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Mexican star in U.S. ‘Salsa’

Thalia pacts for English-lingo comedy

MIAMI — Move over Salma, here comes Thalia.

Mexico’s most successful TV actress of the 1990s, Thalia (pronounced Ta-lee-a) has pacted with Kushner-Locke to star in an English-lingo romantic comedy.

Under the working title “Salsa Cafe,” pic starts principal photography in New York on Friday, with Danny Aiello and Rosana DeSoto in supporting roles.

First-timer Ruben Gonzalez is directing from his own script, and the pic’s male lead will be confirmed within a few days.

Pic is one of four or five Latino-themed films per year that K-L hopes to produce under the banner Gran Canal Latino, also the name of a classic Spanish film net that K-L is launching in Latin America this month.

Budgeted at around $3 million each, and made in either English or Spanish, films will get a theatrical release and then pass on to the cabler.

“We think it’s about time people started making films geared toward Spanish speakers,” K-L CEO Donald Kushner told Daily Variety.

“But (the production rate) depends a lot on cast, and one of the things that’s important for us is to get someone like Thalia on board,” Kushner said.

Thalia — born Ariadna Sodi Miranda — has starred in three of the most successful telenovelas produced by Mexican media giant Televisa.

All were widely exported, and the actress has a strong fan base in Southeast Asia as well as a stellar rep in the Spanish-speaking Americas.

Emilio Estefan has been helping guide her career of late, producing her last album, “Amor a la Mexicana,” and also her renditions of songs for the Spanish-lingo release of Fox’s “Anastasia.”

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