Jordana Brewster is one busy mujer. The Brazilian American beauty, who graces Latina’s February 2013 cover, returns as overly ambitious Elena Ramos on season two of TNT’s Dallas remake, which premieres tonight at 9/8c. Having just wrapped production on her upcoming action flick Fast and Furious 6 (out May 24), the 32-year-old actress (and wife) took time to talk about this season’s Texas drama.
What’s is like being on a hit TV show like Dallas?
People feel closer to you than they normally would and they say things to you that they normally wouldn’t. I was on a plane from London and the flight attendant said to me, 'I just watched the last episode of Dallas.' Then she looked me up and down and said, 'But you wear such pretty clothes on the show.' I guess she thought I was under-dressed or looked a little plain on the flight. When you're in a movie, people usually say, 'I know I know you from somewhere.' But on television, it's an entirely new experience. I've enjoyed that.
How has shooting the second season of Dallas been?
I've been so busy. It's kind of insane. I've been traveling back and forth from London and Spain, now I'm in Dallas. It's good. I had enough of being a stay-at-home actress. What I love about doing a television show is how familiar everyone becomes with each other. It's just like a family. It's much stronger on the second season. It's such a pleasure to go to work. It’s really fun to be a part of a show like Dallas because it's constantly evolving and the plot lines are so intricate. It's challenging and really fun. My storyline has grown on the show and I've worked a lot with Cynthia [Cidre], the show runner, on my character and now she has a brother so there's all of this backstory, which adds to the depth. I'm always trying to guess what's coming next. Watching novelas in Rio opened my eyes to wanting to be an actress, so it's like my life has come full circle.
Your role as Elena isn't the kind of role we see very often. She’s a Mexican immigrant geologist who’s super smart, beautiful, and not overly sexual. Was that what attracted you to it?
Yes, when I first read it, I loved her sense of integrity. I love that she is sort of a contradiction. She's complicated. She's incredibly ambitious and wants to prove herself, but she's not willing to sacrifice her integrity. That's something that I could really relate to and it was important to Cynthia that she portrayed well-rounded and full characters. She's done a beautiful job crating Elena as a strong woman. I don’t want to play a caricature. I don't want to play someone that’s overly sexual and that's her only weapon. That would get old really fast. I always want to play someone complex.
Has being a Latina hurt or helped your career?
It's a much bigger playing field now. In the past, there just weren’t that many roles out there. As a woman, you're limited to what you can play. There are so many more juicy roles for guys. Most leading lady roles, back in the day, were the all-American popular girl, so that meant blonde and blue eyes. I wasn’t going to get that. Sometimes I would get, 'Oh you're very exotic looking.' And it's like, how am I going to challenge that? I can work on my accent and my outfit, but I can’t change the way I look. Now it's a complete asset to be unique. You see more and more leading roles for us. My being exotic isn't a novelty and it isn't seen as "other." It's an asset now. There aren’t that many Brazilian American actresses in Hollywood right now. I think Morena Baccarin and Camilla Belle have the same mixture if I'm not mistaken. We all have American dads and Brazilian moms. It's less than a handful.
Catch season 2 of Dallas tonight on TNT at 9/8c!