Dallas was second-to-none when it came to shocking revelations, devious double-crosses and smoking hot stars. TNT's Dallas is picking up right where the original left off and rolling all of those attributes into one character: Leonor Varela's "Marta Del Sol."
Audiences learned just how far this mystery woman will go to accomplish her goal at the end of last week's episode when she not only roofied and recorded her tryst with a tied-up John Ross, but J.R. discovered she is not, in fact, Marta Del Sol. Turns out, that was a revelation that also caught Varela by surprise!
ETonline: How much of Marta's duplicity did you know about when you were cast?
Leonor Varela: When I auditioned for this, I'd only read the first episode. So I just knew she was this environmentalist [laughs] – then, when I got the second episode, it was like, "Oh. That's why you cast me." [laughs] I had no clue, so I have to give credit to the showrunners to see beyond what I did in the audition room that I could go to the dark places they start taking her.
ETonline: Wow, what was it like when you saw the second script?
Varela: [laughs] My jaw hit the floor -- and it keeps dropping with every script. Things this juicy with so much meat on them are so fun. When you play the darkness, it's so fun. I've played pretty before, so I really rejoice in this type of character.
ETonline: How do you see her: crazy, ambitious or crazy ambitious?
Varela: She is someone who is ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals. She's constantly on her toes. She's street smart from being burned before, so she is willing to do things outside her ethical comfort zone in order to get things done. And that's one of the things I love about her – you can label her as a bad guy, but at the same time, in a world where you have to survive, you have to do what it takes.
ETonline: How did your approach to the character change after finding out she was lying about so much?
Varela: I very much had to readjust what I thought and started to do serious research about chemical imbalances, because she is bipolar. It was so important. I got some direction about who this woman is [from the showrunners] because I didn't know where she was going, so I wasn't sure on how to play her. I got a very descriptive and detailed backstory, which helped me make her so much more real.
ETonline: What are you excited for people to see with your character moving forward?
Varela: She's got so many surprises up her sleeve – and the dynamic between her and John Ross goes way back. That will unravel and play out in ways the audience will not expect. They'll be very surprised and that's the genius of the writers. They've captured the spirit of the old Dallas – it’s true, real melodrama.
Dallas airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT.