Ximena Lamadrid’s star is on the rise…
The 26-year-old Mexican actress has been named to Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch list, the entertainment industry magazine’s list of thespians who are experiencing a major breakthrough on screen.
Acting has always been in Lamadrid’s blood. But it wasn’t until age 5, when she rejected a role in a school play, that she experienced an epiphany.
“It was that ‘no’ that made me realize it’s a ‘yes’ for me, that for the rest of my life I’d be chasing this amazing dream.” She quickly corrects herself, “Well, what began as a dream, but no longer is a dream. It’s a reality.”
After roles in Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks and the series Who Killed Sara?, Lamadrid plays a pivotal part in Iñárritu’s Bardo as Camila, the loving daughter of a man caught in the throes of an existential crisis.
She concedes her own history — being born in Mexico, growing up in Dubai and studying her craft in New York City — greatly colored her character’s experience.
“It feels like the universe and Alejandro wrote this for me,” she says,adding: “[Camila] has just graduated from university and is figuring it out. As soon as I graduated, I was figuring it out and came back to Mexico — and it connected. I saw all of the love, warmth and everything I had missed about my country all these years.”
The ability to tackle this role has only furthered her confidence. “As an actor, I have to surrender and trust that it’s going to show up, that everything is going to come out, which it did.” She now has her sights set on the literary world, seeking a publisher for her hybrid poetry-memoir Tulip Season. “I want to make this a very big, beautiful first book.”
Variety’s alumni group of 10 Actors to Watch includes more than 35 Oscar winners and nominees including Mahershala Ali, Adam Driver, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong’o.
This year’s honorees will be feted at a brunch on October 16 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.