Teresa Mendoza

Could There be a ‘Reina Del Sur Part II’ Without Kate Del Castillo?

kate del castillo la reina del sur part two

Could any other actress bring Teresa Mendoza to life?

What!?  Say it ain’t so!  That’s exactly what I’m thinking right now too.  According to recent reports from Mexican media, La Reina Del Sur… Part Deux, could very likely take place without Kate Del CastilloN O O O O O O O!!!!! That’s exactly how I feel every time I hear that.  Apparently, the Mexican actress herself tweeted the following message about rumors that were going around saying she was already on board to reprise her role as Teresa Mendoza:

http://twitter.com/katedelcastillo/status/202128065533456384

Ouch!  That’s gotta hurt.  Not to mention, that’s not what Kate told me just last month when we spoke over the phone.  Here’s what she said then:

Yes, there have been talks.  The truth is there have been, but there is nothing confirmed or concrete right now.  We’d have to see first if Arturo Perez-Reverte has that story to tell… If there is a story, then we have something to work with, but we can’t just do something for the sake of doing it, especially given the success La Reina Del Sur has achieved.  It would have to be something good that people would enjoy.  No puede ser algo chafa. 

But now, these new reports are saying that Arturo Perez-Reverte has already given the green light for Telemundo to produce the sequel to La Reina Del Sur.  Whether that’s true or not, my question to you is this one – Could there be a Reina Del Sur without Kate Del Castillo?

If so, who could play that role?  Would the sequel be as successful as the first part?  And what about El Gallego?  Would he be gone too?

So many questions in my head right now!

Q&A: Kate Del Castillo on the Runaway Hit ‘La Reina Del Sur’

The last time Kate Del Castillo and I exchanged words it was in person.  She was at the peak of her post Reina Del Sur fame and she was in Houston for a promotional event.  We chit-chatted over a couple of drinks in a room full of other Del Castillo fans who were just as awestruck as myself to be in her presence.  Kate was friendly and open to our conversation, albeit a little bit guarded due to the gawking going on in the room, but there just wasn’t enough time that time for any real conversation with the Mexican actress.   This week, however, I unexpectedly had the opportunity to talk to her one-on-one over the phone about her role in La Reina Del Sur and a couple of other topics, including the whole Twitter controversy and the rumors about a sequel to this runaway hit of a series.

q&a kate del castillo on la reina del sur

Kate del Castillo

She was friendly and bien mexicana as usual, throwing out phrases like pa no regarla and no puede ser chafa, during our 20 minute conversation.  The funny thing is I was more nervous to talk to her one-on-one over the phone than I was to have met her in person.  A couple of times I was just mumbling to her, LOL!  I think it was that deep Teresa-esque voice that made me shake in my boots.  Despite my clumsiness we managed to have quite the interesting conversation.  For the sake of this blog post I have translated her interview from Spanish to English.

I hope you enjoy it, and by the way thanks to all of you who submitted questions for me to ask.  I tried to get as many of them in there as possible.  The final episode of La Reina Del Sur will be aired this week, Thursday, June 14, 2012, on  mun2

Me:  What one question would you have liked to ask the “real” Teresa Mendoza if you would have had the chance to meet her?

Kate:  Oh my… how did she bare with all this tragedy around her, and what is her life like now, now that everyone around her is gone? …Why she made the choices she made even though she knew a lot of them were wrong?  I think that’s what made her great… and so interesting.

Me:  Do you have a theory about what happened to La Reina Del Sur?  Do you think she’s still alive?

Kate:  Oh no!  No.  No.  She’s not real.  It’s based on real events, but it’s definitely fiction. (laughing)

Me:  Which do you consider has been the most challenging role of your career to date?

Kate:  Definitely one of the most difficult has been Teresa because she is a character that in many ways is similar to me, and those are the hardest roles to play.  Also because of the length of time in her life that we were bringing to the story, 10 years… to introduce her as the young innocent girl and to make her grow into La Reina Del Sur was not easy thing to do.  I also think the most recent movie role I just completed for K-11 where I play a transgender individual was also pretty challenging.  They’re both very controversial and difficult roles.  Difficult, because if you don’t play them just right they’re not believable.

