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You Are Here: Home » Ardain's Corner, Art and culture, Book Review, Dossiers, Interviews, News » A candid conversation with Haitian-American actress Dolores Telson

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

She is one the most widely searched on the internet among this current generation of Haitian actors/actresses. An imposing posture hued in a nut-brown tan, Dolores Telson is the intriguing actress with the charm, the passion, the talent and the wherewithal to become the finest of the fines. Despite the dire conditions under which Haiti wallows, one thing of its patrimony never withers: the unquestionable talents of its children. And Dolores is one of them.

She made her spectacular entry onto the BIG screen back in 2006, when she was featured in the gut wrenching montage titled, ironically, Dolores. Since then, her name became an instant household name. From coast to coast, she became their new darling, like the forgotten princess turned conquistadora,in a stunning wild twist. Dolores fits the profile of Toto Bissainthe, the legendary Haitian actress and songstress who conquered the world with her beauty, her charms and her artistic talents. I’m not sure if Dolores can also sing, for she is not known for this and she never made reference of such artistic genre during our conversation.

Last week, I had the privilege to sit down with Dolores Telson for a chat, where she spoke candidly about her current projects, her ambitions, her hope, her dream for Haiti etc…  

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A.I.: Bonjour Dolores! It’s an indescribable joy to have you here at CSMS Magazine. I have to be honest with you. When I was put in charge to contact to you, I was hesitant, for I didn’t know how and where to begin the search. So, I had to use the most popular medium, which is Facebook. The urge to have this conversation with you stemmed from the many requests we’ve received from readers wanting to know about your whereabouts. Can you please tell the readership about your professional activities over the last few years?

Dolores: Good Morning, Ardain. First, I must say I am flattered to be chosen for this interview. To answer your question, during the last two years, I have been working with the John Casablanca agency as a plus size model. My acting career never withered. I was also the lead actress in a Haitian movie titled Jezabel.

A.I.: I know you’ve been featured in several motion pictures. However, most people seem to think it was the movie titled Dolores which, by the way, bears your name that brought you into the map. Do you share this idea?

Dolores: Yes, it was my idea to use my name.

A.I.: Really?

Dolores: Sure, because Dolores in Spanish means pain and the character I played, as you can see, underwent a lot of pain.

A.I.: Few actors get to play a character carrying their real names. Was Dolores a coincidence?

Dolores: Yes.

A.I.: I know that you went on to play lead actress in several movies. Among them, there was I Hate Men—a story that raises an issue quite taboo among Haitians. It is the touchy issue of homosexuality. How did you get to accept this role?

Dolores: At that time I was going through my divorce, and that was when I was auditioned and accepted for the role. After reading the script, I thought it was a good way for me to express my anger. But I don’t think that movie ever got out.

A.I.: Do you really hate men? If yes, why?

Dolores: LOL… Like I said, I was very angry at the time. However, as time went by, I realized that I could have never hated men. I could not afford to reduce the world to the dimension of one individual.  

A.I.: Where do you see your acting career five years from now?

Dolores: Five years from now, I can picture myself accepting my first Grammy as best actress in Hollywood. 

A.I.: This is quite daring.

Dolores: Yes, indeed. But it’s doable.

A.I.: Haiti has produced impeccable actresses the whole humanity has claimed for its own. Toto Bissainthe, Martha Jean-Claude, Garcelle Bauvais to name a few. Most of them have long passed on, and they have left a legacy, a heritage, if you will, that makes all of us feel so proud and empowered to speak about. Do you see yourself being part of this fulfilling legacy? If yes, how?

Dolores: Most definitely, my dream is to someday secure my own spot in the pantheon of great actors/ actresses. I believe in myself, and this is my greatest asset. But closer to home, one of my biggest dreams is to eliminate hunger in Haiti in order to make sure our kids are no longer living in the street. Starting this coming December, I will go back to Haiti to distribute toys and food, and hopefully I’ll be able to do more. Unfortunately, my budget is thin. I’m not seeking national recognition, however. I’m only guided by my profound sense of patriotism. My works may never reach all corner of Haiti, but I know from the deepest fibers of my heart I have done a great deed.

A.I.: This is deep.

