In 2015, she was dubbed the “Millennial Dance Princess” after releasing a series of dance videos online. One of her first videos where she gyrated to the tune of “Twerk It Like Miley” garnered over 13 million views.
That viral video was considered Ella Cruz’s breakthrough, even if she began her career when she was just 10 years old.
Now 23, the young Viva Artists Agency star has nothing but gratefulness in heart as she thanks the people who have been rooting for her and supporting her career. She celebrates another milestone in her career now being a certified award-winning actress.
“I wouldn’t be here without them. I think the best part of being in this industry is knowing that there are people who believe in your talent. It inspires me to do more and it motivates me to be the best version of myself,” Ella told Manila Standard in an interview.
Ella was hailed as the Best Supporting Actress in the recently concluded Cinemalaya film fest for her role in the critically-acclaimed drama, Edward.
The win was somewhat of a surprise for many festival fans and showbiz observers who were expecting a more seasoned actress to claim the honor. But no one was probably more surprised than Ella herself.
“I couldn’t believe it when they gave me the award. ‘Di ko po talaga in-expect ‘to. This is my first award after 10 years of doing acting that’s why winning an award is really a big deal for me. Finally, I can already see the fruit of my labor,” Ella said.
The award citation noted Ella’s “totally winning portrayal of a street smart girl who toughens up but without bitterness amidst the oppressive conditions of society.”
Edward also won the Special Jury Prize at the Cinemalaya. It opens in cinemas nationwide on October 2.
Award-winning writer-director Joey Reyes, who was part of the festival screening committee, likewise gave his thumbs up for Ella’s performance.
“She has proven that there is more to her than her pelvic gyrations,” said Reyes.
She has since appeared in a string of movies and TV shows including the top-rating TV series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano in which she currently plays a supporting role.
The character in Edward is unlike anything Ella has done in movies and on TV.
“It’s my first time to do something like that, malayo from the wholesome movie, pero thankful that it was offered to me because I believe it will open more doors for me especially projects that will see me as a serious actress,” she affirmed.
On the small screen, Ella returns to rom-com in the cable series Sisters Forever (2getherPoorever) together with leading man Julian Trono. The show started airing on Viva TV last night.