Kate del Castillo Joins Her Co-Stars for a Special Latina.com Screening of La Misma Luna

Kate del Castillo has come a long way since her days as a famous telenovela star, and the Mexican actress is now proving it to the world with her understated, breakout performance in the indie drama La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon). The movie poignantly depicts the hardship of the immigrant experience from the personal perspective of a mother separated from her only son, and after a welcome reception at Sundance last year, La Misma Luna is finally seeing its well-deserved release on March 19 (thanks to IFC Films). Latina is also a major champion of the film, and the magazine sponsored a special advance screening with the Tribeca Film Institute on Tuesday evening in New York, where a small crowd of invited guests were given the chance to see this gem of a film for the first time.

How’d they like it? If the audible sniffles in the room were any indication, they loved it. Guests, especially the women in the crowd, confessed to getting choked up during the most emotional scenes--a sure sign that the movie’s story was powerfully told. Afterwards, Latina’s Entertainment Editor, Angie Romero, talked more about the movie’s most touching moments during a revealing Q&A session with director Patricia Riggin, del Castillo, and her co-stars Eugenio Derbez and 13-year old Adrián Alonso. Alonso plays del Castillo’s mature-beyond-words son, Carlitos, in the film, and his performance was so riveting and crucial that Riggin confessed, “Without Adrián, there would be no movie.”

Alonso replicated his dynamic with his main collaborator in the film during an animated exchange with his co-star Eugenio Derbez, a famed comedian from Mexico who’s also in the upcoming immigrant drama Sangre de Mi Sangre. In Luna, Derbez’s character is at first resentful as he’s forced to become Carlitos’ guardian, but then eventually embraces it with heartbreaking fullness. Off-camera, the two again playfully nagged each other over what Derbez referred to as their “love-hate relationship,” and the older star recalled that Alonso “made prank calls to my hotel room…he’d come to my room at one in the morning, knock on my door and then run away. The next day, it was really easy to play my role,” he joked.

Another highlight of La Misma Luna, of course, is a choice cameo by Los Tigres del Norte, who Riggin called “The Rolling Stones of Mexico” and who she said were so moved by the screenplay that they recorded an original song for the soundtrack and played their role for free. But ultimately, it’s the character of Rosario who provoked most emotional response…even from del Castillo herself. “I loved doing telenovelas, but as an actress I always want to do something more. When I came to Los Angeles, suddenly all those doors that closed for me in Mexico were open…but I completely relate to Rosario. I miss my family and friends in Mexico so much, and of course I think about going back all the time. But I’m finding a way to stick to living here and make it great, too.”

--Monica Herrera