‘Bosch:’ Natalia Castellanos talks Mayor Susanna Lopez

Provided by Amazon Studios

Natalia Castellanos shines as Mayor Susanna Lopez in Amazon Prime’s long running drama series “Bosch.” I got to chat with her about Susanna and see if she had any news about the still untitled spinoff series. No spoilers here, the spinoff is still underwraps but we should find out soon! 

“Bosch” follows an L.A.P. D. Homicide detective, Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), as he works to solve the murder of a thirteen year old boy while standing trial in federal court for the murder of a series killer. The series is based on the books by Michael Connelly. Natalia shines as Mayor Susanna Lopez, a decisive, strong, woman who is unlike any other Mayor you have seen in LA. She’s a woman who is truly for the people, until she quickly learns that it’s not only about who you know, but what you know. 

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The show and the books have been around for years, what was it like coming into this already established story?

Natalia: I hadn’t read the books when I first got the audition. But they’re books that a lot of people had talked such great things about and so when I came in and I booked it I was excited. But like with anything that is already established, there’s fear but there’s also excitement. I was extremely happy to be a part of it.

Had you seen the show before you auditioned?

Natalia: I had seen the show. That is something that I always do before going into anything. I try to watch it before going in.

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How would you describe Mayor Susanna Lopez?

Natalia: She’s really great in the sense that when she got elected as mayor and we started her journey in season seven as mayor, I think it’s, you know it’s a job that previously was held by a man, and she struggles a little bit to find her footing in this what, I call “boys club” of the inner political circle. So in ways, she definitely owes everything, of becoming the mayor to Chief Irving, but at the same time, she’s also struggling with the politics of her vision and what she feels she owes him because he helped her get there. 

There are so many layers to Susanna, how did you prepare to play her?

Natalia: So the beautiful thing about the show is they don’t really give you the script until right before we shoot the episode, so I didn’t know her journey fully as to where we were going to go so, to prepare for it, I leaned into what I needed in the moment. I feel like that is the reality of what we do in life, you don’t really know what your future holds and you got to work with the now and what’s important and your vision and what you think. So, what I started doing was researching, what it’s like to be in those circles, what I may need to do as a mayor, what I have to balance because it’s not just my vision that I have to think about, it’s also my community.

Were there any real life female politicians that you researched to help you create her?

Natalia: Absolutely, before booking the actual role as the congresswoman, and then later in the mayor, I did a lot more research in that, but AOC was somebody that I extensively watched. I really liked the presence that she has and watching her ways of talking to the actual community felt really community based and not just what we think of politicians as. So she was somebody that I studied quite a bit. 

You have some politics in your blood as well. Did any of that factor into how you approached her?

Natalia: Yes, absolutely. Growing up as a diplomatic daughter, we were around that, constantly. So I think that just innately came with me into this role because knowing how to deal with other people, other people’s opinions and thoughts and how to be very precise and what I want to do in the mayor’s office. That was a huge influence for sure… I mean, it’s something that I never thought that I would need. I always wanted to be away from politics and look, here I am.

Photo credit: JSquared
How does it feel ending a huge show like this?

Natalia: I think it is very bittersweet. I didn’t want it to end. Honestly, it was such a great experience on set with everybody, all the actors and the crew and the producers and everybody. It was sad to see that finish, but I was also really excited because this new world that they are going into, in the spinoff, just opens up so many doors to explore other things in other places. I feel like we as humans always are going through changes and this is just one other change for us to be able to experience through these characters but to relate as humans.

Does that mean that Mayor Lopez is coming back for the spin off?

Natalia: You’ll just have to wait and see.

Was the news of a spinoff show surprising? 

Natalia: It was kept under wraps, for sure. There were rumors, of course, around set and when I found out I was extremely excited. It’s a show that I know so many people love. We have such a great fan base and people love the books. So to have seen it just go and end, that would have been really sad.

In addition to writing “Bosch,” Michael was also a big part of the show. Did you get to work with him at all?

Natalia: He was on set. It was like two ships passing in the night. He was leaving set as I was coming, so I didn’t actually get to work with him, unfortunately.

Did you, the cast and crew, do anything special to celebrate the end of this era?

Natalia: Unfortunately I wrapped a little bit before the last episode wrapped. I know that they kind of celebrated just on set because of COVID. It wasn’t something like we’d normally do, where we’d have a wrap party. But I definitely was able to keep in contact with my new friends, which is always a blessing.

Did COVID affect anything with season seven?

Natalia: You know, the main thing that it affected, I think, was just getting used to the new protocols, but Amazon and the producers were so good at jumping on and really following these protocols. I felt safer there than I would at that time anywhere else. We were always masked and we were socially distanced. I mean, we had everything that you naturally would have, where we got swabbed constantly. I’ve been swabbed so many times more than I think most people, honestly. They did such a great job with that and I’m really appreciative because it made my job easier.

Photo credit: JSquared
You also have a new project that should be coming out soon called Survival. Is there anything you’re allowed to say about that?

Natalia: We are hoping that it will come out at the end of this year. There’s some talk of distribution, so I’m really hoping that actually follows through at the end of the year. 

Can you tell me a little bit about what it’s about?

Natalia: It follows a mother who was kidnapped. I play a special agent who is trying to figure out what’s happened because she was carjacked, and is forced to bond with this violent assailant so that she can escape. It’s a great thriller. 

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Natalia: Yeah, I have a few projects in the works. Nothing to release at the moment because everything is still under a lot of NDA’s and closed doors. But yeah, I’m excited for some of the things that will be coming out and I’m working on my own script. That has been my labor of love for the past like five, six years, you know, these projects always take a while to come out. 

I didn’t know that you were a writer as well. 

Natalia: I think it’s one of those things that actors kind of jump into as well. When we find the need for something that we may want to do in our career that hasn’t been in our path at the moment to choose. And it is a story that I really want to tell and so I just decided, ‘let’s do it.’

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Natalia: Well, I would definitely love for everybody to continue supporting “Bosch” and the spinoff, and watch what comes next in the new chapter. And for all the fans out there, please connect with me on social media, on Instagram and Twitter @hereisnatalia because I would love to hear what people think about the show and about Mayor Lopez and I want be able to connect with the fans that way.

Provided by Amazon Studios
“Bosch’s” seventh and final season is now streaming on Amazon.