Kate del Castillo is back in action for the third season of “La Reina del Sur”.

Playing the anti-hero Teresa Mendoza in Telemundo’s drama “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South) has become second nature to its star, Kate del Castillo. In a way, her hectic career as a producer, actress and entrepreneur mirrors her character’s upstream struggle against patriarchy, gunless and smuggling.

Speaking via Zoom from the UK, where he is working on the indie film “A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea & Tomorrow” with director Katherine Fairfax Wright, del Castillo reflected on the parallels between handling the challenges of his multifaceted career and those faced by Mendoza. in the long-awaited third season of the show, which will debut on October 18 on Telemundo. “La Reina” is a co-production by Telemundo and Netflix, which holds the international rights to the series.

The new season sees protagonist La Reina once again facing the brutal male cartels of South America, recovering four years after US authorities convicted her of the murder of three law enforcement officers. The season opens with Mendoza raging inside a cell where she was in solitary confinement for 1,493 days.

Revisiting his on-screen alter-fa required some tweaking, given Mendoza’s storyline.

Based on the novel of the same name by Spanish journalist Arturo Perez-Reverte, the series was Telemundo’s most ambitious series production to date, culminating in an international Emmy award for the second season.

“La Reina” emerged as a huge hit for Telemundo in 2011 when the network began experimenting with shorter drama series designed to run for multiple seasons rather than the traditional soap opera format that has been the staple of Spanish-language TV. Season 2 of “La Reina” arrived seven years later, in 2019. Season 3 includes 60 episodes.

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This time, in contrast to previous iterations that have seen Teresa Mendoza move through Europe and other parts of the world, the third season only shows Latin America. Filming took place in iconic locations such as the Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia, Machu Picchu in Peru, the glaciers of Argentina and Santa Marta in Colombia.

As he has already done, del Castillo spent nearly eight months on the series, filming this season in approximately 300 locations in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Mexico. In addition to keeping up with the hectic itinerary, the production had to follow strict COVID protocols.

“We were so afraid that production would have to shut down at some point, but we were lucky,” del Castillo recalled. Ironically, she caught the virus once she returned home to Los Angeles.

Revisiting his on-screen alter-fa required some tweaking, given Mendoza’s storyline.

“The hardest part was losing weight. Nobody asked me, but I thought someone in solitary confinement for years would definitely lose weight, “she remarked, adding:” It was challenging, I wasn’t eating at all! ”

The third season of “La Reina del Sur” was written by Lina Uribe and Darío Vanegas. Directors included Carlos Bolado, Carlos Villegas and Claudia Pedraza. Marcos Santana, who stepped down from his previous role as president of Telemundo Global Studios in January, is executive producer and showrunner of the series, along with fellow executive producers Ximena Cantuarias of Telemundo and AG Rodrigo Guerrero of Studios.

In the nearly a dozen years since “La Reina” made del Castillo a star in the United States, the actor who first made his mark as a soap opera star in his native Mexico has also starred in the Netflix drama series. “Ingobernable”. He produced the Netflix documentary “The Day I Met El Chapo,” about his fateful 2016 trip with actor Sean Penn to meet the now jailed drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman in his hideout. He also launched his own production company, Cholawood Productions, and has starred in several films.

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In 2019, Cholawood signed a first pact with Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog, a division of Banijay Americas.

He holds meetings “every single day” with his partners in Cholawood, Carmen Cervantes and Jessica Maldonado who run the company. “We are Latinas, we are women, so we have to keep up with things,” she remarked.

Cholawood is now in post-production on “A Beautiful Lie,” a contemporary Spanish-language version of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” which he produced with Endemol Shine Boomdog. The six-episode series was filmed in Mexico City earlier this year with del Castillo starring.

“We are telling a story with strong female characters where infidelity is an important element. We will also address various mental health issues, including postpartum depression, and the sometimes disastrous impact social media can have on people’s lives, especially public figures, “del Castillo explained when the project was announced.” a modern twist from the female point of view. “

The action thriller “Hunting Ava Bravo”, which Cholawood co-produced with Spain’s The Mediapro Studio, was released on August 19 on Amazon Prime Video in Mexico and Latin America and on Roku in the United States.

Among Cholawood’s various projects in development is a late night talk show, with del Castillo as a guest. “Time to have more female talk show hosts,” she said.

In his spare time, del Castillo also oversees an award-winning tequila company, Honor. His success in the alcohol world was not easy, nor was it simply a matter of lending his name to a liquor brand.

“To be honest, it’s a very macho affair. I am the only Mexican (female) celebrity who owns a tequila business. It was really hard, but I’m so proud of it, ”she said.

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