MIAMI – Cristina Urgel, the Spanish actress who plays drug trafficker Patricia O’Farell in the television soap opera “La Reina del Sur,” said that she would have done anything to land the role.
“You read the book and you say to yourself: ‘I want this role.’ Since I studied theater, strong characters attract me, ones different from me,” Urgel said.
“So if they would have said to me ‘Do you want to play a cocaine freak lesbian drug trafficker?’ Man, I wouldn’t have thought twice,” the 32-year-old actress said.
In the television series based on the international bestseller by Spaniard Arturo Perez-Reverte, Urgel plays a girl of Irish-Spanish origin who in prison gets to know Teresa (Kate del Castillo), the so-called “Queen of the South.”
There, she experiences an intense – and platonic – love affair with the powerful drug trafficker, in intimate scenes that, she said, she played without any sense of discomfort.
At the same time, she is aware that the novel touches on themes that are not only very serious but very controversial. In fact, some critics question whether or not “La Reina del Sur” glorifies underworld characters.
“First, we have to remember that this is a work of fiction. Second, in the novel it’s clear that Teresa didn’t choose that life. As she says at one point: ‘This life chose me.’” Unfortunately, many people find themselves drawn to this type of life that is so sad and so hard. Teresa, for example, loses everything that she loves.”