Splash Magazines

Jackie Di Crystal - Actor, Director, Prodcuer

By Lawrence Davis

View the Full Article | Return to the Site

Jackie Di Crystal is of Spanish descendant. Her grandpa's brother, commandant Huber Matos was put in jail for 20 years for standing up for freedom. At his release the entire family had leave the counrty. At a very young age her world changed drastically and the family made the United States their new home. Jackie at eight would design complicated clothing for her dolls. As she became a teen she'd cut fabrics without patterns and make an amazing dress with her grandmother as a seamstress. Later she received an Associate of Science in Fashion Design & Marketing. Simultaneously she had begun to train in theatre arts. 

 



Jackie decided to open a talent agency and modeling school which she ran for three years. This opened doors for her and it's what catapulted her to start acting. She first started appearing in commercials and print ads for products such as Wella, Publix, Ericsson, and American Airlines in Florida. She performed in many European music videos as well. As her interest for acting grew, the young Latina wanted to do more. But her grandpa had just been diagnosed with cancer. She was told he had a few months to live. This news tore her heart and she put her career on hold and tried to spend as much time with him as possible. A year later her grandpa passed away and she decided to move to Los Angeles.

 



In Hollywood she began to host variety shows in Spanish and reporting for the big studio films red carpet events.  Jackie published the calendar, Natural Beauty for two years and she designed all her costumes for it.  She shot the photographs for her 2011 Natural Beauty calendar but decided not to publish it. She felt it wasn't the right time. In the meantime, she was cast in a sketch Comedy show, "Dos Para La Una" where she created her own characters. She acted in the theatre play (adapted from the film), Guantanamera where she played, Marili. Later she starred in the film, "Tragedia Sangrienta" opposite the late Pedro Infante Jr. This film turned out to be his last. 

 



After she starred in feature films such as, Bank Brothers, Rhythm in Honey, Collapse, and Beyond Your Eyes, Jackie was given the opportunity to produce the film, "The Mind Conjurers" that screened at Laemmle's Sunset 5. This experience made her realize that she can do more in the film industry.  She directed her first film without any budget, "Confused Souls". She was dissatisfied with the results. The ambitious Latina then embarked in a two year journey where she studied film directing and producing and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Cinema because she wanted to do it better. Once more her career as an actress had been put on hold. 

 



With her new acquired knowledge Jackie directed and produced short films such as Centerprise, Reflections, Viva Castrama (supporting actress), and Rent-A-Bad Student. She directed, produced, wrote and starred in the feature films, "Disrupted". When she graduated from film school, five years later she finished shooting the first film she directed, "Confused Souls."  After being in front and behind the camera she realized that her true love was acting. She said, "When you can work sixteen hours straight and it feels like a second you know you're doing what you're meant to be doing. That's how I feel when I'm acting in a film." Recently, Director Javier Barbera offered her the role of Teresa, a political prisoner in the film, "Shadows". After reading the script the actress loved the story and accepted the challenging role. The film was chosen by LALIFF to make its world premiere at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

 

Jackie states, “I feel that the Latin films in Hollywood have a long way to go before they are recognized and can compete or stand next to American films. Not because they are not good enough but because our Latin audience hasn't responded in the multitudes yet. When the Latin community starts showing up to our premieres and say, "We are Latin, proud and we will support our own." Then the tables will turn. Now they are distracted with the big blockbuster films which rarely employ Latin actors. When the Latin communities nationwide makes the needed shift and come out to see our films weather they are in Spanish or English then we will be unstoppable. The market is competitive and that's okay. I believe is you do the work and prepare, opportunity will come and knock at your door. While you're taking action daily toward your goals you will reach them.”



Jackie shared some of her thoughts with us on acting and the film industry:

“Working in "Shadows" was an amazing experience for me.  The role, of "Teresa" was challenging for me. I had to go to a dark and sad place to interpret it. The shooting was intense, we worked 16 hours in a very cold studio and I was wet the entire shoot. Whenever we cut for more than five minute I'll take off my wet shirt and put a dry rope. When I had to start shooting again I'll micro-wave my cold shirt so I can put it on and the difference in temperature wouldn't shock my warm body. I loved the experience. This role made me step up as an actress and I would do it again.”

“One of the reasons, I accepted the role because I felt that the film will be a great vehicle to bring awareness to the story and the fact that someone is suffering such cruelties in some part of the world today. This are things we do not want to acknowledge that go on and shouldn't. And only by admitting that something is happening can you then change it.”

“I feel that the Latin films in Hollywood have a long way to go before they are recognized and can compete or stand next to American films. Not because they are not good enough but because our Latin audience hasn't responded in the multitudes yet. When the Latin community starts showing up to our premieres and say, "We are Latin, proud and we will support our own." Then the tables will turn. Now they are distracted with the big blockbuster films which rarely employ Latin actors. When the Latin communities nationwide makes the needed shift and come out to see our films weather they are in Spanish or English then we will be unstoppable.”

“The market is competitive and that's okay. I believe is you do the work and prepare, opportunity will come and knock at your door. While you're taking action daily toward your goals you will reach them.” 

Learn more about Jackie, and her production company.



Published on May 14, 2013

View the Full Article | Return to the Site