Me:  Why do you choose such difficult and different roles for yourself?

Kate:  Well because they are the most difficult to interpret and I like things that scare me and that are difficult… roles that challenge me.  I’ve always said that “easy roles are not for me.”  The easy stuff doesn’t interest me.  I like to have fun.  I like to do things that are completely different.  I’m constantly in search of interesting characters.

Me:  What was the most challenging part about this character, and what do you think you identified most with about her?

Kate:  I think understanding her from her point of view.  Understanding why she did the things she did without judging her.  I think that’s the main thing as an actor, to not judge your characters, because if you do you start losing the ability to play them objectively… just trying to understand her was a constant challenge.  I think I most identified with her ability to love… that was one thing she did know how to do… What she was always trying to do was to survive.  Survive in a man’s world; survive in a world that was constantly getting harder and harder for her… she was always trying to survive.  For me, it was never that she wanted the life she led, but that it was her destiny and that those were the cards life had dealt her.

Me:  Is there a La Reina Del Sur Part II in the works, and are you a part of it if there is?

Kate:  Well I’m definitely very excited that there is so much interest out there.  It means that people would like to have a little bit more of this character and this story and that’s exciting… Yes, there have been talks.  The truth is there have been, but there is nothing confirmed or concrete right now.  We’d have to see first if Arturo Perez-Reverte has that story to tell… If there is a story, then we have something to work with, but we can’t just do something for the sake of doing it, especially given the success La Reina Del Sur has achieved.  It would have to be something good that people would enjoy.  No puede ser algo chafa. 

Me:  You seem to have a lot of respect for this character?

Kate:  A lot.  A whole lot.  And for all of the roles that I have ever played.  I can’t discount any of them.  If it’s not with Arturo Perez-Reverte well then there is no story, and he says the same thing – if there is no Kate there is no story.  So let’s just wait and see what happens… Right now there are only talks. 

Me:  What can we expect from Kate Del Castillo in the future?

Kate:  Hijole, pues no sé.  We never know.  For sure, I know lots of work… new and interesting projects are on the horizon.  I hope I get the opportunity to keep playing interesting and controversial roles like this one.

Me:  Do you think the entertainment industry is changing for Latinos, both in English and Spanish media outlets?

Kate:  Absolutely!  Slowly, but surely thing are changing… The truth is there are a lot of new projects where we are no longer just the maids and the gardeners, the prostitutes only.  There is a lot more variety and diversity in the opportunities out there… Strides have been made, but there is still a long way to go.

Me:  Will we be seeing you in Hollywood again soon?

Kate:  Hopefully, but you know, I go where there is work.

Me:  You have a long trajectory in the industry, is there a particular role that you look back at and think “oh my God, I can’t believe I did that?”

Kate:  Wow, well you know I had my first movie role at the age of nine… and well, there have been many, many of those.  We all have our embarrassing moments, no?  (laughing)

Me:  What can you tell me about the rest of the cast?

Kate:  All of the Spanish actors were wonderful and talented.  The truth is they are great friends of mine now.  We shared so much time together and faced so many obstacles together that we created a bond and a friendship.  They are all wonderful and I have nothing but appreciation for them… as far as the Mexican actors, what can I tell you?  Some of them I had already worked with, some of them I hadn’t, but all of them were great as well.  I have a lot of great memories from the telenovela.  It was a really fun project to be a part of.  I don’t have any bad memories from it, besides the long hours… (laughing)

Me:  So the investment on the part of Telemundo was worth it?

Kate:  Without a doubt!  Without a doubt it was a visionary move and I am sincerely grateful that they gave me the opportunity to play Teresa Mendoza.  It was a huge role for my career and it was a huge role for the network.

Me:  It sort of raised the bar for all other telenovelas right?

Kate:  Absolutely, I think things are constantly getting better… and I think the fact that the ratings for La Reina were higher than all of the other US major networks at times speaks volumes for the US Hispanic market and its prowess.

