I have to admit that when I first heard of it last week, I was a little disturbed and felt somewhat nauseous: Two of the all-time most popular television soap divas in Spanish language television - both way past their glory years and victims of several rounds of cosmetic surgery - had allegedly signed up to play a lesbian couple in the Mexican version of an Argentinian television series called "Assassin Women".
Don't get me wrong! It would be great to see Mexican television portray the lives of older lesbian couples but Lucia Mendez shaking up with her real-life showbiz nemesis Veronica Castro? OMfG!!! I feel queasy all over again just writing that sentence!
Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself: On Wednesday, the Mexican newspaper Milenio broke the story ("It is expected that Veronica Castro and Lucia Mendez will play a gay couple").
The two actresses had already appeared at a news conference (above) to announce that they would be part of "Assassin Women." Carlos Pascual, a writer for the show, revealed that they would be playing a lesbian couple: "The storyline is stupendous, it's about a gay couple made up of two women who dedicate themselves to the theater, one is a costume designer and the other an architect. A huge problem surfaces, a rape, but I cannot say anything else."
I can see Lucia Mendez (right) truly sink her teeth into such a role (full disclosure: I've always had a fond heart for La Mendez ever since I saw her in "Tu o Nadie" with Andres Garcia and the amazingly crap-tastic - in a good way - "The Strange Return of Diana Salazar" in the late 80's).
Her gay fans are legion - I dare say that she was probably more popular than even Madonna at the heights of her career - and it's no surprise that just a few months ago she was touring some of the Latino gay bars in the United States singing some of her hits (in Mexico you cannot be a soap opera star without having a recording career to go along with it and they gays always love you even if your career is on the downturn).
My queasiness, to be sincere, was all about the other side of the equation: The cougar-rific Veronica Castro (left) who used to be as big a star as Mendez (full disclosure: I never got her appeal but have to admit that her role in "Rosa Salvaje" - perhaps her biggest hit - was just hilarious and not in an intentional way - I dare you to YouTube it).
I mean, this is the woman who called someone a faggot back in July defending her son Cristian (long rumored himself to be gay despite a recent and scandalous divorce that has filled pages and pages of gossip magazines in Mexico).
Well, I do have to say, La Vero does not disappoint! Here's her reaction to the possibility of playing a lesbian character, according to yesterday's El Universal ("Veronica Castro rules out playing a lesbian"):
"[To be an actress today] you are asked to let go of your disgust for anything - sucking, sticking, pulling out - and then you have to allow your body to be shown without inhibitions, in other words, a type of prostitution, and if you end up acting, well, you are welcome. But how!"
OK, that was a bit tough to translate but even if El Universal says she said this in good humor, who exactly is asking La Vero to suck, stick or withdraw anything from Lucia Mendez, much less in the nude?
Probably feeling concious that she might come off a tad lesbophobic she then went on another tangent saying she had always felt some sense of disgust when asked to kiss male actors in the past: "Other [actors] can tell you, like [Guillermo] Capetillo with whom we always tried to eat the same thing, or we'd say to each other 'look, I brought gum' or a new breath-mint, because I am disgusted [by it], anyway she is not my type."
Oops. Ended up coming off worse.
And now I've written way more about Mexican soap operas than I should be allowed - ever! And exposed how much useless information resides in my brain! But, I swear! There were other benefits of having watched soaps like "Tu o Nadie". Perfect example:
Hm, Andres Garcia is is the original McSteamy! Even if he's stuck selling male-enhancement treatments nowadays (and yes, that's the younger Lucia Mendez next to him).
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