Suit, Roksanda. Bra top, Marika Vera.
Growing up in Torreón, Mexico, Cristina Rodlo always knew she wanted to be an actor. Inspired by her first theatre class at just 11 years old, the young thespian eventually went on to study acting in New York at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She’s since starred in a number of high profile drama series – including Amazon’s Too Old To Die Young, horror infused anthology The Terror: Infamy and Sony’s Miss Bala.
Now acting in the military comedy-drama 68 Whiskey, Cristina plays Rosa Alvarez – a young army medic stationed at a NATO Coalition Base in Afghanistan’s Eastern province, Laghman. Facing deportation back to Mexico, Alvarez’s desperation forces her to marry fellow combat medic Cooper Roback (Sam Keeley) in order to stay in her profession. A distressing situation which particularly resonates during this politically tumultuous period, Alvarez battles with borders and her own cultural identity – exiled from the same country she risks her life for, the land she calls home.
One of the first to audition for the role at the request of producer and long time collaborator Michael Lehmann, we had the chance to sit down with Cristina to discuss the importance of portraying this contention on screen, as well as what’s to come for the rest of 2020.
Bodysuit, The Bodysuit of Barcelona. Skirt. KSLAM. Jewelry, stylist own.
You’re starring in 68 Whiskey as Sergeant Rosa Alvarez – can you tell us a little bit about why you were drawn to this role?
The first thing that drew me to Alvarez was her storyline. She was born in Mexico but has been in the U.S.A. all of her life. She joins the army because they promised her citizenship. But, while abroad, she finds out that her family is being deported. She also finds out that her country, the one that she is fighting for, wants to deport her as well. Being Mexican, being a Latina and an immigrant, this story is very important to me and that’s why I wanted to be part of it.
There’s a very timely, political message running throughout the series – questioning the premise of man-made borders and cultural identity. Why do you think it’s important to depict this distress on screen?
We need to tell more stories like this one. We need the world to see the struggle and the injustice that most immigrants go through. What is happening right now with coronavirus as well is just the same. We need to understand that there’s no reason to create borders and walls between each other. We are just one race, the human race and I truly hope one day humanity comprehends that.
How have you found working with Michael Lehmann again on this project?
It’s amazing. I have a great relationship with Michael. He’s a brilliant director and I’m always honored to be sharing the set with him and I hope we can do it again.
Bodysuit, The Bodysuit of Barcelona. Jacket, KSLAM. Skirt, KSLAM.
Are there any shows happening at the moment that you would love to be a part of?
I loved The Morning Show.
You knew you wanted to be an actor at just 11 years old – what made you realize this was a career you wanted to pursue?
I was 11 and I took my first theatre class. The class was just laying down on the floor while the teacher was guiding us through some music to hear and understand our breathing. At that moment, I realized that in order to become an actor you need to understand yourself first, comprehend everything that you are and then start to understand society and their behavior. I just thought how fascinating that is! I couldn’t wait to start doing it for the rest of my life.
With so many impressive accolades to your name, is there a moment in your career that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m honored and grateful to have worked with amazing directors, actors, producers and crew. I could not pick one specific moment. I’m proud of everything that has brought me to this place, right here and right now.
Los Angeles is at the center of the country’s film and TV industry. As well as teeming with possibilities, do you ever feel overwhelmed by the carefully curated lifestyles the city offers?
No, on the contrary LA is the place where I find peace. Every time I’m back in LA after shooting in another city or country, I feel like I’ve returned to the only place that understands everything that I am and that I want to continue being.
Can you tell us a little more about what’s to come in 2020?
Well, on Wednesday 18th March we had our season finale for 68 Whiskey. I have another project lined up in the U.S. but due to coronavirus, we had to stop, so as soon as we get back I’ll let you guys know more about it! In Colombia, on April 30th we’ll be releasing PERDIDA – a movie that premiered in Mexico at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, I’m premiering another film in Mexico titled The Wedding Dress too!
CONNECT WITH CRISTINA RODLO
photos / Gina Manning
styling / Janet Gomez
story / Bryony Holdsworth