Jane de Leon: Rise of the next-generation Darna

by Nikko Tuazon Sarah Mercado
Oct 30, 2021
Jane de Leon, background, info
Jane de Leon started her showbiz career in 2013. Eight years later, she is gearing up for her biggest project yet, "Mars Ravelo's Darna: The TV Series."
PHOTO/S: @gp10 on Instagram

Jane De Leon is a 22-year-old actress who is currently co-managed by Star Magic, the talent-management arm of ABS-CBN, and Tyrone Escalante Artist Management (TEAM).

As of October 25, 2021, Monday, Jane has 135,000 followers on Twitter, 2.5 million followers on Instagram, 231,500 followers on Tiktok, and 6.3 million followers on Facebook.

Jane de Leon, background, info

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BACKGROUND

Jane Florence Benitez De Leon was born in Quezon City on November 22, 1998.

She spent her childhood years in San Pedro, Laguna, with her father Ruel Florencio de Leon, and mother Maricor "Hearty" Benitez-De Leon.

In a YouTube vlog dated July 20, 2019, Jane revealed that she was actually named after her grandmother Jane and her aunt, Flor.

Jane said, "Galing siya sa grandmother ko, which is Jane... Florence, 'cause yung sister ng dad ko is Flor. Her name is Flor. 'Tapos yung dad ko naman is Ruel Florencio. So, naging Florence ako."

If she wasn't named Jane Florence, her parents would have picked either "Hyacinth," "Amapola," "Jade," or "Joey."

Jane de Leon, background, info

Now, her closest family members and friends call her Chynise.

In her self-titled vlog, she revealed, "Nung baby pa daw ako, para daw akong Chinese pag nagsasalita. Ang naka-isip naman nung [Chynise], yung brother ko."

Jane de Leon, parents

Jane is the youngest of six siblings. She has an older brother named Francis. The other four are Carol, Kirox, Karen, and Ned, who are her half-siblings on her father's side.

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Jane said she grew up with strict parents.

In the same vlog, she said, "Strict ang parents ko, especially my daddy. Sobrang strict.

"Lahat, six talaga kami. Pero kay mommy, dalawa lang kami ni Kuya. So I'm the youngest, ako yung bunso, so bantay sarado."

Jane de Leon, parents

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Jane's father succumbed to lung cancer in 2016. On Father's Day, June 21, 2021, she paid tribute to her dad in an Instagram post and expressed how much she misses him.

The Kapamilya actress wrote, "To my ever poging Papa Rouel at kamukha ko raw, (don't be jealous Mom [emoji]) HAPPY FATHER'S day! [heart emoji]

"I miss you a lot po! Thank you so much sa pagmamahal, pag-aalaga, pag-aasikaso, at sakripisyong ibinuhos mo po sa akin at sa amin nina Kuya at Mama @hearty0926.

"Sometimes, it just pains me not having you around, to be with us at this time of my life para makasama ko sa lahat ng mga lakad at activities ko po.

"Sobrang namiss po kita Pa at yung mga bonding moment natin lalo na ang pagpi-fishing. How I really wish you're still here with us.

"Patuloy nyo po akong gabayan at bantayan Papa...MAHAL NA MAHAL PO KITA [emoji]"

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Jane de Leon, parents

Jane is now based in Quezon City.

She explained, "Nag-move ako dito sa QC, para near lang sa ABS-CBN. Para in case of emergency, like biglaang pagtawag for go-see or whatever work. Mabilis na lang."

EDUCATION

Jane attended grade school at San Roque Elementary School and Sampaguita Elementary School. For her secondary education, she studied at Sampaguita Village National High School.

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In her Q&A vlog on YouTube, Jane shared that her dream is to become a doctor or a soldier.

Jane de Leon, background, info

JANE'S SHOWBIZ CAREER

Jane's showbiz journey actually started in pageantry.

She had been joining pageants in her hometown in San Pedro, Laguna. In 2009, she won the Miss Photogenic award at the Little Ms. San Roque pageant. Jane also ventured into joining modeling competitions.

