Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Meet ''Kingpin'''s tough-talking breakout star

Meet ”Kingpin”’s tough-talking breakout star. Former model Angela Alvarado Rosa battles violent Mexican drug lords on NBC’s hit miniseries

Posted on

Angela Alvarado Rosa
Angela Alvarado Rosa: Mike Guastella/WireImage.com

NAME Angela Alvarado Rosa

AGE 32

WHERE YOU’VE SEEN HER A teen model for Banana Republic and Oil of Olay, Rosa guested opposite Don Johnson on ”Miami Vice,” playing — what else? — a hooker. She later popped up in Sly Stallone’s ”D-Tox” and last year’s Robert De Niro/Eddie Murphy flick ”Showtime.”


THE SCOOP ON DELIA She is a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent tracking a Mexican crime family from across the border in El Paso, Texas. Early on, her partner is murdered, while she’s shot and left for dead. Blaming Delia for the agent’s demise, DEA bosses transfer her to Houston, making her personal mission of revenge a long-distance proposition.

DELIA’S ORIGIN ”[Creator] David Mills took the American icon of John Wayne — the cowboy sheriff — and flipped it into a female Latino,” Rosa tells EW.com. ”That’s never really been done on TV before, has it?”

IF ”KINGPIN” WERE A MOVIE, SHE’D BE… ”The Benicio Del Toro character in ‘Traffic,”’ says Rosa. ”He has to deal with the system, so that’s one fight. And he also has to deal with the drug lords, so that’s two fights. Delia has these two fights. It’s kind of unfair.”

HOW SHE GOT THE ”KINGPIN” GIG NBC execs wanted someone who was physically prepared to kick some butt. A rabid Tae Kwon Do student, Rosa fit the bill. NBC’s sticking point? They wanted someone who had previously played a cop. She sealed the gig when the director of ”Showtime,” in which she plays a CSI officer, had a preview reel delivered to NBC months before the film’s release.

ROSA’S DON JOHNSON MOMENT ”Remember when he did a music album? This was in the middle of Don Johnson mania. He saw some of the dailies [from my ”Miami Vice” episode] and cast me in his video.” The role? A hooker, of course.

PREVIOUSLY AUDITIONED FOR… ”Any Latino part that’s out there. ‘Selena”s about the only role that I didn’t [go for]. Jennifer Lopez was born to play that role. From what I hear, she didn’t even have to do anything for the costumes. She just went in Selena’s closet and tried ’em on… and they fit.”

A FUTURE POP STAR? She may be married to Robert Rosa, who cowrote Ricky Martin’s ”Livin’ la Vida Loca” and produced the singer’s 1999 self-titled album, but she says she has no desire to follow J. Lo into the recording studio. ”I don’t have any interest in music. It’s like being married to Martin Scorsese and not wanting to act, you know?”

HER DREAM ROLE Forget the album, but she says she’d love to do ”something challenging like ‘Chicago’ or ‘Moulin Rouge’ where I was PLAYING a singer. But the only person I would trust is my husband. He would definitely have to produce me.”

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS If ”Kingpin”’s ratings remain strong through the initial six episodes, NBC may turn the show into a full-fledged series. ”[Creator David Mills] is keeping the story very secret, but he talks about rebuilding Delia’s strength within the company,” Rosa says. ”That’s the number one priority: to get her reputation back as a badass. Then she can go on with her mission to crumble ‘La Corporacion.”’