The Colombian actress discusses the evolution of her role on Telemundo's hit show and what she's learned working with Kate del Castillo.
Anuncio
Isabella Sierra, Reina del Sur
Credit: Telemundo / Reina del Sur

Wisdom has no age limit, or in Isabella Sierra's case, no age minimum. The young actress not only brings wisdom to her role as Sofía Dantes but also a grace and poise that has been reserved for actresses twice her age.

The 17-year-old Colombia-born performer acts alongside the iconic Mexican actress Kate del Castillo's Teresa Mendoza as her daughter on Telemundo's hit show, La reina del sur. If the name rings a bell, that's because it has an English counterpart currently on Netflix: Queen of the South with Brazilian actress Alice Braga.

But Dantes, much like Mendoza, is just as fierce, determined and full of a lot of heart—something largely due to Sierra's skillful talent.

On what Sierra hopes fans will understand about her character this season, she tells People Chica, "Well, now she's a woman. She is a woman with a new character [who is] stronger. [One] with her own ideas because of what she has lived [and] her experiences. She will have some disagreements with Teresa, but there will always be love and respect for each other—from mother to daughter and daughter to mother."

In an exclusive interview with People Chica, the Colombian performer dishes what it's been like to work alongside del Castillo, why she's proud of her character's growth into womanhood and what she loves about her second passion: singing.

Isabella Sierra, Reina del Sur
Credit: Telemundo / Reina del Sur

In the upcoming season of La reina del sur, you are breathing life into Sofía Dantes, the daughter of Teresa Mendoza who has been portrayed by legendary actress Kate del Castillo. What was it like for you to share the screen with her? What is something she taught you about your craft through this process?

Well, it was a unique experience—one of the most enriching in my life and my career. I wouldn't trade the honor for anything. Very few people have the opportunity and the privilege of being able to share that moment with her. [It has been] nine years with a lot of learning, but what I always, always emphasize and highlight is her discipline and her love and her dedication to her work.

[She is one of the] women who, as we know, [has established] a super career with thousands of projects, but she always remains very passionate about what she does and [is] dedicated. So it's something I admire a lot—[that and] the continued respect for the people she works with. She respects everyone from the president of the company to the person who helps us with snacks [and] meals. 

Along with her mother, your character Sofia experiences the highs and lows of the organization that Teresa has created. Where did you pull inspiration from to help bring gravitas to your role? Why do you feel that the complexities of being the child of a cartel leader is one that needs to be told?

I think that many people are completely unaware of what Sofía has experienced because we have so much love for Teresa. Sometimes we don't understand [how hard it can be] for the nine-year-old girl [whose] mother killed her father. It was very hard and I remember [that] on social media [people were asking,] "Why did you get mad at Teresa?" 

Kate del Castillo, Reina del Sur
Credit: Telemundo / Reina del Sur

And it's very hard because Sofía grew up all her life thinking that her mother was a normal Mexican who can simply go to Italy [and] now she has [this] company and that is why she is living there and that her father died in an accident. [People don't] understand because it's very confusing for a girl who lived her whole life normally without knowing [anything else]. 

The moment when she finds out about everything that she is, about what Teresa is, it is obviously another shock—so it is a process that is hard and traumatic for a girl that is only nine years old. I highlight this because it is a very young age to experience all that she had to live through: an attempted sexual assault, physical and psychological abuse, and a kidnapping. But the maturity with which she handles everything is typically unseen for this part of childhood, and despite everything, she managed to forgive and she managed to overcome and continue with her life.

So I think it is something that we have to keep in mind because it is one thing to grow up in the middle of the streets surrounded by poverty [and] criminals. But it's another thing to live your whole life in a bubble and be released to the street, where all this is even more complex. I feel very identified with the sense of maturity that we have managed to find because I have been in acting since I was very young—since I was ten years old.

Isabella Sierra, Reina del Sur
Credit: Telemundo / Reina del Sur

What is one thing you hope fans of the show understand about Sofía this season?

Well, now she's a woman. She is a woman with a new character [who is] stronger. [One] with her own ideas because of what she has lived [and] her experiences. She will have some disagreements with Teresa, but there will always be love and respect for each other—from mother to daughter and daughter to mother.

It is very beautiful and I really liked this season how her mom showed so much respect for her daughter, which is something very important. We are going to see a fiercer Sofía, much more courageous and much more protective of the people around her in the same way that Teresa is with her loved ones.

Not only are you a talented actress, but you are also a talented singer. What is your favorite thing about acting? What is your favorite thing about singing?

I feel like acting allows me to experience things that I will never experience in my life. In the sense that, obviously, I am not going to grab a gun and I am going to run from the law. I look forward to experimenting with different characters, and different emotions or playing with my actual ages—tomorrow I might be three and I'd get [aged up to] seven. 

I think it's something very wonderful to play with and learn a little more about society. That's what acting requires of you—how you play characters, you have to meet all kinds of people to be able to have tools to create a character. 

But with music, I like singing because I can show who I really am. I choose what I want to sing. I choose how I want to dress for a show. I choose what I want to convey, the characters I choose, and what is going to be a message for people. I also really like writing.

I discovered that when I started composing, for example, I can put all my ideas, and my thoughts on a page and be able to sing, and it's something that I love. Apart from the fact that I do it with my brother and cousin. I love my cousin, I admire her. [Working with her is] one of the best things I've ever.