Kate del Castillo will soon transform into the iconic ranchera singer Chavela Vargas.Variety revealed Tuesday that there is a biographical series chronicling the life of Vargas in development, titled “Chavela.”
Chavela aims to unravel the tumultuous journey and career of the legendary Costa Rican-born Mexican singer as they delve into her demons, heartbreak, and alcoholism, which led to her public disappearing for more than fifteen years.
“That’s what I seek, as an actress, I am passionate about her life and her love for Mexico, the different stages of her life, the good, the bad, and the worst,” del Castillo continued.
For “La Reina del Sur,” star she’s ready to tell her story, which she admitted scared her. “Her poetry and esotericism seem fascinating to me, along with her love and passion for tequila. It scares me, and that’s why I accepted it. There is a lot to learn from Chavela, starting with her freedom.”
Vargas was born on April 17, 1919, in San Joaquín, Costa Rica. After a difficult childhood following her parent’s divorce, she moved to Mexico at 17 years old and sang on the streets for years, per Mutual Art.
She found professional success in her thirties, famously taking the stage with her guitar, wearing men’s clothing, a zarape, smoking cigars with a bottle of tequila, and strapped with a gun.
She’s considered a groundbreaking artist who defied traditional gender norms, challenged societal expectations on stage, and brought authenticity to Mexican ranchera and folk music. While it was considered an open secret, the singer came out as a lesbian in 2000 when she was 81 years old.
The Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient had a relationship with Frida Kahlo that was speculated as gossip until long-lost letters were discovered after her death, shedding light on her passionate but short-lived affair with the artist, per Mutual Art. Their romance was sometime in the early 1940s during Frida’s marriage to Diego Rivera.