The Penelope Cruz of Veracruz

Ana de la Reguera could be the next Gael Garcia Bernal, Salma Hayek or Alejandro González Iñárritu—which is to say “Mexican in Hollywood, who you’ve heard of.”

The press here has singled her out as the next big entertainment export. In the last few months, I’ve seen a front page spread of her in the arts section of El Universal. And La Reforma wrote about her attending an acting school in Spain with Javier Bardem’s teacher. It was the first time I’ve ever seen an actor highlighted for simply practicing acting.

More evidence that de la Reguera, who’s from Veracruz, will make it: she looks like Paz Vega and Penelope Cruz’s long-lost cousin.  I demand a blood test!  (See a side-by-side shot of Cruz and de la Reguera here.) And Esquire magazine recently photographed the Mexican star posing like Eve in the Garden of Eden. Tagline: “To the citizens of Mexico, we humbly offer our thanks and appreciation for this charming actress. We’ll take over from here.”

So here’s her Hollywood experience, thus far, according to Esquire:

He could be familiar with her work — the countless Mexican movies and telenovelas; the HBO Latino series Capadocia, which was nominated for three International Emmys; 2006’s Nacho Libre, in which she plays a meek nun with a knack for subtle glances and a face that manages to draw attention away from Jack Black’s absurd showboating. He could be one of the four people who saw her in the Bruce Willis/Tracy Morgan flop, Cop Out.

Esquire seems to think her big break will arrive this fall. She’ll be appearing in HBO’s Eastbound & Down with Danny McBride. (Never seen it.) It’s premiering in late September. In the meanwhile, check out de la Reguera in the video above.

Photo by me. Taken in Cuernavaca, April 2010.

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