'The Queen and the Conquistador': Why Netflix star Essined Aponte is the most beautiful woman on the small screen
Aponte was not always interested in becoming an actor, in fact, she once wanted to become an architect
In a few days, Netflix will release 'The Queen and the Conquistador', alternatively titled 'La Reina de Indias y el Conquistador, a drama that is loosely based on historic events. The show follows a dramatized history of India Catalina's story, which is one of tragedy.
After being abducted as a child by Spanish conquistador Diego de Nicuesa from an indigenous settlement known as Zamba o Galerazamba, Catalina learns Spanish and becomes an interpreter and intermediary for another Spanish conquistador, Pedro de Heredia. No one knows Catalina's real name and it is said she married Pedro's nephew, Alonso Montañez. In the show, the story will be quite different.
After establishing the city of Cartagena, Pedro, motivated by the need to save his brother, betrays Catalina. Heartbroken, she escapes, only to come back 18 years later as a grown woman. In her soul, her only mission is revenge — to end Pedro's life, the same way that he, after making her fall for him, ended hers.
Catalina is portrayed by Puerto Rican actress Essined Rivera Aponte, known for roles in 'SWAT', 'The Three Sides of Ana' and 'Cosita Linda'. However, the Latin beauty turned to acting only later in her modeling years. Born Yara Essined Aponte in 1991, she was not always interested in becoming an actor. In fact, she once wanted to become an architect and even attended the University of Puerto Rico with the aim of becoming an interior designer. Of course, fate had other plans.
In 2012, Aponte took part in the beauty contest, Nuestra Belleza Latina, and was told by president of the jury Osmel Sousa that her teeth should be fixed. She did so and returned in 2013, and made it to the final rounds. However, she was voted off after the jury and her competitors judged her performance as poor in the sixth week of the competition.
Aponte, however, took advantage of the time she had spent on Nuestra Belleza Latina. With the contacts and skills that she acquired in the contest, she went on to establish a successful acting career. She had once told Univision PR that Nuestra Belleza Latina changed her life. She had entered the contest because she wanted to win the crown and win the prize money as well as gain a job opportunity.
After Nuestra Belleza Latina, Aponte moved to Mexico, where she submitted her photos to the Centro de Estudios Actorales Televisa (CEA). She then took acting classes and eventually nabbed roles in Mexican telenovelas. It was through these roles that Aponte found her love for acting. Aponte's big break came in 2018 when she starred in 'Nicky Jam: El Ganador', a biographical television series based on the life of reggaeton singer Nicky Jam. In the show, Aponte played Aleysha, the musician's first love. Though Aponte was not part of the main cast, she still managed to be noted by viewers, especially when the show landed on Netflix that year.
Now, Aponte will portray India Catalina in one of history's most tragic, untold stories. In this major role, Aponte is surely the one to look out for. The world now has a new, talented Latin beauty.
'The Queen and the Conquistador' will be released on Netflix on May 20.