"Adelita’s present is the consequence of her past": Mayans M.C. star Carla Baratta opens up about her character
'Mayans M.C.' actress Carla Baratta reveals what convinced her to take up the role of Adelita. as well as what audiences can expect from season one
Kurt Sutter's 'Sons of Anarchy' proved to be a trendsetter at FX, with the crime drama's third season pulling in an average of 4.9 million viewers, making it the network's highest-rated series ever. It surpassed the likes of 'Shield' — another of Sutter's creations — and 'Nip/Tuck,' and ran for a total of seven seasons before calling it a day in December 2014.
Sutter had claimed at the time that he wanted the show to end in "a blaze of glory," and so it did. But rising from its ashes came 'Mayans M.C.', a spinoff that underwent numerous chops and changes since it was conceived in 2016, but would finally be set for a September 4, 2018, premiere. It similarly proved to be an instant success, with the series premiere averaging 6.8 million viewers and being declared by Nielsen as the most-watched cable series premiere of 2018.
'Mayans M.C.' deals with the Sons' rivals-turned-allies, the Mayans Motorcycle Club, two-and-a-half years after the events of its predecessor and feature a primarily Hispanic cast. Amongst the talented ensemble of actors is Carla Baratta, who portrays the character of Adelita and is set to play a significant role as the season progresses.
Meaww caught up with Carla for an interview to talk about what viewers can expect from Adelita, how the season will shape up, and her career so far.
We know that Adelita, as a young girl, watched her parents die at the hands of the Galindo Cartel. How has this affected the person she turns out to be?
Adelita’s present is the consequence of her past. Like all of us, what happened in her childhood made her the person she is now. Adelita had a difficult and violent life as a child and that is the only life she truly knows. What I can tell you is that her heart is full of faith and she is a very spiritual person. She believes in a divine power that is going to protect her and her people.
While on the outside it seemed like a show about a biker gang, 'Sons of Anarchy' explored themes of brotherhood, loyalty, corruption, and racism. Are those themes common in 'Mayans M.C.' as well?
Yes, they are. Especially loyalty and family. What I love about this series is that it shows its characters in an internal fight around these themes. It's beautiful to watch.
Creator Kurt Sutter says 'Mayans M.C.' needs to stand on its own without depending on 'Sons of Anarchy.' Does that mean viewers won't see a crossover at any point?
I think 'Mayans M.C.' has to find its own soul, which requires fans to be open-minded about the new characters in this universe. That being said, since they are in the same universe, I think it will make sense to see some crossover in the future, but I really don’t know! We will have to wait and see what the writers are working on.
When the role of Adelita was pitched to you, was it something that made you immediately go, 'Yes! I want to play her!'?
Yes, when I first read the audition scenes and description for Adelita, I was completely amazed by her strength, beliefs, and vision. I’m originally from Venezuela, so I know how hard it is to live in an environment at a time of social crisis, without the proper power to do something about it. I think Adelita is the person we all wish we could have near us making the bad guys pay for their actions.
Preparing for the role was interesting because Elgin and Kurt had a very clear idea of who Adelita was. When I booked the role, it was a matter of working with both of them to find her voice and soul, while pulling from my own experiences and influences. I read some biographies of the 'Soldaderas' or 'Adelitas' in Mexico, which really inspired me. I also grew up in a family with many strong females, so I was inspired by them to put myself in the shoes of Adelita. She has been a beautiful challenge for me, and I'm so grateful that I get to play her for a living.
What can audiences expect from the debut season of 'Mayans M.C.'?
They can expect a lot of fun, twists and turns, and amazing characters. The writers did the most amazing job with this show and I love every episode more than the previous one. There are going to be so many moments, so stay tuned!
What inspired you to take up acting as your profession? What alternate career path would you have picked if not for acting?
I always knew I wanted to be an actress, but I didn’t know it was something you could do full-time. I remember watching 'Selena' when I was seven and being in awe of its powerful message. Then, I heard the cast speak the same language that I do (Spanish) and was even more amazed. It wasn't until later when I watched 'Million Dollar Baby' that I knew for a fact I wanted to perform and be able to portray the types of characters that could inspire girls the way the movie inspired me to follow my own dreams.
Aside from acting, I'm actually an architect and painter. When I finished university, I was doing scenography design for a local theater, as well as painting and acting. So, if I wasn't acting, I think it's safe to say that I would still be doing art.
How would you say your education at the New York Film Academy helped shape your acting career?
Before my time at the NYFA, I considered acting more of a hobby. I was about to start my career in architecture but decided to spend a summer in Los Angeles taking acting classes. My experiences at NYFA helped me see acting as a real career. Being surrounded by so many passionate actors made me feel like I belonged. After my summer there, I decided that I would go back to Los Angeles as soon as I finished my career to fully pursue acting. Almost nine years later I came back, and I haven't looked back since!
What would you say is your first big breakthrough?
I think 'Mayans M.C.' is the biggest project I have been a part of. My first real job as an actor was on a comedy web series, which was a lot of fun. After that, I did theater, as well as TV movies and series in Caracas (Venezuela). One thing led to another, and I ended up in Los Angeles and was booked on 'Mayans M.C.'
Acting and show business can be a demanding field. What constitutes an off-day for you?
I’m a very active person, I can’t be without doing anything. Even on my days off, you can find me painting, exercising or just going for a walk.
Do you have any future projects coming up that you can tell us about?
We recently wrapped production on 'Mayans M.C.' so I was focusing on that up until a few weeks ago. I’m currently working on some art projects, which I'm so excited about. And also, now I have the time to explore new projects that are coming along the way.