Dolores: Yes, I know. But that’s the way I feel about my homeland.

A.I.: Many movie actors/actresses usually say they entered the world of cinematography to influence social change. Do you see yourself part of this group?

Dolores: Of course. The history of Haiti is an infinite struggle for social change. I can’t imagine myself in a position to influence change and not act on it. Equally, though, I know that I don’t have to be popular to make my voice heard.

A.I.: You know Haiti is going through some rough times in its history. Has our country ever been so close to your heart as you’ve just described it through your charity works?  

Dolores: Yes, I must say that my love for Haiti is unconditional, and it aches my heart to see what they are going through daily—the hellish conditions in which our youngsters live in urban Haiti.

A.I.: Do you ever cherish the idea of becoming a crossover actress with the skills to blend in multi-sets. A great example is Jimmy Jean-Louis. If yes, has there been any pitch?

Dolores: Yes, of course; and my agent and I are working on making it happen soon.   

A.I.: Raoul Peck is the greatest Haitian movie producer existant (living). His productions have always been critically acclaimed. He is well respected by both Cannes and Hollywood. Do you see yourself collaborating with him someday?

Dolores: Definitely!!! I am all about going forward. I am willing to work with any producer that is well known and respected. 

A.I.: Were you born in Haiti?  If yes, where?

Dolores: Yes, I was born and raised in Carrefour, a suburb on the southern end of Port-au-Prince.

A.I.: Many readers have confessed that your sincere gaze has the power to snatch a smile from the most forbidden face. Has anyone ever made that reference to you? 

Dolores: Yes, I have heard that before and that brings joy to my heart every time, knowing that I was able to make someone smile.

A.I.: How did you get to choose acting as a career? Who discovered your talent?

Dolores: It’s funny you ask this question, and the answer to it is even funnier because I realized I was a good actress when I was 15. It happened when one day, I had to accompany my step sister’s to school for a parent-teacher conference. Because of my firm posture, I was instantly taken for my sister’s mother. The high degree of respect which was displayed towards my regards forced me to play my role as an acting mother—a role I played so well to the very end of the conference. Really, Ardain, I surprised myself. Since that day, I knew I could act.  

A.I.: Haitian parents usually dream of their children becoming doctors, engineers, lawyers etc… How did your parents react to the idea of acting?

Dolores: Well, I was in school to become a surge tech at the time I started acting. Surprisingly, I had both of my parents’ support. Don’t ask why.

A.I.: At the beginning, you were Dolores Jérémie. Now, it is Dolores Telson. Are you married? If not, who could be the eligible bachelor?

Dolores: Jeremie is my ex-husband’s last name and Telson is my last name. I am now single, free as a bird… J

A.I.: Do you have children? If yes, how many?

Dolores: Yes, I have two girls: Ashley and Loris

A.I.: Where do you currently live?

Dolores: I live in Everett Massachusetts.

A.I.: Did you go to Fine Arts school?

Dolores:  No, I did not.

A.I.: Among all the Haitian actors/actresses (past and present), which one is your favorite? Why?

Dolores: I love Fabienne Colas, because she has a way of capturing the public’s attention.

A.I.: You and I know there’re many young Haitians—both in Haiti and in the Diaspora—who inspire to have a career in acting. What advice can you give them?

Dolores: I’d like to tell them not to give up on pursuing their dream. It will happen when the time is right.

A.I.: Is there anything more you want to say to our readers?

Dolores: I want to thank each and every one of them for taking the time to appreciate my work. I love my fans very much and treat most of them like personal friends. Don’t be afraid to like my page on Facebook Dolores T.Telson. I promise, we will chat everyday… Muahhh besosss!!! Bisous!!! mes fans et merci!

A.I.: Thank you, Dolores. It was a pleasure to have you here at CSMS Magazine. Please, let us know about any new project you believe the public should be aware of. We can only wish you the best in your future and professional endeavors?  

Dolores: Thank you, Ardain. The pleasure was all mine.

Mille bises!!!!

Note: Dolores Telson has her own Facebook Fan Page. So for more about her projects, please visit the page. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/dolores.telson?fref=ts

Also, visit www.csmsmagazine.org or www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine for other interviews and great dossiers pertinent to you.

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