Already a household name in her native Mexico, “How to Get Away With Murder” actor Karla Souza is making her mark in Hollywood as the introverted and calculating Laurel Castillo.
On being a step ahead.
“I feel like Laurel’s really good at playing chess. She knows what moves she needs to do in order for everything to be under control. [In] this new season, we get to see her a little bit more relaxed and less on guard.”
“I had been doing film in Mexico for the past six years, and the last two movies I did became the highest-grossing movies in Mexican history; that gave me a great platform to come over here. I auditioned for all three female parts—Rebecca, Michaela, Laurel. I love the fact that they gave me Laurel and that they were able to make her Latina in some way without being on the nose about it…. It doesn’t have to define her.”
On learning from her fame.
“My confidence cannot be dictated by how known [I am]. It’s been such a great path and journey to come to realize what it is, really, that gives you confidence and allows that safe space for you to create. Is it the fact that people know who you are, or is it coming from within? I get to go back to Mexico and see [my fame] for what it is and appreciate it, enjoy it, but also know that it comes and goes.”
On listening to the fans.
“With a TV show, you have people commenting on everything every week; whether you like it or not, that’s bleeding into your choices and into everyone’s perception of each of our characters. Having those live-tweeting moments and watching the show along with people and with the audience—obviously we try not to, but it can affect our performances in both positive and negative ways. It’s something new and exciting to handle and to see… how that’s going to affect our choices.”
On keeping up with plot twists.
“You think you know what’s going to happen in the next episode and it turns out it’s completely different; they’ve already opened up a whole other three cans of worms. Nothing is what it seems, and even though we try and figure out [showrunner Peter Nowalk’s] mind, we really don’t get it. They come up with something brilliant every time. Now it’s great because whatever they throw at us, I feel like we have a handle on our characters, so we’re able to feel more confident about that, whereas I feel [in] Season 1, we were a little more terrified not knowing who our characters were. We’re coming at it in a much safer way this season.”