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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.