Karla Souza, star of the new feature film “Everybody Loves Somebody,” had found a lot of acting success in her home country of Mexico appearing in popular telenovellas and movies like “Verano de Amor,” “Los Héroes del Norte” and “Nosotros Los Nobles.”
Then, despite friends and family questioning her sanity, Souza left the safety of the work she was doing in Mexico to pursue a career in the United States.
“I had people calling me saying it was the worst decision I could make. Everyone kept telling me about other actors who had moved to Los Angeles and not found work,” Souza says. “But I had started tasting fame and success and being in a comfort zone. That was dangerous.”
Souza, 31, had seen too many actors “become monsters” as soon as they found stardom. That attention wasn’t why Souza spent her life studying acting around the world. She didn’t want to be cast in roles because her last work had been very popular, but wanted to get work based solely on her talent.
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Despite how well things were going, Souza moved to Los Angeles to pursue English-language roles. She’s not missed a beat since making that decision, landing a role immediately on the ABC series “How To Get Away with Murder” and “Everybody Loves Somebody.”
And if those two jobs weren’t enough, Souza was also set to star in the first Spanish-language series for Netflix, “Club de Cuervos.” She decided to go with “How to Get Away with Murder” because Souza wanted to act in English-speaking roles.
The language of any role has not been a problem for Souza, who is fluent in Spanish, English and French.
In “Everybody Loves Somebody,” she plays Clara Barro, a successful OB-GYN who can’t get her love life together. She faces some major decisions when she must deal with a potential new boyfriend and an ex-boyfriend who comes back into her life after 10 years.
The film features both Spanish and English. The decision of when to use one language or the other was based on the actors hired for the roles. She speaks Spanish with those playing her family but English when dealing with most of her patients.
Many of the the decisions on language were made during filming. Souza liked that approach because it gives the movie a more organic flow.
It wasn’t the language that drew Souza to the script as it was originally for as an English-speaking family living in New York. What Souza liked about the story was that it was different from the traditional romantic comedy.
“My character was written to be very unlikable. In most romantic comedies, the woman is usually only clumsy but always adorable. I wanted this character to feel like she made mistakes. She’s selfish. I wanted her to be a fleshed-out character with three-dimensional traits,” Souza says.
And Souza loved that the story didn’t follow a traditional path with the way the romance goes. Both men in her life have their good and bad points, which makes her final decision less obvious to predict.
The actress has lived a life that is almost as unpredictable as her character. The daughter of a Mexican mother and Chilean father was born in 1985 in Mexico City, but a year later her family moved to Aspen. She returned to Mexico to study acting at the Centro de Educación Artística, a noted school of acting run by Televisa in Mexico. She’s studied in France, London and Moscow.
And now, she’s living in Los Angeles despite the warnings of others. The success she’s had with TV and films has been her way of proving the naysayers wrong.