HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 14: Kate del Castillo attends Premiere Of Columbia Pictures'

INTERVIEW: Kate del Castillo Explains How New TV Series is ‘Mexicanized’ Version of Classic Novel

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 14: Kate del Castillo attends Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys For Life" at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

In the dramatic series Volver a Caer (Falling Again), Kate del Castillo (La Reina del Sur) stars in the lead role as Anna Montes de Oca, an Olympic gold medal-winning diver and someone who serves as a national hero in her home country of Mexico. And although she is seemingly happily married to a former athlete and aspiring politician (Ruben Zamora), Anna begins a love affair with a young musician named Vico (Maxi Iglesias).

That’s when things start to spiral out of control for Anna.

Based on Leo Tolstoy’s classic 1878 novel Anna Karenina, Volver a Caer is a six-episode series that gives a contemporary twist to what many consider one of the greatest literary works ever written. Along with taking on the lead role, del Castillo also serves as a producer with her production company, Cholawood.

“For me, [Anna Karenina] is an amazing character,” del Castillo, 50, told Remezcla during a recent interview. “We wanted to bring the Spanish language to it. So, that’s how my production company started working on it. Here we are, telling a story that we all know, but now we’re telling it our way.”

Del Castillo said that a character like Volver a Caer’s Anna is not one that an actress will always get the opportunity to play in their career. Anna is at a crossroads in her life and is faced with a lot of tough decisions. “This is a protagonist with a lot of strength,” she said. “At the same time, she has vulnerabilities. We all know this story is a tragedy. I’m very honored that I’m able to play this character in a modern way.”

Maxi Iglesias and Kate del Castillo in Volver a Caer
Courtesy of ViX+
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Since Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina has been adapted many times before and across all mediums, del Castillo is the first to admit that doing something different with the narrative was a challenge, especially since people know how the story ends.

“It’s tricky,” she said. “We’re doing it in a modern way now by talking about bulimia and postpartum depression and infidelity. We’re also talking about bullying on social media. So, while it’s the same story, it’s a unique way of telling that story. We Mexicanized it.”

With Cholawood, del Castillo feels like she is helping to create stories that would otherwise not be told. It’s one of the reasons, she said, she started her production company – to develop those characters she wanted to portray, but that just weren’t out there.

“I wasn’t getting the roles that I wanted,” she said. “Especially being a Latina in Hollywood and how sexualized and stereotyped and objectified we are. I am not willing to wait.”

Del Castillo was ecstatic when ViX+, a streaming service owned by TelevisaUnivision, stepped up to stream the series on its platform. While there are many streaming services to choose from these days, ViX+ offers only Spanish-language content. This, of course, was a critical point for del Castillo.

“For me, it’s important to be on a platform for Spanish-speaking viewers,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve worked with ViX+, and it’s been amazing. I think we’ll bring new subscribers because [Volver a Caer] is very different than anything they have.”

Volver a Caer is currently streaming exclusively on ViX+.