It really didn’t matter to Mexican actress Sofía Espinosa that she wasn’t going to get the opportunity to speak to international pop star Gloria Trevi, the woman she was hired to portray in the biopic Gloria, before the film’s production began a couple years ago. Espinosa wanted to create her own character and was glad there wasn’t any pressure to simply deliver an impersonation of Trevi.

“Not knowing her beforehand was useful,” Espinosa told us last week to promote the DVD release of Gloria on October 13. “It let me be much more free. I knew it was going to be really hard to get deep into the character and the emotional parts of her life.”

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Like Trevi’s life, emotions run high in Gloria. Known as the “Mexican Madonna,” Trevi was lauded for her talent as a singer and songwriter in the early 90s and the unique style she brought to the stage. Her stardom took a major hit in 2000 when she was arrested alongside her manager Sergio Andrade in Brazil on sexual corruption charges. Trevi spent over four years in prison before charges were dropped for her involvement in the sexual abuse of teenage girls at the hands of Andrade.

When she read the script for the first time, Espinosa was quick to identify just how challenging albeit exciting the controversial role was going to be. She describes the character as “polemic and fun.”

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“[Gloria] has so many different colors,” Espinosa said. “This is a story about someone that becomes very famous and then goes deep into the fire. It’s a tragic story, but one that she is able to come out of and be loved again.”

Although at first Trevi wasn’t too excited that a movie about her life was in production, she changed her mind after she saw the film and was impressed with how emotional it made her. That emotion is one of the only things, Espinosa said, she would’ve loved the chance to ask Trevi about if she had been given the opportunity prior to filming.

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“I would’ve wanted to ask her about her feelings when she was in jail,” Espinosa said. “It would’ve been interesting if I got to interview her and could hear about that for myself. Nonetheless, Gloria liked the film, so I’m very happy about that.”

“It’s a tragic story, but one that she is able to come out of and be loved again.”

Espinosa is also happy about what she learned about herself through this filmmaking process. Not only did she realize her singing ability during lessons she took to sound more like Trevi, she also tapped into her a new level of self-confidence as an actress she had never reached before.

“I think this movie helped me believe much more in myself,” Espinosa said. “There were so many actors who wanted this part, but at the end I was the one who ended up doing it. For me it was great to discover that I could do more than I thought I could do. As an actress, now I feel I can try even harder and take risks.”

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In the end, Espinosa hopes people see the film as a humanistic portrayal of Trevi. No matter what you think about her as a person, Espinosa said her strength shouldn’t be denied.

“A lot of people love her or hate her or have an opinion about her,” Espinosa said. “I think the movie is very close to the human she was during that time in her life. She fought for what she wanted. [Gloria] doesn’t tell us something we didn’t know before, but it goes deeper into her feelings.”

Gloria is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and DVD.