Me:  Some of my readers and I want to know how you manage to stay so youthful and beautiful all of the time?  Are there any beauty secrets you could share?

Kate:   I drink lots of water and make sure I eat well.  I also think exercise is important.  It helps a lot, no?

Me:  Now that you’re such an international star, how do you feel to be representing your country as a Mexican actress?

Kate:  Hay que lindo… gracias por eso.  Everywhere I go, I’m always very proud to pronounce that I am mexicana.  

Me:  I know there was some controversy about your opinions regarding the goverment in Mexico and the drug cartels.  Do you think people want you to have an opinion about it because of your role as Teresa Mendoza?

Kate:  I think so. I think some people are curious about what I might think about it because of the telenovela, but the truth is I really don’t have a lot to opinionate about this situation, especially when there have been so many deaths because of it in Mexico.  All I can say is that I am sad about what has happened and what is happening… but it is our Mexico and our country and we have to keep supporting it.

La Reina Del Sur Nominated for Best Telenovela in the World

¡YUPI!  I’m very excited by this news that just came out this week!  My favorite telenovela in recent times, La Reina Del Sur has just been nominated as the best international telenovela in the world!  You know I am completely de acordión with this nod and will be rooting for the Kate Del Castillo hit all of the way.  The nomination was received on behalf of the seventh annual Television Festival of Monte Carlo, which each year selects international programming with the highest ratings across an estimated 3 billion viewer audience in 65 different countries for their prestigious nominations.  That definitely deserves an ¡Ajua!     

reina del sur best novela in the world

Is La Reina Del Sur La Reina of all Telenovelas?

If you’ll recall, La Reina Del Sur was touted as Telemundo‘s most costly original program in history.  They spent well over $10 million in producing the mega hit before it went on to win critical acclaim and audiences across the world.  At one point there were rumors that it was going to be aired across 100 different countries.  La Reina Del Sur also propelled its protagonist, Kate Del Castillo into super stardom.

Por algo dicen ‘lo que vale cuesta.’  Congrats Telemundo on the nomination, and especially for having the foresight to produce such a different kind of telenovela!

The Television Festival of Monte Carlo awards will be presented on June 14, 2012.  We’ll have to wait until then to see if La Reina Del Sur is actually La Reina of all Telenovelas, at least for 2011.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Fell In Love With La Reina Del Sur

¡Se nos acabo La Reina Del Sur! I for one am entering withdrawals already.  Not in a long time had a telenovela connected with me in such a way as Telemundo’s megahit about the narco legend Teresa Mendoza did.  The reasons for loving the novela and our Teresa are many, and I could go on for days explaining them, but instead let me just share these 10 very personal reasons why I fell in love with La Reina Del Sur from the very beginning and as the television hit progressed.

Los Narcos de La Reina Del Sur

10. Teresa was strong.  ¡Indomable! The kind of woman that makes you pay attention, that you can’t help but gravitate towards, because she possesses so many admirable attributes, least of which are the ganas to seguir luchando and never give up.  How can we ever forget those scenes where she was running for her life at the beginning of the novela?

9. She took the bad things people said about her and used them to her advantage.  Teresa was a sudaca and La Mexicana, both meant in disparaging forms many a times, but she never let other people’s discrimination prevent her from demanding the respect she felt she deserved.

8. La Reina Del Sur was never afraid to kick some ass to defend herself.  Hasta con las puras garras she was willing to fight against those who tried to take advantage of her.  Teresa was fierce!  Just ask La Makoki or Sheila, two of the first to experience the wrath of Teresa Mendoza.  Era mujer de pocas palabras y pantalones bien puestos.

7. Mexicans were the center of attention for once, and not in a negative way.  Contrary to so many other internationally set movies and shows that always portray us Mexicans as a people of ignorance and little imagination, La Reina Del Sur cast Teresa Mendoza as a humble, but determined woman who was neither dumb nor helpless.  “Me veo mensa, pero no lo soy”.

