Kate del Castillo is one of Mexico’s most famous celebrities. It’s not because she met the notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, either. Before she met him and released the shocking Netflix documentary about her experience, The Day I Met El Chapo, Del Castillo was known for her telenovela roles.
She starred in Mágica Juventud, Dueños del Paraíso, and La Reina del Sur—the novela she’s best known for. Aside from making a name for herself, she also comes from a well-respected family. Her dad is Don Eric del Castillo, one of Mexico’s most beloved actors.
But ever since the telenovela star met with the narcos kingpin, things haven’t been the same. She currently cannot enter Mexico because she’s still being pursued by the Mexican government over her “El Chapo” incident.
However, Del Castillo is in a much better place than what we saw in her documentary. She’s the lead in Netflix’s Spanish-language show, Ingobernable (ungovernable), which enters its second season on September 14th. Ironically, her character, Emilia Urquiza, is also being pursued by the Mexican government.
Kate del Castillo: I feel very proud. To do a second season of a show that I personally love, and one that reminds me a lot of when I was living in Mexico…and that has to do with Mexico and portrays Mexico just the way it is, it’s amazing for me. And to play this character, which nobody has played before, the First Lady of Mexico, it’s an honor.
KDC: It’s a much better season in every single way. We see an Emilia that’s more mature. She’s gonna go through so much pain emotionally and physically that I don’t know how she’s gonna survive, to be honest. It’s really hard to play a woman that goes through so much because as actors, you don’t know which way to go. You think that you’ve been through all the ways and then there’s something new and something else you can do. It’s gonna be a surprise for a lot of people because it has a turnaround that is really big.
KDC: The first season was a little bit challenging for me because I was going through a similar thing in Mexico with the Mexican government. I was being pursued by the Mexican government and Emilia was being pursued by the Mexican government and I was like ‘Oh my god, this is just too much.’ In that moment I couldn’t laugh, because I was going through it, but now I do. I learned a lot and I let it all out through Emilia. I made myself stronger and I think I made the character stronger just because I brought my own life to it.
KDC: It is, absolutely. I’ve always been outspoken and I love to be in a show that is outspoken—and not only the show, but Netflix in general. They have no censorship, and that’s what I think, as an audience, we all want. I don’t want someone that’s not telling me the truth or that’s afraid of saying things. I feel very proud to be in this show because of that, and because after what I was going through, Netflix had no fear or regrets. They were always with me and I will always love that. Right now is another era and we have to be outspoken, we’re not gonna tolerate not being outspoken.
KDC: I’m a feminist, so I love that she’s a powerful woman. She’s not powerful because of her looks or because of the size of her breasts. She’s smart, she’s sensible, and she’s strong. It’s hard to find a leading lady like that.
KDC: That’s a hard question because they’re like my kids. It’s like Sophie’s Choice. They’re similar but they’re very different characters. I was actually very worried about me being able to differentiate between them and that people were going to say, ‘I’m watching Emilia as La Reina del Sur or La Reina del Sur as Emilia.’ I would die. At the end of the day, they’re both strong and powerful women but what moves Emilia and what moves Teresa is completely different.
La Reina del Sur and Teresa Mendoza gave me a lot in my career, in my personal life, and it was such a beautiful time and she’s an amazing character. She’s the anti-heroine and Emilia is a heroine. Playing Emilia came in a very hard moment in my life and I took it.
KDC: I think it’s just being healthy. I think when you’re a happy person and you’re not bitter, I believe that everything comes from the inside—and it shows. I eat healthy, I take care of myself, I love myself, I’m my favorite person, I treat myself the way I want to be treated, and I drink a lot of water and exercise. And I drink a lot of tequila, too—we have to have fun in order to be happy. Then the next day, I exercise a lot and then all the tequila comes out and I feel detoxed. And then I drink again. No, I’m kidding…[laughs].
KDC: Yes, and women, especially. We’re always taking care of somebody else— either it’s your kids, your husband, your tonto novio, or whatever. It’s like in the airplanes, you first have to have the mask, and then you put it on the other person. If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anybody else.