Carolina Guerra on breaking stereotypes and playing a 'strong woman' on 'Animal Kingdom'

Nothing says welcome to Los Angeles quite like being stuck in one of its traffic jams. After moving from her native Colombia to pursue her dream of becoming more of an international star, Carolina Guerra was quickly introduced to the infamous gridlock and it almost cost her her role on Animal Kingdom.

The 30-year-old emphatically recounts to HOLA! USA how everything went wrong on the day of her audition that she dubs as “the worst ever.” It all started with a car accident that made her extra late. From there, it just so happened that every executive was waiting for her as she arrived frazzled and disheveled with no makeup on and hair out of place. Though, to her complete surprise, the actress got the part as Lucy, Scott Speedman’s love interest in the TNT show.

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carolina2--VIEW GALLERY Carolina plays Scott Speedman's love interest on the show

Prior to the second season, the former Miss Bogotá had a recurring role on the show, but she has since been made a permanent cast member further justifying her move to the City of Angels in the first place. Of course, such a big move comes with its setbacks like being 3,476 miles away from her family. The distance makes the heart grow fonder and at every chance she gets, she returns home and keeps her roots close to her at all times.

Keep reading to see Carolina’s thoughts on breaking stereotypes, how Lucy ‘empowers her’ and more.

carolina-guerra-animal-kingdom-610x366VIEW GALLERY The former Miss Bogotá loves that her character is all about the 'girl power'

HOLA! USA: How have your life and career goals changed since getting a role on Animal Kingdom?
"Because of Animal Kingdom, everything has changed. To have a regular character in season two from just having made three appearances in season one is huge. I moved to another country, and that is a start of something interesting on a professional level."

H!: Although the cast of Animal Kingdom is primarily men, the women on the show are powerful. Do you feel a sense of "girl power" while playing the role?
"A million percent. Lucy is a single mom; she's obviously had a rough past and has been through a tough situation. She's a badass. The way she operates is strong and you need strong women to play roles on screen. We know how to operate with the boys. Lucy knows how to play her cards, so I do feel girl power while playing the role. The nature of that empowers me."

H!: Do you think you’re breaking stereotypes as a Colombian actress on American TV?
"Definitely. There are obviously clichés and stereotypes, like Sofia Vergara's character in Modern Family, but Latino actors such as her have also opened a lot of doors for us, and I couldn't be prouder to be Colombian."

carolina-animal-kingdomVIEW GALLERY Carolina with her male co-stars (L to R: Finn Cole, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy, Jake Weary and Ben Robson)

H!: You embrace your culture in every way possible in real life and through social media. Is it important for you to teach others about your culture – especially in times when diversity in the entertainment industry is a huge talking point?
"This is a conversation I can't avoid having; a conversation I'm constantly having in my head. Paranoia is a thing that can be dangerous. We have overcome many of the horrible situations as a minority. It's something that has to keep getting better. People are very strict about whether I post in Spanish versus English on my social media. I try to be as involved as possible, a way of feeling closer to the country that has been so generous with me."

H!: Now that you're in L.A., are you more focused on finding roles here or do you want to still pursue a career in Colombia?
"I don't feel like working in Latin America is a step back at all. I'm going to tell a story that I feel needs to be told and that could be anywhere. I will definitely be doing something in Mexico or Colombia if the opportunity arises."

Animal Kingdom airs Tuesdays at 9/8C

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