Multiawarded veteran actress Celia Rodriguez is often regarded as one of local show biz’s most iconic contravidas, playing characters are that are glamorous, sophisticated but wicked all the same.
But despite all her achievements and an illustrious career spanning over six decades, Celia remains wary of being called a “queen” among silver screen villains. She had another person in mind. “As far as I’m concerned, the queen of contravidas, for my taste, was Cherie Gil. Sayang,” Celia said at a recent press conference for the new GMA 7 afternoon soap “Stolen Life.” Cherie Gil passed away last year.
“Don’t call me a queen. Huwag niyo naman akong tawaging queen. I’m not a queen—a princess, maybe!” the 85-year-old star quipped, drawing laughter.
The ‘rarest of the rare’
Celia doesn’t get starstruck so easily. But one of the few people who managed to leave her in awe, she said, was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
“If I were to be someone else for a day, there’s only person I would like to be and that’s Jacqueline Onassis. From that day I saw her in Milan many years ago, I have never met a woman like her in my life,” she said.
“I know aalis na ako sa mundong ito, but I will never meet one like her. I will not,” added Celia, who gave an impromptu vocabulary lesson.
Jacqueline was one of the few people, Celia said, who had “élan” or a mixture of style, flair and vigorous enthusiasm.
“Ladies and gentlemen, do you know the meaning of élan? I doubt it!” The four-time Famas awardee teased the crowd. “It’s something you’re either born with or not. It’s all up to you. It can’t be studied,” she added.
“So yes, if I could be someone for a day, it would be Jacqueline Kennedy. Nag-ambisyon ano?” she said, laughing. “But really, she’s the only woman I looked up to in every way—brains, beauty, class, mystery. Even to the death, she was mysterious. She was the rarest of the rare.”