The Real Reason You Recognize Teresa From Queen Of The South

When the USA Network series Queen of the South debuted on Netflix, it became a monster hit, regularly landing in the Netflix Top 10 as one of the streaming platform's most watched shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show follows "Teresa Mendoza (Braga), who after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America."

Each season follows Teresa's journey as she goes from being on the run to taking over a drug cartel to managing and growing her own drug business in America. The series is based on Arturo Perez-Reverte's novel, La Reina Del Sur. After being published in 2002, the novel went on to become an international bestseller, per The Hollywood Reporter. In 2011, USA's sister network Telemundo debuted a Spanish-language series inspired by the book. The show, La Reina Del Sur, is "one of the most popular telenovelas ever for Telemundo." It's no wonder USA Network made its own version!

Obviously, the lead role was the most important to cast, and USA found the perfect Teresa Mendoza in Brazilian actress, Alice Braga. Though you've likely seen Braga in a ton of movies, this is her first major role on the small screen.

"I love acting," she told entertainment site 25 Years Later in 2019. "It's funny because if you ask me what's my favorite place in the world, I'd say a movie set." She added, "So, hopefully in 10 years from now, I would still be acting and also producing more and getting to know people and just developing."

Before 'Queen of the South', Alice Braga got her big break opposite Will Smith

Alice Braga stars as Teresa Mendoza in the USA Network hit show, Queen of the South, but this isn't her first rodeo. Braga's been acting since she was a teenager and we're guessing you most likely recognize her from one of her previous roles. Her breakthrough role was in the 2007 action film I Am Legend opposite Will Smith. "For me, it's my first American movie and as an actress playing opposite Will," she told the Boston Herald in 2007. She had appeared in several foreign films, but I Am Legend was her introduction to American audiences.

"She was the first and only person we had read with Will," said the film's director Francis Lawrence. "The reason we cast Alice was we found something very warm and authentic about her — something very believable with really strong qualities of a survivor. Also, Alice being from a different country made our story more global."

You might also recognize Braga from her other memorable gigs, including a truly moving role in the Brazilian film, City of God. She's also appeared in Predators, Elysium, and The Shack. As of this writing, Braga is slated to star in the highly anticipated 2020 film, The New Mutants (which also stars Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame), as well as the 2021 flick, The Suicide Squad, per Deadline

Though the fifth season was confirmed, it's unclear when Queen of the South will return after production was halted due to Covid-19. Fingers crossed we don't have to wait too long!