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Photo: IMDB
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Cinthya Carmona, a rising Colombian actress set to take Hollywood by storm

She makes her debut on streaming platforms on Aug. 7 alongside Shia LaBeouf in The Tax Collector.

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It’s time for the world to meet rising star, Cinthya Carmona. The Colombian dancer and actress is no stranger to the limelight, but she’s about to shine even brighter with her role in the upcoming movie, The Tax Collector, opposite Shia LaBeouf.

She’s very excited to have worked with an actor as accomplished as LaBeouf. “I was always obsessed with him, not gonna lie. I've always been a huge fan of his work, from his Even Stevens days to be honest. I grew up watching him. But I am even more of a fan now, after working with him,” she said.

Carmona didn’t grow up knowing she wanted to be an actress, and started as a dancer.

Disregarded dreams realized

Growing up in a strict, religious, Latin household, the idea of being a dancer or an actress professionally was unheard of. Fortunately, she had a Godmother that worked in the industry’s Latin market and she saw Carmona’s star potential.

Ever since she was a child, Carmona’s Godmother would tell her parents about her potential stardom. 

“She is going to work in the entertainment industry. She’s going to be an actress,” her Godmother would say.

One day, she brought Cinthya to an acting workshop and Carmona remembered feeling like she found what she was missing.

“That artistic expression that I was looking for, that dance, for some reason, wasn’t fulfilling,” she said.

Once the passion was realized, Carmona wasted no time in chasing it. Immediately after high school, she moved to Los Angeles to take acting classes, and then to New York to study theatre.

“It fills me in a way that nothing else does,” she said.

Learning the craft… and life skills

In New York, she gained the most appreciation for her craft when she started studying acting with Alice Spivak, owner of the theatre company, On The Road Repertoire.

Acting and dancing aren’t the only forms of self expression Carmona participates in. She also started martial arts during rehearsals for The Tax Collector, and it brought out her “full warrior self.”

"It's a tool that I'm gonna take in my life and the way I approach relationships and the way I treat myself as a woman. I'm not this little delicate flower that is easily crushed,” she said.

Carmona said that learning MMA under Richard Mesquita during rehearsals was like a rite of passage to “see what you’re made of.” It really helped break the ice and build trust with her co-star Bobby Soto, who plays her husband in the film.

A fighter for trans rights

Outside of work, Carmona is an avid activist for transgender rights and education reform.

She has a trans cousin, so standing up for their rights and visibility is incredibly important to her and her family.

She also worked on a show called Deputy on Fox, and was very excited to play the love interest of Bex Taylor Clause, the first non-binary character featured on network television.

“I want to get involved and back up anything that will increase visibility for the trans community. I want to see more of this on television. I'm working on my first screenplay during quarantine and I am trying to make sure that I write some really layered, incredibly strong trans characters that are complex,” Carmona said.

Even before she started acting, Carmona knew she wanted to use her platform for good, and education has been a passion of hers for a long time. She recently helped a friend with a bake sale that was raising money for girls in Bangladesh that are forced into marriage and not allowed to go to school.

Helping back in Colombia

However, the “passion project” she holds dearest to her heart is one that celebrates her Colombian roots.

At the end of last year, she took a month-and-a-half off to visit her family in Barranquilla, Colombia. She told an aunt that she wanted to pour her energy into improving education in the country’s run-down villages.

She then found that her uncle, who is a pastor, had just taken over, through his church, a village called Por Fin, and her aunt and him were going that weekend to drop off some Christmas gifts. 

Carmona joined and fell in love with the children.

“I don’t believe in coincidences.” Carmona knew that she was meant to find this village and help improve this school.

“The feedback I'm getting already from people that know about it is great. People want to help, and to see that humanity, to see that selflessness in people reminds you that there's light,” she said.

Quarantine reflections and other projects

In regards to mental health, Carmona has been very grateful for the time that quarantine has provided her. 

“Filming The Tax Collector wasn’t the easiest project as far as how emotionally taxing it was, the places I had to go for that character and the things I had to kind of dig up and sort through,” she said.

She has been meditating, having weekly therapy sessions, listening to Deepak Chopra and she feels great.

Beyond The Tax Collector, Carmona also has what she called “a very cool project coming out.”

She has a role in a movie called Reefa, the true life story of an 18-year-old Colombian graffiti artist named Reefa Hernandez who was killed at the hands of police in 2013 for spray painting a wall.

“You get to learn so much about this kid who represents so many Black and Brown kids around the world who’s stories go completely unnoticed. The family still hasn’t gotten the justice they deserve,” Carmona said.

The film was meant to premiere the day that lockdown began. Carmona and her family were disappointed in the postponement, but she feels that the silver lining is that this issue has been impossible to ignore recently.

“Now the film is going to come out at a time when we’re all very raw emotionally,” she said.

In the future, Carmona wants to continue working with very talented people and engage in great storytelling. She wants to keep challenging herself.

“Every role that I choose has to be completely different. Sophie on Greenhouse Academy is 100% different than Alexis in The Tax Collector, who is 100% different than Offir in Reefa. That’s what I love in my work: the versatility, being able to tell different stories, and being able to represent myself as a Latina,” she said.

You can see Cinthya Carmona in The Tax Collector on Friday August 7, on Amazon, Google Play and Apple TV.

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