Alice Braga bids farewell to ‘Queen of the South’

USA Network drama concludes after five seasons

Alice Braga stars in the series finale of “Queen of the South” Wednesday on USA Network.

“Queen of the South” is going south.

The USA Network drama series wraps up its five-season run Wednesday, June 9, with protagonist Teresa Mendoza (played by Alice Braga) presumably settling one last score … or several. Having fled to America after running afoul of a Mexican drug cartel, she has established her own successful trafficking operation, thus keeping enemies who have stood to gain from dethroning her.

Based on the international bestseller “La Reina Del Sur” by Arturo Perez-Reverte, “Queen of the South” has given Braga a meaty role she’s expectedly grateful for. “This is not only the final season, it’s the completion of her journey,” the actress allows about her character. “She got to be the boss, and she’s had to make decisions that she hadn’t had to before. She kept trying to run away from that, but the time came for her to just give up and be that.”

Braga ends “Queen of the South” satisfied with the course Teresa has taken: “There’s so much that has happened to the character, and I’m really thankful to everyone who joined me on the journey and worked on it. It’s been a true blast, a dream come true for an actress to have such an arc, and to be able to have such fun with it and to learn from it. Even if Teresa is an antihero, she’s a heroine in areas of her own life, someone who has drive.”

As with so many series, work on “Queen of the South” was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which ended up making the final season a longer goodbye. “It’s been very interesting, very emotional,” Braga reflects. “We filmed the first two episodes, then we got shut down for six months, but we kept working on the scripts. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to finish, but I’m glad we were able to, because you want to share that with the fans.”

Since “Queen of the South’s” followers have kept it going for five seasons, would Braga — also known for such movies as “City of God,” “I Am Legend” and “Elysium” — be game for some sort of sequel movie or series?

Trying not to specify what happens to Teresa, she says, “I feel like her journey comes to a beautiful end, but many other characters in the show could do a spinoff. I think it’s always interesting when you see a different perspective. You never know what could happen. If the fans are still there and want it, why not? My heart is open to whatever might come, but I’m not sure there would be another path for Teresa. In the drug world, a lot of people die.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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