After several years of starring in some of Mexico’s biggest television shows, Cristina Rodlo has taken Hollywood by storm. With two back-to-back roles in much talked about series, Rodlo’s star is on the rise.
We chatted with the actress about her exciting new roles, how her training in Mexico prepared her for Hollywood, and what the future holds for the budding star.
You’re currently stealing the show in the Amazon original Too Old to Die Young. Tell us about the show and your role as Yaritza, a cartel hit woman.
CRISTINA RODLO: The way I like to explain what Too Old to Die Young is about, is this: There’s a cop who is having issues with who he is and what he does for a living; a drug lord who’s seeking revenge; a mysterious girl who is married to the drug lord, but has a hidden life outside the cartel and calls herself The High Priestess of Death; and a medium who helps people that have suffered from rape and prostitution. All of those lives are connected in one way or another and we are going to see these characters either make the world better or destroy it. Yaritza was such an amazing character to play. She is a “vigilante” even though she’s married to a drug lord. She wants to help all the women that are suffering from prostitution or human trafficking, and to do so she starts killing all the men that she knows are involved.
What drew you to this role?
CR: I was drawn to the power of Yaritza. She is a woman ready to gain back the throne. She’s extremely smart, mysterious and always in control of every situation, even though at times it may not seem that way. To play Yaritza has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. She is obscure but at the same time she is pure light. She is the yin and the yang. I think every female would feel drawn to this character because Yaritza is all about empowering women.
You’re following up Too Old to Die Young with a role in AMC’s horror anthology, The Terror: Infamy. What can we expect for your role as Luz Ojeda?
CR: You can expect the opposite of Yaritza! Luz is a girl who’s studying to become a nurse but Pearl Harbor happens and her life changes completely because she is madly in love with a Japanese American. Luz is sweet, naïve and young. She has a bright feature ahead of her, but life has something else planned for her.
You have a decade of experience in your native Mexico. How has that experience prepared you to take on the U.S. market?
CR: I think there’s no possible way I could be as ready or prepared as I am now if it wasn’t for Mexico. We do shows and movies with less money compared to Hollywood, so the time to prepare a role for a movie or a show could be a month, or you start working the next day. I’m not even kidding. You always have to be ready, you have to memorize between 20 to 30 scenes a day, depending on the show you’re on. As such, after being in Mexico the first year, I gained a confidence that probably in the US would’ve taken me five years. I worked—thank God—nonstop in Mexico for the last seven years of my life, so there’s no better training an actor can have than to be on set most of the time. I also got very lucky because I got to work with some of the best actors in Mexico, so I learned a lot from them too. When you get the opportunity to work as regularly as I did in Mexico with roles that are very different from one another, you just have to be grateful and honored because there are so many actors fighting for the same dream. When one of us has the opportunity to be on set, we have to treasure that moment and learn every minute of it.
What’s next for you after these two exciting roles?
CR: Keep looking for more exciting and meaningful roles.
You are based in LA. What are your favorite hangouts in the city?
CR: Oh! There’s so many. Loupiotte Kitchen in Los Feliz, Los Feliz 3 Cinemas, The Observatory/Griffith Park, The Factory Kitchen in DTLA. I recently just went to The Broad Museum and I loved it. Grand Central Market, Cassia in Santa Monica, and the beach.
Photography by: Photography by Daniel Prakopcyk