For Colombian trans actress Aria Jara, life has not been a smooth road. She has faced numerous challenges in pursuing her passion for acting.

Born and raised in the city of Fusagasugá, Aria Jara always dreamed of being an artist. Her inspiration were the performances of actors like Andrés Parra on her television screen. However, fulfilling her dreams would be no easy matter.

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Jara worked as a model in Bogotá for a time, using the opportunity as a springboard to further her acting career.

But bit by bit, she began to get discouraged as her dreams seemed increasingly unattainable. However, moments before she gave up and left the Colombian capital, an unexpected opportunity knocked on her door.

Aria Jara was invited to participate in the casting for the Gabriela/Lady Massacre role in Prime Video’s dystopian film “Los Iniciados.”

“I didn’t have high hopes,” she confessed to mitú.

But Aria Jara didn’t need hope, for she had talent to spare

“When I saw her, I knew we had found our Lady Masacre,” recalled renowned Colombian writer Mario Mendoza, known for his noir novels and the creator of “Los Iniciados.” “This is my first project for TV, and I couldn’t have asked for a better actress to bring this character to life,” he added.

The challenge and blessing of working with giants

“I was in shock for several days after being told I had the role. What a way to start my acting career, working with these giants and one of our literature’s most special characters,” Aria Jara still marvels, pointing to Mendoza and her costars: Andrés Parra and Jorge Cao.

For his part, Parra, who became a superstar thanks to his portrayal of Pablo Escobar in “El Patrón del Mal,” is convinced that “the ‘no’s are over for Aria. In this movie, everybody will be able to see what she can do as an actress.”

The journey from Fusagasugá

Aria Jara’s road to success as a trans woman has been filled with pain and joy. Growing up in a small town, landing a role like the one in “Los Iniciados” was an effort full of struggles.

“Being a trans kid is never easy. Being a trans kid in the center of Colombia was something else,” she recalls. “Luckily, I have never tried to fit. I believe you have to create your reality and make your own space,” she added.

But Jara found support from her community, which helped her embrace her authentic self and continue to pursue her dreams.

Image courtesy of Prime Video.

Becoming Lady Massacre

Aria Jara knew very little about Mario Mendoza and his work before preparing for the casting. “I have to confess I wasn’t a reader,” she said. However, everything changed when she started to explore Mendoza’s books.

“Initially, it was just to research the character, but I became a fan little by little,” she added.

Her preparation for the character included hours in the gym, daily wrestling practices, and a deep immersion in Bogotá’s trans scene.

“I was part of the community, of course, but now we are family. Representing them accurately and with honor is my biggest responsibility and pride,” a very emotional Jara expressed.

“Everybody needs to be seen and see themselves in others,” she emphasized.

Lady Masacre is a trans fighter from the city of Kasbah 

The character represents the ferocity of survivors in a dystopian future where water is poisoned, and the world is ending due to climate crimes. Her given name is Gaby Lopez, and she keeps her alter ego a secret.

“When I think of Lady Massacre now, I see Aria. I don’t even remember the image I had of the character when I was writing it,” admitted Mendoza.

Lady Masacre partners with journalist-turned-sleuth Frank Morales, played by Parra, to investigate and stop a series of crimes in Kasbah, the first Latin American dystopian city recreated for the movie in Bogotá.

For Jara, her character represents “the strength and hope of humanity in a world becoming less and less human. The movie is a cautionary tale. We have to protect our planet.”

Aria Jara is breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes in the entertainment industry with her talent and determination. Her story is about achieving success and inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves and follow their passions regardless of the obstacles they face.