort to go somewhere we’ve never been when we travel. I’m from Australia, but I’ve never actually done a full-on tour! I never leave Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland. But it’s so big, there’s still the northern territory, South Australia, Ayers Rock, and all the major monuments.”
6. To own at least one first-edition book. “I recently renovated my apartment and in my new library, I want to have all hardbound books.”
9. Anne Curtis in numbers:
22: Total number of current endorsements, with five more coming out soon.
30: Number of moles on her body. “There are probably some in places I don’t even know!”
100: Estimated number of pairs of shoes in her collection.
85: Percent of earnings saved. “For basic spending, there are certain sweldos that are meant to pay the bill. I have quotas for myself every year, and until I reach my quota, I can’t spend anything. I only spend when I go out of the country.”
15,0000-plus: Estimated crowd at “Annebisyosa No Other Concert” in Araneta Coliseum. She had 12 costume changes and 10 special guests.
10. She admits to wanting to live a quiet life someday. “Like Audrey Hepburn, who bought a house in Switzerland and would just fly to Hollywood to shoot movies. But it doesn’t work like that here.”
“I really, really enjoy what I do, and I won’t stop until I’m too tired talaga to work. That’s why I take one month or two-week vacations, because you need that so you don’t get burnt out,” Anne shares. “But it’s not anytime soon before I stop working or settle down, no, not anytime soon. I want to at least have enough set aside to live by the means I want to. I don’t want to be some has-been that has nothing left of what she worked hard for.”
On the massive success she has achieved, she says: “I’m really enjoying it while I can. It was a really, really long climb to get where I am now. It didn’t come easily for me. I’ve been in the industry, going on 16 years, so right now I’m just enjoying it. Because at any time, you know, the seasons will change. As my dad always says, ‘There’s always someone younger than you, young lady, so if I were you enjoy it while you can.’”
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Anne is known for always telling her fans to “dream big” and “go for their dreams.” What if a young girl tells her, “It’s easy for you to say go for your dreams, look in the mirror, not everyone is that beautiful.” Anne replies: “That’s why I add that you have to have patience and faith in yourself. It’s not like my dreams started to happen overnight. I’ve been in the industry since I was 12 and it’s just in the past three years when everything started to fall into place. You really have to have patience. I don’t want them thinking na parang you can just dream and think that it will happen. You have to want it and pursue it. That’s why I say I’m a pursuer of dreams.”
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