Arts & Entertainment

Zeta-Jones enjoys playing a villain in “National Treasure” series

Los Angeles, Dec 14 (EFE).- “It’s fun to play the bad girl,” Catherine Zeta-Jones tells EFE as she discusses her role as a black-market antiquities dealer in the Disney+ series “National Treasure: Edge of History.”

“It’s fun as an actor to be a bit bad we spend so much time in our lives trying to be nice to everybody,” the winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Chicago” (2002) says.

The protagonist of the series, a spinoff from the big-screen franchise that featured Nicholas Cage, is Jess Valenzuela (Lisette Olivera), a young Mexican-American woman whose ambition to join the FBI puts her on the trail of a trove of pre-Columbian treasures that were hidden from the conquistadors by a league of indigenous women.

Jess’ search brings her into competition with Billie (Zeta-Jones), who has her own reasons for wanting to get her hands on the trove.

Though Billie seems a conventional villain at first glance, the Welsh actress tells EFE that she was able to find “little nuances” in the character.

“Is she bad? Is she on the good side? Is she doing this for good reasons or is she really doing this so she can sell that? Is this a business or some kind of payback that she needs to get?”

Zeta-Jones sees the series form as ideal for exploring the themes of the film trilogy.

“Now we have endless stories we can tell. There’s endless adventures,” she says. “You think in real life they must have found every treasure that’s got lost – no, we’re constantly finding new treasures or looking for lost artifacts.”

Jess, meanwhile, embodies the difficulties faced by migrants in the United States. The child of undocumented parents, she would be at risk of deportation if not for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“There’s certain things that she has to hide in her life and her dreams and aspirations are quashed because of that,” Zeta-Jones says of the heroine.

She thinks viewers will be attracted by the series’ inclusion of characters that seem true to life.

“It’s a fine line of very present cultural issues that we have, with the bigger scope and the adventure and the escapism of losing yourself in this world,” Zeta-Jones says, adding that she enjoys being part of productions that require her to expand her own horizons.

“For example, when I did ‘(The Mask of) Zorro’ it was a whole culture and a whole world,” she explains.

“And with this show, I didn’t know anything about Pan-American history or artifacts or treasured documents or manuscripts,” Zeta-Jones says. “The show is focusing on important cultural artifacts that are not just important to that country, but are very important to the world at large and the history of the cultures that make up who we all are today.” EFE mrl/dr

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