The Mexican actress talked exclusively to about her experience on the film Street Kings

Por Viviana P. Villalón/New York
Updated Abril 11, 2008
Credit: getty images

Martha Higareda is in Hollywood to stay. At just 24, the Mexican actress stars opposite Keanu Reeves in the film Street Kings, which opens in theaters on April 11th.

In an interview with, Higareda told us how she won the role of Grace García and the enviable opportunity to date Keanu Reeves –but only on-screen since the actress is in a loving, real-life relationship with a producer whose name she prefers to keep to herself.

How did you land your role in Street Kings?
I came to the United States in February of last year to work on a pilot. I really liked it here, so I kept going to castings. I auditioned for Street Kings, and I had to go back and audition a few more time after that. At first, they told me that me that the role was written for someone older than me, and they noticed I had an accent when I spoke in English. But when I showed them that I could talk without an accent, they said yes. How did you get rid of your accent?
I took classes with a specialist which helped me a lot. I had only one week to prepare myself. It was very hard.

Tell us about your character, Grace?
She is a nurse in an emergency room. Her parents are Mexican, but she was raised in the U.S. She is a courageous woman who has strength and hope.

What is the relationship between your character and Keanu's character, Tom Ludlow?
Being that she's a nurse, she saves the lives just like he is a police officer saves people's lives, protects them from bad guys. They have many reasons to be together. He gives her hope. P]What do you like the most about the movie?
That it has a lot of action. But unlike other movies in the action genre, this movie also cares a lot about the lives of its characters. It keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

And on a more personal level?
I really like the director, David Ayer, because he brought together a great cast, but he treated us all the same way. I loved the photography by another Mexican, Gabriel Beristáin. And of course, that it's my first movie in Hollywood.

How was it working with Keanu Reeves?
It was wonderful. He is a great person. Aside from the fact that he is a star who is known all around the world, he is a very good person and a generous actor. I have learned a lot from him.

What will be your next project in Hollywood?
I have two more films coming up with fox. Then I am going to Mexico to shoot another film. I want to expand my horizon.

Who do you admire?
Salma Hayek. I love her courage because she's changed many things in the U.S., in the way people look at Mexicans, the roles that we're offered. I also love how talented and beautiful she is.