Isabella Sierra actriz reina del sur©Hola
HOLA! EXCLUSIVE

Isabella Sierra, daughter of Teresa Mendoza, shares her biggest challenge – caring for her mental health

The young actress has quickly become a fan favorite character of “La Reina del Sur”

At only 17 years of age, Isabella Sierra is a star on the rise. She plays Sofia, Teresa Mendoza’s daughter, and has quickly become one of “La Reina del Sur’s” most beloved characters. Over the course of seasons two and three, we’ve witnessed Sofia’s personal and professional growth, resulting in one of the series’ most captivating stories.

Behind the scenes, Isabella is just as surprising. The Colombian actress took a stand for herself and made the difficult decision to ask for help once she noticed that the comments that people made regarding her body started to affect her.

In an interview with HOLA! USA, Isabella talked about her career and what it means to her to be a part of a show like “La Reina del Sur.” She also comes clean about the condition that led her to ask help, something that she’d never revealed to the media before.

I have people that support me and love me. I’m on my way to healing. I feel very good right now.”
Isabella Sierra actriz reina del sur©Hola

What does it mean to you to be involved in a show like “La Reina del Sur”?

I feel very blessed and lucky. This is an opportunity that not a of people get and thank God I got it. Sometimes it’s very intimidating to be a part of such a big series because you have to be on that same level. But what matters is to trust yourself, in your talent, and to be grateful. Especially to Telemundo for the opportunity.

What has been the best advice that Kate del Castillo has given you?

What I’ve learned most from her is discipline. She’s very disciplined. As I’ve always known, the talent, the will to do things and the passion you feel for them is nothing when there’s no discipline. Because you can be super talented but if you’re not disciplined or responsible with your work you can’t do anything. She proves this and she’s a talented woman, producer and businessperson. She’s so disciplined and I try to do that in my personal and professional life. I learned that from her.

Isabella Sierra actriz reina del sur©Hola

How have you evolved on a professional and personal level throughout your involvement with the series?

Physically, I don’t know because I have the same face as I had years ago (laughs). But personally, I feel I am much more mature, much more responsible and conscious. I consider myself responsible at my job, always have been. Now I’m more conscious of what I say and what I do. Also, I’m more conscious of my learning. In the second season I learned from my cast mates but I was more relaxed about it. Now, I’m more disciplined when I’m on set, when it’s time to learn, when I have to rehearse, of what I can bring to my cast mates.

Personally, I feel like I have evolved so much. When you’re younger you take everything so personally, all the social media feedback and the criticisms.

In regards to what you’ve just said, what do you do to remain detached from the criticism from social media?

It’s tough because actors are people and we’re constantly dehumanized. Everything people say you have to take it, because you’re famous and that’s what you get. A lot of the times we have to create that filter for commentary and its important to be aware of the person you are, to know that you’ll never make someone 100% happy, that a lot of people will like your work but a lot of people won’t. That’s life. Something I try to do is to avoid reading much criticism or commentary and if I have to respond to someone, to take a moment and not say something I shouldn’t.

Psychological help is very good and it’s something that’s been so vilified. If you go to a psychologist it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. You’re simply thinking about yourself and that’s so important.

When talking about mental health, have you ever experienced an episode that challenges your emotional stability?

Yes. Sadly, it’s something we all go through, more so when you’re a teen since there’s those hormones making every thing worse. There was a time when I was around 13, when I was done shooting the second season of “La Reina del Sur” where I experienced panic attacks. That was the first time I went to the psychologist. I’ve never shared that. I started having problems with food, because I felt a lot of pressure from my social circle, of the way I should look, how I should be eating. I didn’t know how to balance that. I knew that it wasn’t healthy for my body or my head but thank God I now have people who support me, who love me and I’m on my way to heal. I feel very good right now.

When people talk about these topics they try to minimize it because they haven’t been through it. It’s not easy. The mind is very strong and we aren’t able to control it. Sadly our minds control us most of the time. But it’s possible to get better and improve.

“If you go to a psychologist it doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it just means you’re taking care of yourself and that’s very important”
Isabella Sierra actriz reina del sur©Hola

How does therapy help you face those issues?

I look for help in three areas in my life. First, there’s God. I have a healthy emotional connection with Him. When I feel close to him, I know that there’s something bigger than whatever is affecting me and that makes me feel like everything will be okay. Then there’s therapy, which provides me with tools to heal. And then there are people I can vent and talk to. My parents and my sister are the people that I have to support me when I’m in crisis.

What would you advice to your followers?

Firstly, that you don’t have to fit into anyone’s stereotypes. There’s nothing wrong with being better, what matters is why you’re making that decision. Don’t let your parents or your friends tell you how you’re supposed to look like. It’s your life and you’re the only one that can live it.

Everything passes, everything heals, everything will be okay if you get help. There’s a lot of people that are going through what you’re going through every day and they make it out alright.

How do you close out your 2022 and what are your plans for 2023?

I close it out working. Thank God. I’m going to Mexico to start a project. I close it out happy and at ease. I start 2023 with music. I have a musical duo called “Isa & Juli” with my sister, who’s also an artists, singer and actress. On October 18 we’re making a cover of “La Reina del Sur 2” and afterward we’re making our own music, made by us and our team. I’m very excited.

With so many projects, do you have time for love?

Good. I’m happy. Thank God since I was little I’ve known how to create a balance and have managed to live through different stages. But yeah, there’s time for everything.