By: Anastacia Barbosa
May our success never depend on the misery of others….
Natalia Cordova-Buckley stands firmly by this through every project she navigates. It’s her humility and selflessness that nearly led to her shorting her acting career a few years ago. It seemed that genuine roles in Hollywood were hard to grasp, especially ones that didn’t depend on a bombshell sexy-Latina vixen stereotypes.
“I believe that stereotypes are created to be destroyed. I have no issues playing any type of character as long as I find honesty in the piece. I will adamantly refuse a project if generality overwhelms the fight for truth.”
After her first feature US role Disney’s feature film “McFarland USA”, in which she plays a day laborer and mother of a young cross-country star, Natalia was about ready to close the door and then an audition for something spectacular stepped in before she could even grab the handle.
Now Natalia is kicking ass and taking names as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “I’m so incredibly honored,” Cordova-Buckley says surprised to learn that she’s the first on-screen Latina superhero in the revived Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I love the idea of a young kid, no matter the race or gender, being inspired by this character to be whoever they want to be. Go after whatever dreams they dream. I am not here to only uplift Latinos. I am here to uplift humanity.”
Yo-Yo, an “Inhuman”, has the ability of superspeed to travel at crazy rates but snap right back to where she started in a single heartbeat. It’s what lends itself to her “superhero” name “Slingshot”.
A role initially thought to be an irregular yet recurring role has turned into 14 credited episodes and a mini-series entitled “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Slingshot”. Cordova-Buckley has become fully embraced by the Marvel fandom.
“There was no real ‘before and after’ moment for me. Fame has never been a goal, it is simply a consequence of many serendipitous happenings that I, or any other in my position, have very little control over.” Ever graceful and humble, Cordova-Buckley is quick to state she doesn’t like to think of herself as famous. She’s simply just doing her job.
As fans of the Marvel actress know, if they follow her on social media, Cordova-Buckley is very open about spreading awareness on global issues and occurrences, specifically ones that hit very close to her heart. “Thanks to this small, elevated level of exposure, I am grateful to reach as many ears as possible in my efforts to help make this world a tiny bit better.”
Born and raised in Mexico, Natalia’s first home is in Cancun. She attributes her humanitarianism solely to her upbringing. “My parents are in incredibly compassionate human beings. I was very blessed to witness first hand their constant commitment to our community.” Natalia describes growing up in Cancun during a time pre-tourism commercialization when it was practically a classless society, in the sense that there was no distinct separation of socioeconomic levels that created a stark contrast for those to not avoid helping one another.
There was also the development of knowledge and growth of her intellect. Natalia is a fan of those who have built their careers on revolution and desire to change. She’s someone that takes pride in thinking and educating herself before she speaks.
“At a very young age, my father introduced and gifted me the biographies of Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara. (Mandela) quickly became my greatest inspiration for how I view my footprint in this world.”
Cordova is a voracious reader and social activist. She sees herself making a difference by continuously speaking out and standing on the front lines. Most notably traveling to Washington D.C. this past January with friend and co-star Chloe Bennett to participate in the Women’s March on DC. “I prefer to be in the trenches with everyone else fighting the fight. My place is in the battle not in the high tower of the castle.”
Natalia lives so much of her life working; whether it’s on set or for the better good of the world, but in her down time she’s very much a homebody. She loves spending time at home with her husband, Brian, and their two pups Bukowski and Lorca. But her life is also full of adventure.
Scrolling through her Instagram it’s evident to see that Cordova-Buckley has an eye for photography and even reading up on her past, one will learn that she started her performing career with dancing before turning to acting.
“I love art in all mediums. I am currently in the process of creating a show. It is a wild adventure and gives me a newfound respect for producers.”
And of course, we’re thrilled to see what this intelligent, brilliant, unique woman has in the works. But for now, we are looking forward to keeping up with Cordova on the path she’s paving herself. “Right now I’m having far too much acting.”
At the end of the day, whether it’s acting, writing, activism, or loving, Natalia firmly believes everything is rooted in the law of reflection.
“Your world is a reflection of you and you are a reflection of your world.” she strongly states. “I try to find inspiration and light in all things, even in the darkest moments. I believe our pain is our rain, that which makes you blossom and bloom. The pains of our past or the inevitable pains we will face in the future are a great source of wisdom and thus enlightenment. They are the best teachers.”
There’s no doubt in our mind that this strong woman is genuinely speaking from her soul when it comes to everything she does. Her actions are authentically Natalia and there’s no other way to say it.
Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D: Slingshot is streaming now on YouTube and the ABC App.