A new season of La Reina del Sur is back on Telemundo. Nine years after the series aired, the network brought back in April the popular story of narco queen Teresa Mendoza, played by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Based on the novel by Spanish writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the story also inspired an English-language series —Queen of the South starring Brazilian actress Alice Braga— which aired on USA Network in 2016.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
“After nine years I’m very nervous, very excited to return to the screen because it’s a phenomenon”, Kate del Castillo told People en Español about the hit series coming back to Telemundo. “La Reina del Sur is not like all other series. La Reina del Sur has remained relevant all these years because they play reruns, because people keep talking about the series.”
The character of Teresa Mendoza is inspired by a real woman, Mexican drug dealer Sandra Ávila Beltrán, known as “The Queen of the Pacific”.
The first season of La Reina del Sur was filled with steamy loved scenes between Kate del Castillo and costar Ivan Sánchez. The Spanish hunk did not return to the second season, where we see new faces like actor Mark Tacher and Eduardo Yañez joining the cast.
From popular narcocorridos (songs that speak of the trials and tribulations of narcos) to hit narco series like Narcos, El Señor de los Cielos and Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso —not to mention classic films like Scarface and El Padrino— fictional drug dealers have become a pop culture phenomenon.
Alice Braga told People en Español she was thrilled about getting the rol of Teresa Mendoza in Queen of the South, previously played by Kate del Castillo in La Reina del Sur. “I loved playing her because I read the book and fell in love with the character. Back then Eva Mendes was going to star in the movie, but that project fell through. Then Kate Del Castillo did the telenovela with Telemundo and when they called me for the series I was excited because it was a character I had fallen in love with”.
PLAYING THE QUEEN
“It was a lot of fun” Braga said of playing Teresa Mendoza. “There’s a lot of action. I did crossfit exercises and yoga”, she said of preparing her body for the stunts.”I tried to be very natural”.
In a brilliant twist to unite two hit series, Mexican actor Rafael Amaya (who starred as drug dealer Aurelio Casillas in Telemundo’s El Señor de los Cielos) had a guest role on Queen of the South.
A TIMELESS CHARACTER
“It was an interesting challenge”, Braga said of playing the narco queen, who starts out as an innocent and vulnerable girl who gets trapped into the scary world of drug dealers.
Stepping into the narco queen’s designer shoes takes a lot of confidence and style. The Brazilian actress says her aunt, legendary actress Sonia Braga, was a big inspiration in bringing out the glam guns in Queen of the South.