Justina Machado
Daniel Doperalski for Variety Latino

For the past few months USA Network’s Queen of the South has kept us on the edge of our seats, and one of the actresses responsible for that is Justina Machado.

Machado, a Chicago native of Puerto Rican descent, plays Brenda, Teresa Mendoza’s best friend and wife of murdered cartel member Chino.

“I was very drawn to the character of Brenda because she doesn’t really think about a lot of things. She just goes straight from the heart, and sometimes it’s just not the right decision but she’ll go for it anyway”, Justina said to Variety Latino. However, she made it very clear that even though her and Brenda are very different, they share a few characteristics.

“I think I’m a little bit smarter than Brenda is… I run away from trouble, I don’t run into trouble”, she said while laughing. Then added: “Brenda is loyal, and I’m loyal. Like her, I don’t have much of a filter. She’s fierce, and I would like to consider myself fierce once in a while. But I think that what I have in common the most with her is that she’s raw. Also, she’s a survivor and I’m a survivor”.

Justina said one of the reasons she decided to become part of this series was because it’s not everyday that you get to be on a “show where there are female anti-heroes in it. We usually see men in this position… Queen of the South featured these three strong Latina women running the game. I thought it would be great to be part of something like that”.

An interesting fact that the 44-year-old actress shared with us is that a big part of Queen of the South’s audience is built by men: “I wonder if it’s just because they’re not used to seeing us [women] in those kinds of positions? Being the bosses, being the people not only in the background, but actually running the show”.

Fans of the show were treated to exciting news before the freshman season wrapped. They announced the drama series was renewed for a second season.

“We have a new showrunner, that’s all I know, she said. “I really don’t know what’s coming… Well, the only thing I do know is that Teresa will continue her rise to become the queen of the south”.

The season one finale of Queen of the South airs Thursday night at 10 p.m. on USA Network.

It’s interesting to note that Hollywood is currently infatuated with bringing stories to life related to the drug trade. Netflix recently released the second season to the popular series Narcos and El Señor de Los Cielos has become very profitable for Telemundo.

“Look at The Sopranos (1999-2007), The Godfather (1972) and Scarface (1983)… People are fascinated with these stories; I’m fascinated with these stories, I don’t know why. Maybe is the action or that it’s something they will never dare do. Maybe it’s the glitz and the craziness,” Justina explained. “I have no idea exactly what it is, but I know I would never want to be a part of this role for real. I don’t mind playing it, because it’s fun to play a character like Brenda. But it’s fun because I would never do anything like that, I think too much about consequences. I’m a scaredy-cat with a big mouth”.


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