6. The Cast.  Oh, the cast!  From Kate del Castillo herself, to Cristina Urgel, Humberto Zurita, Rafael Amaya, Ivan Sanchez, Alberto Jimenez, Gabriel Porras, Dagoberto Gama, and so many others, everyone was excellent in this novela.  My vote is already cast!  Best novela of the year, and best cast ever!

5. Friendships.  There was more than one occasion when I got all choked up because of the realness in the friendships that we saw unravel before our eyes on the novela. To name just a few, Fatima risking her life and her livelihood for Teresa, Ole being such a gentleman all of the time, el distinguido Sr. Pote, Patricia and Conejo, and of course the last scene between Patty and Teresa – that was the hardest one for me to keep a straight face through.

4. Teresa’s ability to love.  Despite losing everything and everyone she loved along the way, somehow Teresa always managed to believe in love again.  It was almost her demise, yes, but it was also what made her so human.  That despite being such a rich and powerful woman, cold almost, she could still manage to open her arms and heart to love over and over again… even at the end with her baby bump, she was in love.

3. The Action.  Wow!  We definitely got to see a lot more than we usually do in a telenovela.  My favorite scenes are two: 1) when Teresa gets to whip Ratas in the face with the back of her hand, and 2) the shoot out scene at the end.  That was awesome!  But in between there were also quite a few slaughters, the gun battles across multiple continents, and even the hanging of the snitch, Driss.

2. The moral of the story.  As cheesy as it sounds, the ultimate message of the novela to me was that good always triumphs over evil.  Sure Teresa was doing a bad thing, trafficking drugs and ordering people in her way to be eliminated, but she wasn’t the one who started the war.  In a way, it was self defense.  If she hadn’t finished her enemies off they would have finished her off.  When we leave our mexicana in the final scene of La Reina Del Sur she is tranquil and happy for the first time in a long time.  Good triumphing over evil once again, LOL!

1. The bad ass production by Telemundo of such a worthy story!  Not only did they tell Univision and the rest of the television networks out there that they are a force to be reckoned with, but they also told us, their audience, that they are willing to raise the stakes in quality productions to win over our viewership.  I for one am paying more attention to their future lineups.

La Reina Del Sur was my favorite novela in years, and to make up for her absence in my nightly programming I will likely be picking up the book by the same name.  Hopefully it will be as good as the show.

Share your reasons for loving our Teresa Mendoza.

Rich, Famous, and Vulnerable: La Reina Del Sur

Teresa y Patty

Our Mexicana is now definitely La Reina Del Sur!  Rich, powerful, strong, impeccably dressed, and more confident than we’ve ever seen her before.  Only now, she’s also vulnerable.  Much more vulnerable than she had ever been… than even when she was running for her life in little more than panties, a buttoned down shirt and her baby blue pumps clutched in her arms, trying to make her way out of Mexico as fast as she could.  Gone are the days when her street smarts were enough to keep her ahead of the pack, when she could walk around in disguise, or resolve any issues a puros madrazos.

As is her most loyal friend, Patricia O’ Farrell, La Tenienta, who herself was the victim of her own ingenuity.

This last progression es la que me tiene más apachurrado que cualquier otra. At the beginning, I’ll confess, I did not like Patty.  She was cocky, spoiled, arrogant and rich, probably the worst combination for a likable character in my book.  But then in jail… in jail we saw her unfold as a kindhearted, albeit still spoiled and pretentious, lovable sidekick to our increasingly brave mexicana. They lived, cried and laughed together in there.  One was always looking out for the other, and when that fire almost ended the lives of Teresa and Conejo, it was La Teniente who came to their rescue.  La Reina even thanked her with a drunken kiss, which she immediately took back and Patricia took to mean there was some possibility of “happily ever after” between them after all.

She held on to that dream as long as she could.

Una vez fuera de la carcel, it was Patty who brought Teresa to the level of Diva and Reina by sharing with her those kilos of coca.  O’ Farrell couldn’t have placed that drug in better hands.  Teresa had nothing to lose and she was well trained by both El Guero and Santiago to convince even the Russians to give her a shot.  The rest is history.  In came the millions of dollars, the yachts, the investments, the designer clothes, the fancy houses, the limelight, and eventually even la traición. Somehow, somewhere along that road La Reina Del Sur lost her most valuable ally, Patricia.

