Entertainment

Karla Souza Is A Trilingual Entertainer Who Never Ceases To Amaze Us

You might recognize Karla Souza as either your favorite Mexican telenovela star or as Laurel Castillo on “How to Get Away with Murder.” The actress is one of many Latinos who has crossed over from telenovela stardom to American markets.

If you had no idea that the actress has an entire, wildly successful career in Mexico, you’re going to want to sit down to truly meet Karla Souza and her ancestors who gave us Souza in all her trilingual glory.

Her full name is Karla Susana Olivares Souza.

@karlasouza / Instagram

The actress is only 33 years old and has been working as an actress since she was 22 years old, in both Spanish and English language works.

Souza was born in Mexico City on December 11, 1985.

@karlasouza / Instagram

That’s right. Our girl is a fierce, assertive and heart-open Sagittarius Mexicana. She lived in Mexico City until she was two years old and her family moved to Aspen, Colorado.

Souza attributes her blessings to her paternal abuelita, Elba Silva.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Elba moved to New York City from Chile in search of a better life. She became a U.S. citizen, which gave Souza’s own father a path to citizenship when he eventually decided to move to the U.S. years later.

Elba was revered for her courage and her “killer Chilean empanadas.”

@karlasouza / Instagram

In an op-ed for PopSugar, Souza writes that, “She made killer Chilean empanadas and was stubborn as all get out.” Elba worked as an assistant cook with the Rockefeller family for over 20 years. Elba’s husband became the Rockefellers’ gardener.

Souza’s Chilean father met her Mexicana madre in Mexico City.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Souza’s father ran his Mexican shoe business from Colorado for five years. Then, as Souza recalls, “I vaguely remember receiving the letter from then President, Bill Clinton, saying something like: “Congratulations! You are now a citizen of the United States of America.” Which to me meant nothing at the time.”

Souza lived in Europe for 8 years and returned to Mexico for another ten years.

@karlasouza / Instagram

She is proud to be Mexican and proud to be Latina. She first studied acting at Centro de Educación Artística in Mexico city and then went to France to tour with a professional theatre company.

Souza speaks three languages fluently.

@karlasouza / Instagram

She speaks English, Spanish and French so fluently, that she was offered a role in the French reality TV show “Star Academy.” She turned it down after receiving an invitation to study at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. She graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in acting.

She even studied acting in Moscow, Russia for a minute.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Souza has been tapped for numerous prestigious awards and invitations, including an acting intensive with Anatoly Smilianski at the end of her college career.

Her television debut was on Mexican telenovela “Verano de amor.”

@karlasouza / Instagram

She later scored starring roles in Mexican sitcoms “Los Héroes del Norte” and “La Clinica.” You might also recognize her from Mexican box office hits “Nosotros los Nobles,” “From Prada to Nada,” and “Instructions Not Included.”

She moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to be told she was not “Latina enough” for Latina roles.

@karlasouza / Instagram

In an op-ed with Pop Sugar, Souza recounts how she would enter an audition for a character only described as “The Latina,” and be questioned. In her own words:

“I’m sorry . . . How exactly are you Latin?” asks the casting director before doing the scene.

“I’m Mexican,” Karla replies.

Still some doubt and skepticism on the casting director’s face prompts Karla to respond:

“My mother is Mexican and my dad is from Chile. I was born in Mexico City. I just moved to Los Angeles two weeks ago.”

Needless to say I didn’t book that job. I wasn’t “Latina enough.”

When she was cast for Shonda Rhimes’ legal drama series How to Get Away with Murder, they wrote her own background into her character’s story.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Why? Because if you’re Latina, you’re Latina enough, and your story is the story of a Latina. We love that Shonda Rhimes’ team included that her character, Laurel Castillo, was born in Mexico City, just like Souza.

Souza is teasing a project in which she seems to be playing an astronaut and we have questions.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Caption: “Space jam. ????”

Stop teasing us, Souza! Are you playing first ever Latina astronaut, Ellen Ochoa? Quien es?

What we do know is she’s using her influence to elevate life for Mexicans and Latinxs in the U.S.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Caption: “TBT: Earlier this month magic happened when over 100 fierce Latinas gathered in LA. We talked about how we will use our collective influence & power to improve conditions for the Latinx community & everyone in the US. We made a commitment to ourselves and to each other. We are not sitting on the sidelines. Stay tuned for more information about what we are working on for the betterment of all. #LatinasLead #LatinaPower

Souza also co-founded the Los Angeles En México non-profit with Kate del Castillo, Ana De La Reguera and Olga Segura.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Her organization is focusing on the families in San Miguel Tecuanipa and how to rebuild their homes, livelihoods and security after the devastating earthquake in 2017.

Her TEDx talk is the most seen Spanish language talk in history.

TEDx / YouTube

Titled “Sweet are the Fruits of Adversity,” Souza’s talk has more than 3.7 million views to date. If you’re looking for Spanish-language inspo, you know where to go.

In May 2014, Souza married Marshall Trenkmann.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Trenkmann is a Texan banker, and the two had been together for awhile before tying the knot. They married just four months after their engagement.

The two have a daughter, Gianna, together.

@karlasouza / Instagram

Four years into their marriage, they welcomed this sweet baby girl. You might have noticed if you keep up with How to Get Away with Murder.

She became an on-screen and IRL mom at the same time.

