Decked out in makeshift hoochie apparel and chola makeup, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo gets down in her latest movie role for “K-11”, where she portrays Mousey; a fierce, transgender convict who’s “the queen” of L.A. county’s K-11 jail unit that separates gay and transgender inmates from the rest.
And while the role of Mousey is a far cry from Kate del Castillo’s “Muchachitas” telenovela days where she debuted to Mexican audiences in 1991 as the beautiful Leticia – a character every girl watching could envision herself as – the complex role of Mousey brings to light the fact that Latina actresses working in the U.S. are slowly ditching the usual typecasts as maids, sex objects, and comedic housewives, for more dimensional and daring characters like Mousey.
“She’s like, freaky”, joked Kate during an interview at the San Diego Latino Film Festival’s screening of “K-11,” which also happens to be the opera prima of Kristen Stewart’s mother, Jules Stewart.
“I feel so much pride when I see myself in that makeup, and to see how much I changed physically,” she professed.
“Everything about Mousey was a challenge, if it weren’t, I wouldn’t have done it… I always choose roles that scare me,” revealed the 40 year-old actress while referring to some of the darker scenes in the film, which undoubtedly took courage on her part to play out.
For Kate del Castillo, Mousey is the latest from a list of alternative characters she’s undertaken ever since beginning to work as an actress on this side of the border, like her leading roles as a mafia boss in “La Reina del Sur” and the also gender bending role of Cleotilde in “Without Men”.
Yet, Kate says she isn’t trying to prove anything, but that as an actress, she simply gravitates toward “different” projects.
“Latina actresses are not the ones who are boxed in, it’s the producers who are boxed in because they still don’t view us in a different manner,” she responded in answer to whether or not she felt Latina actresses in the U.S. still suffered from being typecast.
“It’s changing, but very slowly. At least in this pilot season, I’ve read many scripts, and in many of them there are important characters for Latinos…There’s still a lot of work to be done, pero ahí vamos.”
Los Angeles: Laemmle’s NoHo Theater, March 15 -22
New York: Cinema Village, March 15 – 22
San Diego: Digital Gym (Grand Opening), March 29 – April 5
San Francisco: Roxie Theater, March 22 – 29
Columbus: Gateway Film Center, March 15 – 22
Denver: Starz Film Center, March 22 – 29
Tempe: Harkins Valley Art, March 15 – 22
Daytona: Cinematique of Daytona, March 23 (Special engagement)
Thanks to @LibertineFilms