The Mexican actress stars in the newest teen drama, which has been described as a Gossip Girl meets social media spin-off.
Remember when Gossip Girl characters had to squint to read the gossip about them on their flip phones? Well, Ana Valeria's character, Sofia, definitely can't relate.
'Control Z' focuses on a group of privileged kids who become the target of an anonymous hacker that reveals their secrets through an Instagram-like account.
Ana Valeria plays Sofia, a super observant and introverted student at el Colegio Nacional. But when the hacker threatens to reveal everyone's secrets, Sofia gets involved in a thrilling investigation to discover the person behind the mask–or in this case, behind the account.
Outside of the show, Ana Valeria is a kindred soul.
She's garnered over 650k followers on Instagram, which the actress uses to share parts of her life and artistry, advocate for social justice and feminism, and share bits and pieces of her magnetic personality.
I had a great time chatting with Ana Valeria about her favorites from the show, how it's changed her life, and her favorite spots to go in Mexico City.
H: How was the auditioning process? What attracted you most about Sofia?
AV: From the moment I read what the show was about and the character, I fell in love with the project. I told myself, "I need to play Sofia." What I love the most about her is that she's not the typical heroine who always does good and is super charismatic. Sofia is still dealing with a lot of things from her past, and that complexity was what drew me to her.
H: If you didn't know how the show ends, who would you think is the hacker?
AV: This is kind funny, but I always wanted it to be Lulú. It was kind of an inside joke between the cast because not a lot of us knew who the real hacker was. Only Yankel, Patricio, and I knew who the hacker was from the beginning. On the first table read when the directors were going to reveal the hacker, Pato stopped them and said it'd be better if no one else knew.
It was the right call because it made the suspense genuine. The more scenes we read, the more theories people came up with about who the hacker could be.
H: And the big finale was...wow. I never saw it coming!
AV: Now that I watched the entire show, I was shocked too. Even when I watched it with my family, my brother began shouting, "I knew it!" It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I still get super excited and emotional.
H: Netflix has been pushing for series that create conversations–especially in Mexico. What do you think "Control Z" can achieve with this representation?
AV: I feel so proud of the work the whole team made–the producers, the crew, and the actors. We tackled these topics from a genuine and honest place. With shows like this, Netflix is giving a space for people who were not represented in media before.
It is so important to have faithful and dignified representation on screen.
Eventually, it's going to drive conversations and generate debates that are necessary for countries and cultures like ours. Even though the show is meant for young audiences, I think it's important that families watch. The topics we discuss on the show, like violence and gender, among others, are not exclusive to high school students.
Adults tend to brush-off the struggle of teenagers as a "phase" or as part of life, when it's a lot more complex.
At this age, you go through a lot of life-changing things that are tough and uncomfortable. I believe that parents seeing this will also know the validity of the battles that their children fight everyday.
H: How was the overall experience with 'Control Z'?
AV: I'm extremely happy. This has been the biggest production I've worked on. I'm super proud of the project, not only because I'm in it, but because people are liking it a lot around the world. It fills me with pride. I'm convinced that there's so much talent in Mexico, and it makes me so proud that the show is resonating with so many people.
Watch 'Control Z' on Netflix and follow Ana Valeria on Instagram: @ana.valeria.becerril