@karlasouza / Instagram

How to Get Away with Murder adapted Karla’s real life pregnancy to her character, Laurel Castillo. Her character realized she was pregnant after the baby’s father died in a suspicious fire. :'(

“The one thing people don’t tell you about motherhood is that your life isn’t over.”

@karlasouza / Instagram

On Katie Lowes’ podcast “Katie’s Crib,” Souza talks about how she integrates motherhood into her existing, very busy schedule on set. You can tell she gets creative.

Souza is still making time during motherhood, acting and advocating for Latinxs to be part of the #TimesUp movement.

@karlasouza / Instagram

She revealed in February 2018 that she was raped by the director of a TV show she was in when she was 22 years old. She didn’t name her attacker but continues to link to the www.timesupnow.com in her Instagram profile.

We are shipping her, Gianna, everything she stands for and hopefully her role as Ellen Ochoa. ????

READ: Chicharito, Karla Souza, Wilmer Valderrama And Others Show Their Support For Canelo Alvarez

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A Mexican Beauty Queen Has Landed In Jail On Kidnapping Charges, Why Does This Keep Happening?

Culture

A Mexican Beauty Queen Has Landed In Jail On Kidnapping Charges, Why Does This Keep Happening?

The pageant world is popular in communities all over the planet. From Russia to the U.S. and across Latin America, beauty queens (and kings) strut their stuff on runways and display their many talents. But the pageant world is also known to suffer from a more sinister side that often lands itself in the headlines.

In Mexico, beauty pageants have long been connected to organized crime and international human trafficking rings. Now, one former beauty queen has landed herself in jail in connection to these terrible crimes.

A former Mexican beauty queen has been jailed in connection to a kidnapping ring.

A former Oaxaca beauty queen has been jailed without bail on suspicion of being part of a kidnapping ring operating in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca.

Laura Mojica Romero, 25, was Miss Oaxaca in 2018 and the 2020 International Queen of Coffee in Colombia, a beauty pageant at which she represented Mexico. She was arrested Thursday with seven other people in a raid conducted by a federal anti-kidnapping unit after two months of investigation.

A judge on Saturday ruled that Mojica and the seven others will remain in prison for the next two months while authorities continue to gather evidence. Members of the group each face up to 50 years in prison.

Romero had tried to position herself as unique among beauty queens in the country.

Laura Mojica Romero defined herself as “more than a pretty face” during a interview she did in 2019. The 25-year-old, who at that time had just won the Miss Oaxaca contest for the second time, said that the contest had taken an important turn because it highlighted aspects that went “beyond” the contestants’ own beauty.

She put herself out there as an example when remembering that she participated in the delivery of supplies (sweaters, blankets and coats) in remote Indigenous communities and announced that among her future projects included support for the musical education of children from impoverished communities, as well as the formation of women’s entrepreneurship cells; a strategy that she claimed was to combat gender violence.

“We cannot stand idly by, we have to eradicate violence against women, through campaigns and talks that make men aware of this problem,” said the also graduate in Business Administration from the Universidad Veracruzana (UV) to Newsweek Mexico.

Mexico is an international hub for human trafficking.

In its most recent report, the organization Alto al Secuestro warned that the states with the highest incidence of kidnappings are the State of Mexico, with seven; Veracruz, with 12; Oaxaca, with six; Guerrero, with five; and Tabasco, Sinaloa and Mexico City, with four respectively.

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Mexican Singer Ramón Vega Rewrites Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ in Spanish

Latidomusic

Mexican Singer Ramón Vega Rewrites Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ in Spanish

Ramón Vega is taking a classic hit and reinventing it for a new generation. The Mexican singer-songwriter is making history with his debut single “Contigo Mami,” a Spanish take on Roy Orbison’s beloved song “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Ramón Vega is the youngest Mexican artist to co-write on a Roy Orbison song.

At 15 years old, Vega is the youngest Mexican artist to share a co-write with the late Orbison, who died in December 1988. Orbison’s estate heard Vega’s “Contigo Mami” and signed off on his regional Mexican version of the song.

Orbison took “Oh, Pretty Woman” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964. After his death, the song grew in popularity when it was featured as the theme to the 1990 movie Pretty Woman, which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Not only is Vega reintroducing the classic to his Latino audience, but he’s also schooling his Gen-Z crowd on the Orbison opus.

“I’m so excited to finally put my first single out,” Vega said in a statement. “Alex and the team really got behind my vision and helped me reach this point. ‘Contigo Mami’ is everything I hoped my sound would be. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.”

Vega updates “Oh, Pretty Woman” with regional Mexican music influence.

Not only does Vega give “Oh, Pretty Woman” a Mexican touch, but there’s also a reggae music influence on “Contigo Mami.” He calls out for the woman of his eye in both Spanish and English, evoking Orbison’s timeless chorus. Vega sounds beyond his years with this familiar yet fresh serenade. In the music video, he’s vibing with a pink-haired girl on a motorcycle.

Vega comes from a family of regional Mexican music stars like his uncle, the late Sergio “El Shaka” Vega, and his older brother, Cornelio Vega Jr.  Eleven years ago Dominican-American pop star Prince Royce carved out a career for himself with his bachata take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Expect the same success for Vega with “Contigo Mami.”

READ: Get In The Valentine’s Day Mood With This Playlist Of Spanish-Language Love Songs

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