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In 2013, she joined Teen Supermodel Philippines and made it as a semi-finalist.

Jane de Leon transformation

In 2014, Jane started doing TV commercials and appeared in an ad for a Pinoy snack brand. During this time, Jane was represented by Glamoure Talent Agency Inc. for her modeling gigs.

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Later in the year, she started doing workshops with Star Magic. Some of her batchmates were Axel Torres, Kira Balinger, Angelo Ilagan, Joshua Garcia, Ronnie Alonte, and Maris Racal, among many others.

Jane de Leon, background, info

In 2015, Jane started playing bit roles and minor characters in Star Cinema movies.

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Her first big-screen appearance was an uncredited part in the romantic comedy-drama film Just The Way You Are, which starred Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. The film was released on June 17, 2015.

In her interview with Tonight with Boy Abunda last November 2019, Jane said, "Nag-extra po ako sa Just the Way You Are ng LizQuen... noong 2015.

"Wala po akong line doon, cheerleader lang po ako!"

In the same interview, Jane recalled her experiences lining up for hours to do auditions for commercials, only to get rejected.

She admitted that she almost gave up on her career since she was not getting as many opportunities as the other artists.

She said, "Na-feel ko na... kakayanin ko pa ba ito? May opportunity pa bang mangyayari sa akin? Nainip din po ako.

"Pero siyempre hindi po ako tumigil doon at lalo pa akong lumaban. Kung kaya nila, kaya ko rin."

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Jane de Leon, background, info

Months later, in September, Jane played a supporting character in the sexy romance movie Ex with Benefits which starred Derek Ramsay, Coleen Garcia, and Meg Imperial.

In her interview with Giselle Sanchez's "Gossip Girl" column for Manila Bulletin in May 2021, Jane revealed that she also auditioned to become a "Dabarkads" for Eat Bulaga! around this time.

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Maine Mendoza eventually bagged the part and became "Yaya Dub" of the phenomenal "AlDub" love team with Alden Richards.

Jane also told Giselle that she auditioned for Simon Fuller's multi-national group called Now United. She auditioned alongside Ylona Garcia, AC Bonifacio, and Bailey May in California, USA in early 2017.

Jane de Leon, Now United

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Bailey made it to the group, but the rest of the ladies did not make it as a member.

Reflecting on her experience, Jane told Giselle, "I tried auditioning in Dabarkads. It was Maine Mendoza who got in. And even in We United, an international teen singing group, and it was Bailey May that got the break.

"I guess everybody has their time, and I was very happy for them. It was surprising, but even after five years of auditioning, God kept on giving me the will to fight."

In 2016, Jane was formally launched on ABS-CBN's noontime show It's Showtime as a member of a girl group called GirlTrends, now known as GT.

She was joined by former Pinoy Big Brother housemates Miho Nishida, Kamille Filoteo, Dawn Chang, Barbie Imperial, Loisa Andalio, Devon Seron, Maris Racal, and Karen Reyes, among many others.

Jane also proved that she's an overall performer through the Sunday variety show ASAP.

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The young talent was also able to showcase her acting skills through the Kapamilya network's weekend shows, such as Wansapanataym, Ipaglaban Mo!, and Maalaala Mo Kaya.

Before leaving the country for the Now United BootCamp in 2017, Jane played Lauren Catapang, a supporting character in Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla's hit prime-time series La Luna Sangre.

Jane received her biggest break on TV through the hit prime-time series Halik, which aired from August 2018 to April 2019. In the series, Jane played the role of Maggie, the young sister of Jericho Rosales' character Lino.

Jane de Leon, Maggie, Halik

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Jane was also able to do four movies from 2017 to 2019. These are The Debutantes (2017), Jose Bartolome: Guro (2017), Walwal (2018), and The Heiress (2019).

THE NEXT-GENERATION DARNA

On July 17, 2019, Star Cinema's managing director Olivia M. Lamasan made the announcement that they have chosen Jane to be the next Darna.

