Queen of the South is an amazing series to have on your watchlist. Of course, following the transformation of an individual into a druglord isn’t exactly a new story – Breaking Bad is still fresh in our minds. But how many times have you seen this type of story told through a woman’s perspective?
For everyone who is interested in crime series, Queen of the South is a must-watch. It tells the real story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a woman born into the slums of Mexico who flees the country after her boyfriend is killed by members of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel. After crossing the border, she starts working for a massive drug dealer in Dallas and slowly realizes she’s got a knack for running this type of business. The series ran for five seasons on USA Network and ended in mid-2021.
Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga)
The Queen of the South herself… but not quite yet. Since the series is based on a real story, the earlier seasons chronicle the tumultuous path Teresa had to navigate in order to become one of the most dangerous women in the world. But don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler – in the very first episode Teresa tells us exactly what is going to happen to her across the series, and the journey is certainly more important than how it ends.
Alice Braga is a Brazilian actor and the niece of legendary actor Sônia Braga. Alice was featured in some of Brazil’s most famous films such as City of God and Lower City. She was also in acclaimed international films like Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness, but became known internationally after starring in I Am Legend, opposite Will Smith. She has since worked in several countries, and was seen most recently in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
Doña Camila Vargas (Veronica Falcón)
The queen before the Queen. After separating from her powerful druglord husband, Camilla goes to Dallas, Texas to start running a local drug-trafficking business. She becomes both a cautionary tale and a mentor of sorts to Teresa, who learns that women must have two extra layers of thick skin in order to survive this business – and can’t ever show emotion if they make it to the boss rank.
Veronica Falcón was already a prominent actor in Mexico before being introduced to international audiences. She was featured in HBO Latin America’s Capadocia, a series that chronicled day-to-day lives of female inmates in a Mexican prison. After Queen of the South, her talent quickly attracted Hollywood attention, and she has since been featured in shows like Perry Mason, Why Women Kill, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and most recently, Ozark. In film, Falcón starred in The Forever Purge and is set to join the cast of best-selling novel adaptation Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in 2022.
Brenda Parra (Justina Machado)
Teresa’s best friend was the wife of a high-ranking drug trafficker that gets brutally murdered after trying to double cross the Vargas cartel. After watching her husband get killed, Brenda flees Mexico with her son and tries to start a new life in Dallas, but she discovers it’s not going to be easy to do.
Justina Machado is a long-time friend of TV fans, as she left her mark in several famous shows that are still remembered such as Six Feet Under and ER. Recently, she was featured in Jane the Virgin and was the lead in Netflix’s series One Day at a Time.
Don Epifanio Vargas (Joaquim de Almeida)
A Mexican druglord and head of the Vargas cartel, Epifanio realizes he will have full control of Sinaloa, Mexico if he is elected governor of the state. So, he begins a crusade for the ultimate power that puts the lives of whoever stands in his way in extreme danger. He becomes even more dangerous when his wife Camilla decides to leave him and take under her wing an informant that has crucial information about the Vargas cartel.
Joaquim de Almeida is a Portuguese actor who was featured in some Hollywood cult and classic movies such as Behind Enemy Lines, Desperado, and Clear and Present Danger. In Fast Five, he played a Brazilian druglord, and he also booked several other Portuguese-speaking roles, most recently in the Brazilian series Aruanas. He was also in Netflix’s Warrior Nun.
James Valdez (Peter Gadiot)
Right-hand man of Camilla, James has learned to never underestimate his boss, and ended up earning her full trust. When Teresa makes it to Camilla’s compound, he realizes she’s in way over her head and starts to give useful advice that keeps her alive and – most importantly – on the good side of Camilla Vargas.
Peter Gadiot started his acting career barely over a decade ago and is making a swift rise to prominence. The first role that got him noticed internationally was in short-lived ABC’s spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. After that, he was in the spy series Matador and briefly guest starred on Supergirl. After Queen of the South, he immediately booked a role on Showtime’s Yellowjackets.
Cesar “Batman” Guemes (Gerardo Taracena)
Right-hand man of Epifanio, “Batman” does whatever his boss tells him to do. For Camilla, he’s an important person to keep track of, in order to know her husband’s moves, but Cesar’s loyalty rarely falters. He understands that the reason he’s kept alive is his tendency to not ask questions, but being too loyal also has its price.
Early is his career, Geraldo Taracena booked minor roles in big-shot movies like Tony Scott’s Man on Fire and Gore Verbinski’s The Mexican. He was also in Mel Gibson’s ambitious project, Apocalypto, spoken only in Yucatec Mayan. He was recently in History Channel’s Texas Rising and on Narcos: Mexico.
Pote Galvez (Hemky Madera)
Another member of the Vargas cartel, Pote is a lieutenant that doesn’t see things as black and white like his friend “Batman.” The problem is that Epifanio Vargas, leader of the cartel, is not a man who deals well with lackeys who question authority, which might make Pote’s loyalty land elsewhere.
Hemky Madera started his career with minor roles in TV series such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Shield, Brothers & Sisters and My Name Is Earl. His first recurring role was in Showtime’s Weeds. After that, he had recurring roles in Ash vs Evil Dead, Perry Mason, and IFC’s Brockmrire. He was also in Spider-Man: Homecoming and La La Land.
Raymundo “Guero” Davila (Jon-Michael Ecker)
Teresa’s first boyfriend is a drug dealer who taught her to always have plans B, C, D ready to go… and as many solutions for every situation in the trafficking world that might get you killed — and then possibly have a plan in case you do get killed in order to protect your loved ones. The problem is, getting too smart with drug kingpins is not always the best idea, and may put a target on your back.
Jon-Michael Ecker started his acting careers in telenovelas and spent a long stint in two of them: Popland! and Telemundo’s Corazón Valiente. After that, he starred in Gossip Girl Acapulco, the Spanish-language version of the CW hit series. Before Queen of the South, he starred in Netflix’s Narcos. After playing Guero, he went on to star on Firefly Lane and Chicago Fire.
They also talk about the amazing VFX on King Shark.
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