Although she was born into a famous acting family in Mexico, Aislinn Derbez wanted nothing to do with show biz. But it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and millions of fans—including her 1.5 million Instagram followers—are glad she did.

The 30-year-old beauty has conquered the Latino TV and film market, and now she’s making a bid to do the same in the U.S. with Compadres, an action comedy set in Mexico and San Diego and filmed with both Mexican and American actors in Spanish and English.

Opening this weekend, it casts Derbez as a woman who gets kidnapped by a crime lord—sending her ex-cop boyfriend after her and $10 million in stolen money. Get to know this rising estrella here.

“I’ve had love scenes before, but not in a sexy way. I’m used to it—it’s all professional.”

What attracted you to Compadres?
I really liked the script, especially my character. She’s very mysterious and interesting and a huge key to the movie. Even though my time on screen is very small, it’s important because it’s about finding her.

Is this your first action comedy?
Yeah. I’ve done a lot of movies but never action. I’m really excited about it because it will get more exposure here than others I’ve done.

Did you have gun training?
Yeah, I’d never used one, never had one in my hand. It was kind of weird. I was a little bit scared. There was someone on set the whole time who showed me how to do it. I really wanted to do more action and I hope I get to do more in my next movie.

You have a hot love scene. Have you done them before?
I’ve had love scenes before, but not in a sexy way. In A La Mala there was a sex scene, but not heavy at all. I’m used to it—it’s all professional.

Did growing up on movie sets with your dad Eugenio make you want to act too?
In the beginning I didn’t want to do it precisely because of that. I wanted to be different from my family. I studied art, painting. I got a bachelor of arts in it. And then I discovered it was not my thing. I loved it but as a hobby. My passion was acting. It took a while to realize it. I went to New York from 2006 to 2009. I started with short films, an Off-Broadway monologue, student productions. Then I went back to Mexico and started doing movies, TV, and haven’t stopped.

What’s been the most fun so far?
I’ve done a lot of independent movies in Mexico and I’ve really enjoyed them—they were very different from TV. But what I’ve enjoyed the most is traveling. I did a series in Colombia, movies in Chile and had to speak with a Chilean accent, a movie in the Czech Republic where I had to learn to speak Czech. I just did a movie in Chicago called Win it All, a comedy with Jake Johnson and director Joe Swanberg. I play a Mexican nurse but speak English.

What’s on your to-do list?
I just moved here six months ago, to Los Angeles, and I would like to continue to do independent films and also work internationally. I want to participate in really good stories. It’s so difficult to find really well written stories and characters. I want to play great characters that are different from each other. I don’t like to be doing the same thing all the time. When you do something that works everybody only wants you for the same specific role. I hate that.

What else are you passionate about?
Staying healthy, growing spiritually—I love sports, hiking, meditating. I’m writing a lot. It takes a lot of time but I’m starting because I want to write my own stories. That’s my new focus. I hope I can come out with my own scripts in the future.

Photo: Pantelion Films