Jane is the third actress, after Angel Locsin and Liza Soberano, who has been picked by Star Cinema to play the titular role in Darna, a film adaptation of the popular comics by Mars Ravelo. The project has been on the back burner since 2015.

Jane de Leon, Darna

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Angel, who had played Darna in GMA-7's 2005 television series, was a favorite to play the local heroine when she transferred to ABS-CBN in 2007. But she had to drop the project because of a spine injury.

Liza, one of the most bankable and most beautiful faces of the Kapamilya network, was later touted as the next exciting Darna following Angel's exit from the project.

But she also had to bow out following a finger injury, which occurred while she worked on the Kapamilya prime-time teleserye Bagani and has since required three operations.

In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in December 2019, Jane shared how she has been preparing for her role as the Filipina superheroine.

She said, "Yung preparation, everything is okay naman sa ngayon. Nagte-training na ako, stunts training nung recently nag-start kami."

Jane added, "Nag-oobserve ako ng sa movies. Siyempre, hindi naman ako perfect na aktres. Kailangan din na may nadi-discover akong bagong techniques, ganyan.

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"Kaya nag-oobserve din ako ng sa Hollywood. Ino-observe ko ang pagkakaiba ng local sa Hollywood..."

In April 2020, film director Jerrold Tarrog confirmed that they had already begun the filming of Darna's movie remake with Paulo Avelino as part of the cast before the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

Darna was one of Star Cinema's would-be-big movies affected by the enhanced community quarantine, which was implemented as a safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In August 2020, an insider told PEP.ph that Star Cinema has already decided to drop the movie remake of Darna after seven years.

The project was later revived in November 2020, but this time, as a TV series.

In January 2021, Jerrold announced that he will no longer be the director of the Darna TV series.

Film and TV director Chito S. Roño is now helming the first two weeks of the upcoming Kapamilya teleserye.

Since the preparation for the TV series was halted due to the pandemic, Jane joined FPJ's Ang Probinsyano temporarily and played the role of Lia Amante.

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Jane de Leon

The network revealed in July 2021 that Jane will be leaving the program since she is set to begin filming for Darna soon. She made her last appearance on FPJ's Ang Probinsyano on August 20, 2021, after being with the series for almost eight months.

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On October 5, 2021, ABS-CBN held a cast reveal event streamed on its social media platforms to reveal the names of Jane de Leon’s co-stars, which include Iza Calzado, Joshua Garcia, Zaijian Jaranilla, Kiko Estrada, Rio Locsin, Simon Ibarra, Levi Ignacio, and Richard Quan.


The series will reportedly start filming in November 2021 at the ABS-CBN Soundstage in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The JRB Creative Production will produce the series.

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CELEBRITY LINKS

In an interview with ABS-CBN News in October 2017, Jane confirmed her relationship with Kapamilya Actor and former Star Circle Quest 2 contestant Arron Villaflor.

The couple called it quits in August 2018, after a year of being in a relationship. Both parties confirmed that they parted ways.

At that time, Arron told PEP.ph, "I’ve been sad lately because of my love life. Almost a month na rin. Wala, e. Sobrang may mga bagay na hindi kami magkaintindihan."

Arron Villaflor, Jane de Leon

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Jane was also was linked to her on-screen partner, Gab Lagman, after starring in the Kapamilya series Halik. But the actor later refuted this in his interview with Tonight With Boy Abunda in January 2019, saying that they are only good friends.

Gab said, "Me and Jane, we’re good friends po. She always helps me sa mga script, that’s why she’s a good friend of mine."

Gab Lagman, Jane de Leon

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Joshua Garcia is now Jane's new on-screen partner for Darna.

Joshua Garcia, Jane de Leon

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Jane de Leon started her showbiz career in 2013. Eight years later, she is gearing up for her biggest project yet, "Mars Ravelo's Darna: The TV Series."
PHOTO/S: @gp10 on Instagram
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