Dallas Q&A: Leonor Varela Talks Playing Southfork Bad Girl Marta Del Sol
Leonor Varela attends an evening of cocktails and shopping to benefit the Children's Defense Fund hosted by Coach held at Bad Robot, Los Angeles, on May 23, 2012 -- Getty Premium
As Marta Del Sol, Leonor Varela has been heating up the new "Dallas" as the bad - and mad - girl who's been causing trouble for John Ross and his father, J.R. Ewing.
With the rebooted show hitting its stride on TNT on Wednesday nights, Marta is ready to really bring out the crazy, the kind that just might bring John Ross (played by Josh Henderson) to his knees.
It's been a unique part for the actress, who originally hails from Chile, and one she actually didn't realize the full scope of (like her secret identity as Veronica, a bipolar schemer) when she first signed on for the TNT drama.
A fun ride, the six-months pregnant beauty told AccessHollywood.com what it's like playing "Dallas'" main bad girl, what she learned from veteran Larry Hagman and how fun it is to work with easy-on-the-eyes Josh.
AccessHollywood.com: Which do you like to call her actually - Marta or Veronica?
Leonor Varela: I think I kind of always oscillated between the two because I think Marta has become so much of her identity, but I would say Veronica. But it was a little rough, because in all of the production papers and the call sheets, it would be like, 'Marta,' and I would be like, 'No! it's not Marta.'
Access: When did you find out she was so totally crazy?
Leonor: As I read each episode.
Access: Was it later on you found out she had a double identity?
Leonor: When I read the pilot, I got really excited at page 20, when I saw her come in the helicopter and come to buy the [Southfork] land, and I was like, 'Oh my God, that's so great,' 'cause I do a lot of environmental work myself in Chile, my home country, so I felt I identified with her. Then, when I read the end of the episode, I was like, 'Oh, so I guess she's double crossing. Oh, that's cool. I like that!' I thought that was great fun. Then, I read Episode 2, and she drugs John Ross and she has crazy tie-me-down sex with him, I was like 'OK.' And then, when she started popping pills, I was like, 'OK, she's bipolar. I got it.' And it was fine because she stops taking her pills and things start to unravel... It was really well-timed. I didn't have to play her crazy before and I think it was really good not to because then it comes off, really, as a great device.
Access: How dangerous do you think she is?
Leonor: Very. Very.
Access: Is it because she's the unknown?
Leonor: I think she's a wild cannon. She's capable of pretty much anything. Her ethics are very flexible -- let's put it that way, so her morality is also. So she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. I think she's been burned before, so that makes her pretty ruthless in the game of like doing what it takes to get it done, get it resolved and because she's very emotional and unstable, that creates like a wildfire combination.
Access: It's such a fun character.