The one who had always been honest with her, who had never dreamt of betraying her, and who even in her last hours never thought once about damaging her by keeping from her what she had learned about Lupita.  With a final kiss from her Conde de Montecristo, O’ Farrell made her final departure and left, at least me, with a genuine sentimiento of sadness.  That while their luck seemingly had turned and they had become virtually untouchable, both Teresa and Patricia neglected to take care of the one relationship that had been genuine in their lives: their friendship.

Para mi, that was the biggest tragedy of Patty’s suicide.

Now, once again, La Reina Del Sur is all alone in the world.  Sure, she’s got her allies and the people that work for her, but nobody to trust beyond the shadow of a doubt.  The one good thing that has come from all of this is that finally, after all these months of being way too nice, the fire in Teresa’s eyes is back.  She’s spitting words and threatening lives left and right, determined to not let her Teniente’s death be in vain.  Maybe that was the ultimate purpose of Patty’s departure?  A wake up call for her partner in crime… or maybe, just maybe, I’m reading way too much into my favorite telenovela.

Lo que sí les digo es que este final de La Reina Del Sur ¡sí que estará bueno!

R.I.P.  Mi Tenienta, Patricia O’ Farrell!

Aquí los dejo con los últimos momentos de O’ Farrrell:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERSwje8H2jI]

Telemundo Lands a Hit with del Castillo in ‘La Reina del Sur’

Kate del Castillo and Rafael Amaya in Telemundo's 'La Reina del Sur'

From the beginning we’re captivated!  We find a docile, yet street smart, hopelessly in love, but never too gullible, Teresa Mendoza.  She’s somewhere in between running for her life, finding out there is no one left in her world that she can trust, and reminiscing through the early years of her relationship with boyfriend and narco, El Guero.  He teaches her how to shoot a gun, who and what to fear, and exactly what to do in case she gets that dreaded call telling her that he’s been killed.

Basically, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!

And we find out from Teresa that her life before Guero really has been no picnic, as she explains to him in one scene.  All the men in her life before him have only mistreated and abused her…so absolutely she’s willing to go in al todo por el todo with her new narcotraficante boyfriend who treats her like a Reina.  Only despite all of his warnings she seems not to have truly grasped the seriousness of their lifestyle until he’s dead and she’s jumping over buildings to avoid getting shot herself.  Definitely no Reina del Sur at this point, Teresa seems more a common rancherilla from Culiacan. Yet the beauty of Kate del Castillo’s acting prowess is that even in Mendoza’s ingenuity we can see that fiera who will later steal the show…as La Reina del Sur, of course.

Del Castillo is excellent as Teresa Mendoza, all at once sweet, innocent, brave and unrelenting.  A perfect match to her tosco but real lovable, and loving Guero of a boyfriend, played impeccably well by Rafael Amaya.  Maybe it’s their undeniably Mexican accents and slang, or just the way the pair make ojitos at each other, but their chemistry is definitely on fire.  Towards the end of the first episode veteran actor Humberto Zurita makes his appearance as El Guero’s only trusted ally and padrino, Epifanio Vargas. The cliffhanger, whether or not he will betray Teresa’s trust by killing her or having her killed by one of his men?

Therein lies my only true complaint about the new Telemundo series.  Can we avoid the obvious cliffhangers?  We all know she’s going to survive, just show us how she does it and give us all the action!

Kudos to Telemundo for snagging La Primera Actriz Kate del Castillo, as well as an all-star cast, including Zurita, Amaya and Camila Sodi.  You can definitely tell this is the network’s most costly original program and their investment seems slated for quite the success.   Univision even added an extra hour of their Triunfo del Amor, starring Cuban heartthrob William Levy, to compete par to par with La Reina del Sur’s Monday night premiere.  Like always, it’s all about the ratings for the networks…but I for one am coming back for more Reina and less Levy running around shirtless for no apparent reason.  ¿Apoco no?

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