But it was her decision to move on to bigger and more complex but no less daring roles that made the public pay attention to the performances of a certain Rosanna Roces. Under Reyna Films, Rosanna brought to life morally gray characters that grabbed the attention not only of the viewers but also those of critics.
The 1997 critically acclaimed Carlos Siguion-Reyna film Ligaya Ang Itawag Mo Sa Akin gave Rosanna her first Gawad Urian Best Actress nomination. The following year, she was again nominated in the same category for her lead role in Curacha: Ang Babaeng Walang Pahinga.
Rosanna gave more critically acclaimed performances, if not box-office sales, in such movies as Ang Lalaki Sa Buhay Ni Selya with Gardo Versoza and Ricky Davao; Kahit Pader, Gigibain Ko opposite Philip Salvador; Mapusok with Julio Diaz and Emilio Garcia; Ginto’t Pilak with Rudy Fernandez; Ang Babae Sa Bintana with Richard Gomez ; Katawan with Christopher de Leon; Ms. Kristina Moran, Ang Babaeng Palaban with Eric Quizon; and Basta’t Ikaw Nangingining Pa with Vic Sotto .But it was her portrayal of a thief in La Vida Rosa that made her a Gawad Urian Best Actress winner in 2002. She shared the award with Assunta de Rossi, who was also recognized for her performance in the movie Hubog.
It was her stint at Startalk that made her even more of a controversial figure, as in any case involving a host that have no qualms in speaking her mind. She left the show in 2004 after a major falling out with then manager and friend Lolit Solis, which led to a legal battle with GMA. Rosanna was also involved in long legal feuds with Lolit Solis and businesswoman Vicky Belo .
Rosanna’s off-screen problems took a toll on her career. But she has started to pick up the pieces with guest appearances in Rated K and Maalaala Mo Kaya, which led to other TV projects for GMA-rival ABS-CBN. She had a minor role in the 2007 drama series Ysabella; she was Rosario, the loving mother of Judy Ann Santos who died when she was young. Rosanna had bigger supporting roles in Sineserye Presents: Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? and Maging Sino Ka Man: Book 2.