'I Love You, Stupid': Can Netflix rom-com catapult 'GoT' and 'Harry Potter' actress Natalia Tena to fame again?

With the new film, Tena might once again find her place in viewers' hearts -- and that could be her way to becoming Hollywood's next leading lady


                            'I Love You, Stupid': Can Netflix rom-com catapult 'GoT' and 'Harry Potter' actress Natalia Tena to fame again?
Natalia Tena (Getty Images)

If we go back to 2011, it was a pretty good year for English actress Natalia Tena. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2' had released, the last of the Harry Potter film franchise (for a while until we found out that the 'Fantastic Beasts' movie franchise) and Tena played the fan-favorite character, Nymphadora Tonks, in it.

Moreover, HBO debuted 'Game of Thrones', a series that would become its biggest and feature for a decade. The high fantasy show based on the books written by  George RR Martin became very popular among viewers. Tena portrayed Osha, a wildling woman who sneaks south of the Wall to escape the Others, for 16 episodes.

Osha became more popular when she grew closer to Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and gave him advice about the oncoming winter. Moreover,  when Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) captures Winterfell, Osha chose to protect Bran and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) over her freedom.

Tena's regular role in 'Game of Thrones' ended in 2013 and while the Spanish-origin actress has been steadily employed she has not found the same level of popularity since her days with the hugely popular HBO series. 

Natalia Tena as Osha in 'Game of Thrones' (HBO)

Tena's selection of roles since 'Game of Thrones' has been quite judicious. She even starred in a Christmas special episode of Netflix's 'Black Mirror' in 2014 which also starred Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall, and her 'Game of Thrones' co-star and good friend, Oona Chaplin.

She has also had recurring roles in various television series like 'Shameless', 'Falcón', and 'Ambassadors', and 'Residue'. For her role in the 2014 Spanish romantic drama, '10,000 km', Tena won the Biznaga de Plata for the Best Actress at Málaga Film Festival that year.

Her first prominent role after 'Game of Thrones' came on the British-Spanish BBC and Atres joint-production, 'The Refugees', where she played one of the titular refugees, Emma Oliver. The show was only one season long with eight episodes.

Her next prominent role came in the American show, 'Wisdom of the Crowd', based on an Israeli series of the same name by Shira Hadad and Dror Mishani. Tena starred with Jeremy Piven ('Entourage'), Monica Potter ('Along Came a Spider'), Blake Lee ('Mixology'), and Richard T Jones ('Judging Amy').

In 2018, Tena portrayed Lana Pierce, one of the characters stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet, in the sci-fi series 'Origin.' The YouTube Premium show also starred 'Harry Potter' actor Tom Felton, and Sen Mitsuji ('Brave New World'). Unfortunately, YouTube canceled the series after one season.

Natalia Tena and Quim Gutiérrez in 'I Love You, Stupid' (Netflix)

In spite of her popular start, Tena seems to have had a sputtering go in her film and television career since. What went wrong? Is it that her selection of roles is too niche for the common audience to enjoy?

That problem might be rectified with Tena's latest film, however. Netflix's latest offering 'I Love You, Stupid', alternatively titled 'Te Quiero, Imbécil', is a Spanish rom-com that stars Natalia Tena and Quim Gutiérrez. Tena plays the lead role of Raquel, the love interest of Gutiérrez's character, Marcos.

In 'I Love You, Stupid', after Marcus goes through a breakup and loses his job, he comes across Raquel, a childhood friend who used to be an "ugly duckling" and has now transformed. She sports dyed hair, plays music with no shoes on, and wears hippie style clothes. Marcos and Raquel soon come to realize that they may be perfect for each other.

With the new film, Tena might once again find her place in viewers' hearts -- and that could be her way to becoming Hollywood's next leading lady.

'I Love You, Stupid' will be available for streaming on Netflix on May 15 at 12 am PST.

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