Entertainment

Kate Del Castillo Talks Playing Teresa, Not Being Able To Shoot In Mexico, And More About The Return ‘La Reina Del Sur”

Television audiences have spoken and Telemundo has listened. Almost a decade after Kate del Castillo captivated audiences in Telemundo’s mega telenovela hit ‘La Reina del Sur’ back in 2011, the actress reprises the role as Teresa Mendoza for the show’s sophomore season. Here’s why del Castillo is excited to be back as Teresa.

Telemundo Global Studios and Netflix have teamed up to co-produce this telenovela eight years after Teresa first appeared on TV screens.

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In the second season of “La Reina del Sur,” Teresa is now a mother with a daughter of her own who is under the protection of the Federal Witness Protection Program. Teresa and her daughter live in the idyllic Italian village of Massa Marittima in Tuscany.

But her past comes back to haunt her when her daughter is kidnapped in broad daylight. Teresa, like all mothers, will risk even her own life to get her daughter back.

Del Castillo spoke to mitú in an exclusive telephone interview on her main reason for coming back on the show.

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Although del Castillo said “executives of Telemundo were always flirting with the idea of a second part,” she said she felt it was a plot line that should be left alone since there was no second book by its creator, former Spanish journalist and current novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

However, after the show’s massive success (Telemundo has called it its biggest telenovela hit), Pérez-Reverte was excited to do a second part—and del Castillo said she signed onboard only because its creator would be at the helm.

Now that Teresa is a mother in the second season, that didn’t stop del Castillo from connecting to the role despite not having any kids of her own. She said, “all women have that part in us.” 

Acting as a mother is something that del Castillo is familiar with.

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It was easy for the actress to reconnect with the emotions that she has prepared for being a mother in the past. “It’s something that comes easy to me,” del Castillo said.

Contrary to what most people think, Teresa is not actually based off of the life of Mexican drug cartel leader Sandra Ávila Beltrán, “La Reina del Pacifico,“ but instead is inspired by Ávila Beltrán.  

Del Castillo admits that she feels intimately connected to the role of Teresa.

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“After 8 years, it’s been a long time. I know who Teresa is—she lives in me for so many reasons,” del Castillo said.

Over the show’s first season, Teresa grew from a humble and naïve young woman to a strong independent woman who made moves and took names in one of the most dangerous industries—the drug business.

A far cry from the telenovela soap operas of eras past where the quiet, pretty ingenue has to fall in love as a damsel in distress. Teresa took matters into her own hands, no matter how big the stakes were.

“She is so independent, not needing a man, not believing what people told her when she couldn’t do things. She fights for life, she is running her title,” del Castillo said of the character she portrays. 

“I think we all have that Teresa Mendoza inside of us, that empowers people. We don’t need any man to be happy and she proved that in so many ways—the thing is that she is in the wrong business,” del Castillo said. 

Teresa is known for striking a balance between femininity and being a tough drug lord boss—and that multidimensional character is what drew del Castillo to first play Teresa. 

“She is a human being because she is flawed and she commits mistakes and does terrible things, and that’s the way people relate to her. This is a character even men relate to. She thinks like a man but acts like a woman,” del Castillo said.

Despite the obvious difference between the actress and the character, del Castillo does connect with Teresa.

“Her strong independence, not taking sh*t from anybody, we’re both Mexican, and we both like tequila,” del Castillo admits.

Filming for the series took part in eight different countries, and one of the countries some scenes were set in was Mexico. Del Castillo says a double was used for her scenes in Mexico because she is unable to travel back to her home country. She was, however, able to travel to other locations, including Russia and Romania.

Now that shooting has wrapped and the show is premiering this month, del Castillo said it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a character she related to and went through so much with. 

“I enjoy playing her in every single scene. I wish I could play her more even,” del Castillo ruminates. “I need to let go of characters, you make them yours in so many ways.”

La Reina del Sur will return to Telemundo in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Monday, April 22. The show will be available globally on Netflix.

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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FBI Arrests Jerry Harris From ‘Cheer’ On Production Of Child Pornography Charge

Entertainment

FBI Arrests Jerry Harris From ‘Cheer’ On Production Of Child Pornography Charge

Update: September 17, 2020

Jerry Harris, the “Cheer” fan favorite, has been arrested by the FBI.

According to reports, Harris has been charged in federal court with the production of child pornography. The charge stems from a criminal complaint filed against Harris alleging that he sought sexual acts and photos from minors.

Harris was scheduled to appear before a court magistrate on Thursday to face the charge. The charge of the production of child pornography comes with a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if he is convicted.

The charges are connected to Harris’ alleged advances on a 13-year-old cheerleader. Harris, who was 19 at the time, was soliciting photos and videos from the minor on Snapchat in 2018. The charge also states that Harris confronted the young cheerleader in the bathroom at a cheerleading event and asked for solicited oral sex.

The news continues to shock and surprise people on social media.

The news broke earlier this week that the FBI had opened an investigation into Harris because of a complaint filed claiming the sexual misconduct. The charge includes several photos, videos, and messages sent between Harris and minors demanding sexually explicit images from the minors.

Original: Cheerleading star Jerry Harris, 21, gained national attention earlier this year when he was introduced to Netflix viewers in a six-part docuseries called “Cheer.” The series followed the nationally ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team as they prepared for a Daytona Beach competition. Fans of the show became captivated by Harris a cheerleader whose positivity and energy seemed utterly contagious. Soon after his appearance on the show, Harris rocketed to stardom and made appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” nabbed interviews with Variety magazine, and even made a guest appearance on the cheerleading themed song “Mas(k)ot” by Todrick Hall.

A recent revelation however is revealing that Harris’ standing as a lovable household name is no longer.

Recently, fans of Harris learned of an FBI investigation into him is underway and regards allegations that the celebrity cheerleader solicited sexually explicit photos as well as sex from minors.

In a statement to USA Today, Siobhan Johnson, a FBI special agent and public affairs officer said that “The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area.”

Harris has not been criminally charged.

The criminal investigation stems from allegations brought forward by 14-year-old twin brothers. The two minors claim that Harris made them endure a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions. The two claim the harassment started when they were 13 and Harris was 19 and continued for over a year.

At the start of August, Varsity Brands, a private company that governs the cheerleading industry, reported to police in Florida and Texas that its Chief Legal Officer Burton Brillhart had learned of “inappropriate sexual conduct” allegations against Harris. Brillhart reported the information to police officials as required by law.

“Harris is accused of asking one of the brothers to have sex with him in 2019 at two Varsity cheerleading competitions,” reports USA Today.

“As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,” Brillhart wrote.

Brillhart described Harris as a former employee and emphasized that he was no longer actively working for Varsity at the time of when the alleged incidents took place.

The current lawsuit against Harris claims that the Netflix star solicited explicit photos from the twin brothers and also asked one of the twins for oral sex.

So far, Harris has denied the accusations.

“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” a spokesperson for Harris said in a statement to Variety. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

The twin brothers are seeking $1 million in damages.

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