I’ve been a fan of Mexican actress Kate del Castillo ever since getting hooked on Televisa novela La Mentira in the ’90s. I learned so much Spanish watching that show! I love Kate’s badass characters and her outspoken personality, both on- and off-screen.
She has a pithy, colorful way of expressing herself that has me grabbing my notebook and jotting down fun new vocabulary whenever I listen to her.
Here’s how to learn Spanish with Kate del Castillo movies and TV shows and podcasts:
Kate del Castillo Shows on Netflix
Kate’s produced a lot of great original content for Netflix. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, I recommend watching with Spanish subtitles as studies show it enhances language learning.
To amp up your Spanish learning further, try Google Chrome browser’s free Language Learning with Netflix (LLN) extension. It allows you to watch subtitles in two languages, listen to dialogue one line at a time, and change playback speed. There’s also a pop-up dictionary, and LLN suggests the most important words for you to learn.
These Kate del Castillo series are on Netflix in the US as of September 8, 2021. If you’re not in the US, just click the title to check if the show is available in your country.
Kate kicks ass in this binge-worthy suspenseful thriller. Lots of Mexican slang, especially the chilanguismos spoken in Mexico City, and great location shots of the capital.
Interestingly, del Castillo’s parts had to be filmed in San Diego, because the actress risked arrest in her home country. She is wanted by authorities for having met with drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán while he was on the run in 2015. Real life meets narconovela!
La Reina del Sur
Kate del Castillo kicks butt again in this insanely popular telenovela. Del Castillo plays Teresa Mendoza, a young Mexican woman who becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain.
Gorgeous locations in Morocco, Mexico, Spain, and Colombia. This narconovela probably glamorizes the drug trade, but I loved the powerful female characters.
Great for Spanish practice due to the wide diversity of accents provided by an international cast.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story
In this fascinating docuseries, del Castillo presents her side of the now-infamous Rolling Stone interview with notorious drug trafficker El Chapo conducted by Sean Penn and herself.
I’ve always admired Kate for her strong convictions and badass female roles, but here her ambition and naïveté get her into deep trouble. Sean Penn outs himself as a total slimebag, and Kate becomes a convenient scapegoat for the corrupt Mexican government.
Interesting insights into Mexican culture (the influence of Televisa and telenovelas, Mexicans’ deep distrust of their own government) and lots of colloquial Mexican Spanish.
Kate del Castillo on Amazon Prime Video
I hope you love my Kate del Castillo movie recommendations! Just so you know, I may earn a small fee from purchases made using Amazon links in this section at no extra cost to you.
La misma luna (Under the Same Moon)
This heartwarming tearjerker became the biggest Spanish-language hit in Hollywood box office history. After the grandmother raising him dies unexpectedly, a young Mexican boy risks his life crossing the border alone to join his mother in Los Angeles.
Partly in English, but well worth a watch for the human face it puts on illegal immigration to the US.
Available for rental on Amazon.
Podcasts with Kate del Castillo
Kate has embraced podcasts to help broaden the reach of the audio artform to Hispanic audiences.
Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Accents: Wide variety of Latin American Spanish
Narrated by Kate del Castillo, this fun radionovela with a supernatural twist follows twins Sol and Mundo as they travel across the US and Latin America uncovering hidden family secrets and meeting long-lost siblings.
This cross-border mystery consists of eight episodes and features a multicultural cast from across the Spanish-speaking world.
Produced by progressive Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCRW, Sangre Celestial is the first ever bilingual radionovela podcast. It’s downloadable in both English and Spanish.
Neteando con Kate y Jessica
Accents: Mostly Mexican with some guests from other Latin American countries and Spain
Neteando, which translates as “Telling it like it is,” features Kate and her longtime friend, celebrity reporter Jessica Maldonado.
Unfortunately, this podcast is on indefinite hiatus due to the current situation, but it’s worth checking out the back catalog.
These ladies and their guests get together to dish about their lives and discuss current topics in news, entertainment, society, and culture.
The witty dialogue is peppered with colorful Mexican slang and pochismos (Spanglish). Occasionally, a guest will speak mostly in English; I tend to skip those episodes since they are not ideal for practice.
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Have more recommendations for Kate del Castillo shows and podcasts? Please share your suggestions in the comments.
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Thanks for these fun, thoughtful, and up to date recommendations!
So glad they were helpful, Kristen!
I agree with you, thank god for Netflix. I’m a french Canadian who learned english watching american soap opera for 10 years, my english is not perfect but I manage to communicate and I understand the language pretty much. I’m also a big fan of Kate Del Castillo and Netflix helps me to learn spanish, and I have one spanish channel I can watch… so, I can understand some words and phrases here and there, and I agree with you about what you said about Kate, great actress, great personality, that makes me want to learn spanish, and learn about mexican culture. I have great respect for that women.
Hi Aline, my mom learned American English from watching soap operas too when she first moved to the States! And I learned English as a child from Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. So I agree that this is an effective way of learning! Even better when we can do it from a smart, confident woman we admire like Kate. 🙂
I love Kate…i am totally addicted to binge watching all her movies and hope i pickup the language. You confirmed that it is possible. Thank you!
Hi Joella, agreed… For me personally, a foundation of grammar study, plus finding content I love, is the best way to learn.
I really love to watch kate on Netflix in India….she is really badass….I admire her….for the boldness….and stay strong in all the opposite situations. I don’t know a single word os Spanish language….but it sounds good when hear from kate
Glad to hear Kate’s an inspiration in India too! 🙂
Thank you so much for providing these insight. You have laid the foundation for my retirement goal. Binge watching and learning Spanish is my new goal. Once cv19 ban lifted I will traveling to Latin communities. Kate is up there as a superhero with Pam Grier (Jackie Brown ).
Hi Banton, happy it’s been helpful. Language learning and travel are such a great way to spend retirement. Hopefully we can get back to doing immersions in Latin countries soon.