Daphne Joy, who portrays one of the sexy mermaids in “Pirates,” was born and raised in Olongapo before her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was just eight years old.
The daughter of a Puerto Rican father and a Filipina mother from Olongapo, Daphne revealed, “My grandmother, whose maiden name is Summandal, grew up in Zambales and my mother, whose maiden name is Cervantes, was raised in Olongapo. I was born in Subic Bay. I had a great upbringing in the Philippines and I feel so lucky to have experienced my culture because I love my language, my heritage and most of all, I love Filipino food!”
Daphne revealed how she got the role and how she reacted. She narrated, “My manager, Jonathan Baram, called me one day and said he had a great role for me. When he said that it was a role for a mermaid, I was already sold. When he told me it was for ‘Pirates’, I was like ‘Okay we definitely have to book this!’ He submitted my photos to the casting agency and I auditioned with about 50 girls at a pool in Los Angeles. It was the same audition day where I met my other fellow mermaid, Antoinette Nikprelaj. I play one of the five mermaids in this film along with Gemma Ward. We are the dangerous mermaids at the cove!”
The exotic looking Daphne revealed how it was working with the star of the film, Johnny Depp. “Amazing!” she said. “I was fortunate enough to have met him in person, and he was a complete gentleman! He was charming, funny, and very kind. I was pleasantly surprised that he was so personable.”
As for working with Penelope Cruz, she said, “I briefly met Penelope on the set and she is just as breathtaking in person as she is in films!”
For Daphne, “The very first day that we shot was my most memorable because we shot in this man-made lake that was made to look like a cove. Everything that I had been practicing in my swimming lessons and during rehearsals was all being put to the test! I was nervous because director Rob Marshall and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were watching. I definitely wanted to do my best.”
Earlier in her career, Daphne did music videos for the likes of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Akon and Chris Brown. “Aside from doing music videos, I also worked on the sets of ‘CSI,’ ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and ‘Criminal Minds,'” she said.
At present, she added, “I am working on my website, www.DaphneJoy.com, where I want to interact with my fans more, do a blog and update them on my latest projects. I’m constantly challenging myself and have been working on landing more hosting and acting roles. I have also been filming some independent movies one of which is ‘House of the Rising Sun’ with Danny Trejo. I currently finished ‘Freelancers’ with Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, Robert DeNiro and Forest Whitaker. Hopefully, after ‘Pirates,’ more doors of opportunity will open for me.”
Formerly a Manila journalist, Los Angeles-based Janet Susan R. Nepales is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.