You may recognize this Latina from ABC's How To Get Away With Murder as the fiery Laurel Castillo. Karla Souza has been captivating viewers both on and off the screen for her activism, intelligence and representation of her Latina culture that she brings to the small screen on Thursdays. Her crossover success in her native country of Mexico has helped build an audience across borders as she creates different types of Latina representation on the screen.
I first noticed Souza when she started speaking Spanish in Shonda's hit tv show. It wasn't subtle and it had no subtitles, which I thought was great. I remember having to checking myself because I didn't even realize Laurel was Latina and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one. As her story line has become more prominent this season, we are getting to see more layers to her character and background on her familial relationships in Mexico.
In the February issue of Variety, Souza states:
"Audiences are very happy to see a Latina represented without being sexualized or being part of a drug cartel. She’s sort of opening the way for other storylines."
She recently starred and produced in the bilingual romantic comedy Everybody Loves Somebody where she challenges Latino stereotypes of women and sexuality by having her character as part of a love triangle with two men. She told Vibe magazine:
“I really enjoyed being a part of that, specifically for a Latino audience because some interviewers still said, ‘You know, you’re character is such a golfa’ (slut) so I saw that it still is a very patriarchal society.”