While technically American, Cristela Alonzo’s amazing achievements in the entertainment world and her Mexican heritage gain her a spot on our list. She has the honour of being the first Latina to write, star in and produce her own TV show, the eponymously titled (but sadly since cancelled) ABC sitcom Cristela. However, her big break didn’t come easy, as she worked her way through the stand-up ranks following the death of her mother before getting a 30-minute spot on Comedy Central’s The Half Hour in 2013. In 2017, she’ll be the voice of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3.
The name Eiza González may seem oddly familiar to you, mainly due to widely-publicised flings with Liam Hemsworth and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, before all of that media hoopla she was relatively well known in her native Mexico as both a singer and actress, having starred in the telenovela Lola…Érase una vez. In 2013, she leapt to the big time with the role of Satánico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, who was originally played by fellow Mexican success story Salma Hayek in the film of the same name. In 2017, she’ll be appearing in the thriller Baby Driver.
Another Mexican actress with a reputation for grabbing newspaper headlines around the world is Kate Del Castillo. Yes, the Kate del Castillo who was reported to have brokered the infamous El Chapo-Sean Penn interview. Like many actresses from south of the border, her big break was in a telenovela (Muchachitas); however, she’s arguably most famed in the world of Latin soaps for her leading role on La Reina del Sur. Beyond that, she’s also appeared in Weeds, Jane The Virgin, and the excellent 2009 film Bordertown. 2017 sees her playing the Mexican First Lady in Ingobernable.
Once a child actress in Mexico with an astonishing repertoire of amateur plays under her belt and a credit as a Disney hostess on Zapping Zone, Martha Higareda has since transitioned to big budget flicks and the world of adult acting. In 2002, she starred in Amarte Duele, before going on to participate in several telenovelas. Finally, beginning in 2007, she made the leap to bigger productions like Borderland, Street Kings and No Manches Frida. Previously the lead in McFarland, USA, she can currently be found starring in Altered Carbon.
Born to Mexican and Chilean parents in Mexico City, Karla Souza admittedly spent most of her formative years living in the US and as such holds dual Mexican-US citizenship. However, she’s an excellent example of a Mexican actress you should be keeping your eye on in upcoming years. Although she’s now most well-known for her portrayal of Laurel Castillo on How To Get Away With Murder, she was once given a spot on a French reality show but turned it down to study acting in London! Film wise, she’s probably best known in her native Mexico for her role in Nosotros Los Nobles.
Confused? You shouldn’t be. While Lupita Nyong’o is Kenyan by blood, this box office superstar and Oscar winner was born in Mexico City, holds dual Kenyan-Mexican citizenship and even considers herself a Mexikenyan. In fact, her name Lupita is an obvious pointer to her partly Mexican upbringing, coming from the name Guadalupe. Her success practically goes without saying, as she’s taken star turns in several Hollywood films; notable examples include 12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book and Queen of Katwe.