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Meet this Capo: Peter Gadiot as James in Queen of the South

Peter Gadiot is James in Queen of the South

It’s a pretty safe bet you’ll be crushing on this Capo. British actor Peter Gadiot, whose mamá by the way is Mexican, stars as bad boy James in USA Network’s latest original drama,  Queen of the South.


The 13-episode series which premieres Thursday, June 23rd at 10/9 Central is based on  global best-selling novel “La Reina Del Sur,” by internationally-acclaimed author Arturo Pérez-Reverte. (Yes, the Spanish-language novela of the same name aired on Telemundo and starred the oh-so-beautiful and tadbit controversial, Kate del Castillo.)


Peter Gadiot as James in "Queen of the South".

Capo James: Peter Gadiot as James in USA Network’s “Queen of the South”. (Photo courtesy of USA Network).


However, Gadiot’s role, James, was not featured in the Spanish-language production and is completely original to the English-language series.


“This story is not a mirror image of the production which aired in Spanish,” said Gadiot in an interview with Press Pass Latino during the Hispanicize 2016 conference in Downtown, Miami. “It’s an entirely new show. there are original story lines and plot twists and it’s all very exciting.”


Even so, the core of the story remains the same and follows the powerful story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a “woman who is forced to run and seek refuge in America” after her drug-dealing boyfriend is killed in Mexico. Somewhere along the way, she joins an “unlikely figure from her past” to shut down the head of the drug trafficking ring she’s running away from.


So, where exactly does our Capo cutie figure in…in all this? Well, Gadiot’s character in Queen of the South, James, works as a drug-runner for Camila’s cartel in Texas. He’s basically Camila Vargas’ (Veronica Falcon) right hand man and once he becomes interested in Teresa, he warns her about what becoming involved in Camila’s circle really entails. Dirty, gritty details and all.


“The most challenging part of taking on the role of James in Queen of the South was not playing up to any stereotype of what an individual in this world [the drug world] may or may not be,” said Gadiot.


“Because you automatically think ‘okay, he’s an individual who sells cocaine in a gang and they do violent things sometimes’ so, you can very much pigeonhole your character and judge him and play him as this one-dimensional tough guy but I had no interest in that.


I found interest in humanizing him and looking at different layers so, the challenge was to look within the realms of the script and find the details that ultimately help craft a very unique character.”


Watch the official trailer for Queen of the South below:



Daysi Calavia-Robertson has a BA in Mass Communications from Florida International University. Her articles have appeared in The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, The Sun-Sentinel, The South Florida Times and The Huffington Post. She's also conducted entertainment reporting segments on local television. No matter what the medium, Daysi believes in the power of storytelling.

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