The famous Mexican actress, Kate del Castillo, gives us an exclusive on the latest in her life, personally and professionally.

Any new projects for 2013?

There are several out there. We live day to day and you never know if projects will be carried out or not. Sometimes you have the best intentions and the money just doesn’t come through, or the producers decide to wait a little longer and things get delayed, so there are lots of projects. The premieres of two movies that I did are still pending. One is called No Good Deed and the other, K-11. I am also representing Time Warner Cable.

How does it feel to represent a US company?

I am very proud to be their spokesperson because it is a very prestigious company. I rarely do commercials, and that’s because I really need to believe in what I’m doing. I don’t like to speak about anything that I don’t approve of, and Time Warner Cable is a company that I believe in.

Now that you are living in the United States, how do you maintain family ties?

I speak with my parents almost daily. They also write me emails and we see each other often via Skype™ as well. My parents are getting older so I want to be in touch with them all the time.

What do you do during your down time?

I love American programs and right now I am really into Homeland. I also watch the news in Spanish to stay on top of what’s happening in my country. If I want to watch a program and I’m not going to be home I record it, like the programs on NatGeo and the Saturday night fight. I love it. I am also on the Internet almost all day long—I write to my fans, research things for work and shop online.

You’ve made the crossover with lots of success. What is your goal in Hollywood?

I don’t have a goal. I don’t think I’ve even set a goal in life. I don’t live by goals, I live day to day. The only thing I want to do is continue doing what I love the most, acting, and make a living at it, which is what I have done my whole life.

You’ve worked with quite a few people in Hollywood, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas and I could go on. What were those experiences like?

They are actors that I have always admired and have always been a great inspiration for me. Sharing scenes with them is incredible, because you grow as an actress, you grow as a person, you learn a lot, and you realize that we are all doing the same thing. It’s just that some make more than others (laughs), but really when you’re doing a scene what matters is, as my dad would say, what stays in the frame. And there we are all the same. We have the same interest that that particular take turns out the best it can possibly be. We are there for each other and that’s the nice part.

Why did you decide to star in the telenovela La Reina del Sur after you had already crossed over to Hollywood?

First of all, I didn’t see it as a telenovela. More than anything it was a series for lots of reasons, because of the money that was spent and the number of episodes. It’s a story that I read many years ago and I wanted to do the film. They were going to do it in Mexico, and then they were going to do it in the United States. I was after if for a while but finally they were going to do it in the US and I think with actress Eva Méndes. Afterwards I gave up and said ‘well, if it’s for me it’s for me and if it’s not, it’s not.’ After a few years I was contacted by Telemundo to do it. The truth is that it’s a character that any actress would kill for. Teresa Mendoza is everything that is supposedly politically incorrect for a protagonist and still people adore her, because in the end she is the victim. She is really a complex character, the type of character that rarely comes along and that you rarely get the chance to portray, and I didn’t want to miss this great opportunity.

Your mom has said you’re attracted to characters that are strong and brave like yourself and Teresa Mendoza from La Reina del Sur. What do you think about that?

Yes, I like strong women. I have also portrayed people who are not, such as in La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon), which is about a mother who is suffering for her son. I like doing a bit of everything. The thing is that I love action. I am a woman that, although I may not be, at least I look strong; so you also have to look for things that go well with you.

What has been the key to your success?

I don’t know; tenacity perhaps. The fact that I left everything behind; all of my comforts and my entire future to come looking for something different, something that would be more fulfilling. I think that sometimes you risk a lot, but in the end it’s worth it. I have a lot left to do and lots of things that I would like to do that will surely come along when they have to.

In 2009, you were appointed ambassador against human trafficking by the National Commission on Human Rights and have collaborated with other causes. Why?

When you have a name and can help spread a message, I think of it as an obligation. To me, human trafficking is very important, and it is something personal. Anything regarding the abuse of women and violence against women has been a part of my life and something that I’ve been through personally. Therefore, it hurts and it makes me want to be able to help people.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

I’ve received lots of advice, definitely from my dad. My dad was always looking out for me without getting involved in my life as an actress, but he always asked me if I was sure that I wanted to be an actress. And I said ‘yes’ and he told me, ‘just remember that women actresses suffer a lot sentimentally.’ And it didn’t matter to me, and well, he’s right in a way.

If you could give yourself advice when you were younger, what would you say?

Not to take life so seriously. I would have more fun, take more risks, make more mistakes and have a better time. I would do it all over again, but I would just have more fun. Since I was little I was always very isolated, very independent, into my own thing. And that’s good, everybody has their own personality, but I would have had a better time and I wouldn’t have been so intense.

What do you consider your life mantra?

I have gone through many mantras and what I can say is, do what you want to do in earnest. I no longer do anything out of obligation, not at all, even if it’s family. I try to make myself happy because I believe that we are individuals and we need to find our own happiness because nothing or no one is going to give it to you. For me it’s a daily thing, so that’s what I try to do. I try not to wait for a film to appear or have a certain house or fall in love with such and such or have a baby to be happy. Those things will come along the path of life or they won’t, but I’m not going to wait for that to be happy.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

Actually I don’t know how to do that. My personal life is a disaster, but I say that exaggerating a bit. It is not that it’s a disaster; it’s that I haven’t had much luck, or maybe I just haven’t looked for it. Someone will come along the way. But I’m very content. I live a very quiet life, and am dedicated to my work. I thank God for giving me so much. I am very lucky.