Mexican actress-producer Kate del Castillo, already busy with a number of upcoming new series, including season three of Telemundo/Netflix’s “La Reina del Sur” and “Armas de Mujer,” a new dark comedy for NBCUniversal’s Peacock, is planning a docuseries about the wonders of tequila that will be shot in and around Jalisco and Guadalajara.
Speaking online for the Conecta Fiction Reboot confab on Tuesday, Del Castillo discussed her career and upcoming productions as well as the blossoming partnership between her Cholawood Productions and Endemol Shine Boomdog, the Mexico City-based division of Endemol Shine North America.
Del Castillo said she hoped to begin production this year on “Tequillando,” a reality format she described as “seven nights drinking tequila with Kate.”
“I will bring celebrities, not just actors but also sports stars, baseball players and scientists, from the United States and show them Guadalajara and Jalisco, where tequila is made.”
Cholawood Productions is producing “Tequillando” with Endemol – “the kings of reality,” Del Castillo quipped.
Del Castillo has her own brand, Tequila Honor Del Castillo, and also plans to take her guests to her distillery, or tequilera.
“We are also going to do crazy things there and at night stay in a beautiful hacienda,” she added. “We are all going to stay overnight there and we will see who can drink the most tequila. It’s going to be something very, very fun for us. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can start some of that this year.”
Del Castillo is set to start production on Telemundo’s “Armas de Mujer” next year, followed by “La Reina del Sur.”
Cholawood is also developing two other productions based on the works of author Lydia Cacho, “Shock Therapy,” about a Mexican sex therapist, played by Del Castillo, working in the U.S. and helping troubled men suffering from mid-life crises. The company is also developing a project based on Cacho’s book “Slavery Inc: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking,” which sheds light on what Del Castillo said was “fast becoming the second most lucrative illicit business in the world.”
Cacho will be working with Del Castillo as a consultant on the series.
Eager to work in her native Mexico, Del Castillo is also set to produce a TV version of her comedic cabaret show “Estoy Okate” there in October, which she hopes to sell to a streaming platform. The live show was forced to cancel its sold-out 19-stop tour earlier this year after just one performance due to the COVID-19 lockdown, she said.
Also in the works this year is a project about her famous father, actor Eric Del Castillo and his live music show in which he performs corridos, traditional Mexican ballads. “What my father does is something spectacular and very beautiful.”
The work Del Castillo is doing in Mexico reflects her longing for home. “When I am here in the United States away from my own country, everything that has to do with your land hurts all the more. The tequila is tastier and mariachi music is more savory. But here in the United States there is nothing that I can watch on Sept. 16, our day of independence. So we want to do this and also make it available on a platform and have something nice from my father and something real from Mexico.
Commenting on her growing role as a producer, Del Castillo said: “The reason I’m doing it is that when you reach a certain age, you want to be involved. If I’m going to work as an actress I want to be involved in everything. … I want to know that I will be working with people that are professional, people that are magnificent, not just the actors but also the people behind the camera, so that I know that what I am giving the audience is going to be something of quality. We are now working with extraordinary writers.”
Producing has also allowed Del Castillo to be more selective. “While working as an actress, I realized that I wasn’t getting the scripts that I wanted. Why? Because we are stereotyped, Latinas more than anyone are totally objectified, the stereotyped damsel that has to be rescued. These kinds of stereotypes are in nearly all of the characters that have been offered to me, so I decided to make my own projects. I recruited two good friends of mine and great producers, independent, intelligent women, to establish Cholawood Productions.”