Zetna Fuentes is the kind of director that other Latinos aspire to be like. This well established industry professional is in demand for her notable vision when it comes to directing episodes. And from Ray Donovan to This is Us, she’s practically done it all. This time around we got to talk to Fuentes in an exclusive interview about the new Netflix show Cursed and what it takes to one day be in her shoes.
When asked directly what advice Fuentes had for other aspiring Latino directors, her answer was simple: you must create. It doesn’t matter with whom or if you do it through Skype. If you have the drive, then you can do it, and you should do it.
“I know people say it all the time but I think you have to shoot as much as you can. I think, generate your own work. If it’s working with actors, you can get some friends together. Even now in the pandemic with Zoom. Practice scenes or a story you might want to tell. Just anything to get your creative energy flowing and to not stop is really important.”
Fuentes continued this train of thought by talking about the obstacles that many Latino creators face. “As Latinas, as people of color, I think I’m a big believer that we have to do everything. We have to work, not as hard, but harder. It’s just a reality of the situation. I think historically opportunities for us, we all know this, people of color and women the door just hasn’t been open.”
It isn’t an easy journey and there will be plenty of obstacles in your way. That’s just the reality of the situation. Fuentes was adamant that it’s all about finding a way around it. “So I think that if there’s a no in front of you, it’s about, “How do I get past that? How do I get through that no to get to that ‘yes'” and to get to what you want to do. And none of it is easy but grit and determination play a really big part in it. And a lot of times it’s about pursuing it.”
When she wasn’t advocating for Latinos in the industry during our interview, Fuentes was gushing about Katherine Langford. She got to work with the lead of Cursed, who plays Nimue, during her directing of the first two episodes. And boy does she love her! “She’s amazing. And I know that sometimes you hear people talking well about their cast but she’s just so hard working. She’s so talented.”
And Fuentes felt especially grateful to have Langford on her team because they asked a lot of her in the beginning as they established her character and the world of Cursed. “I felt so grateful that it was her because we asked a lot of her. It was such a physically demanding role and she’s carrying a story. She put so much and never said no. She always wanted to talk about anything that I needed to talk about with her.”
When it came to the action stuff, Langford was absolutely down for doing everything herself, something that Fuentes was excited and grateful for. “I would pull her aside and ask about her stunt double and Katherine would go, “No, no, no.” She wanted to do everything. And the wolf sequence was exactly that.”
Ultimately, Fuentes’ time on Netflix’s Cursed was a labor of love from a woman who wants to break down barriers while working with some of the most hardworking people in Hollywood. And that’s what she’s doing, day by day, with continued work on shows like Cursed and with talent like Katherine Langford.
Cursed is available on Netflix.