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Karla Susana Olivares Souza (born December 11, 1985)[1] is a Mexican actress. She is known for her role as Laurel Castillo on the ABC legal drama series, How to Get Away with Murder.

Karla Souza
Karla Susana Olivares Souza

(1985-12-11) December 11, 1985 (age 33)
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Years active2008–present
Marshall J. Trenckmann
(m. 2014)


Early life and educationEdit

Souza was born in Mexico City on December 11, 1985 to a Chilean father and a Mexican mother, Mónica. Her grandmother, Elba Silva, was an assistant cook for the Rockefeller family for twenty years after immigrating to New York City from Chile in the 1960s.[2][3] Having lived in Aspen, Colorado until she was eight years old, Souza credits her grandmother's immigration to the United States as the reason she has an American passport.[2][4]

Souza first studied acting at Centro de Educación Artística, an acting school run by Televisa, in Mexico City. She also attended acting school in France and was part of a professional theatre company that toured throughout that country. While still in France, Souza auditioned and was selected to participate in the French reality TV show Star Academy, however, she turned down the offer after receiving an invitation to study at London's (Central School of Speech and Drama). She graduated from the school in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in acting. Near the end of her London studies, she received a CCP award,[clarification needed] traditionally presented to the most promising actress in London.[5] After being selected to go to Moscow with Anatoly Smilianski for an acting intensive, she returned to Mexico City and began acting in television and film when she was 22.[6]


2009 saw her television debut in the Mexican telenovela Verano de amor, starring singer Dulce Maria.[7] She later starred in Mexican sitcoms Los Héroes del Norte and La Clinica. Her film roles include From Prada to Nada; in 2013, she was also in two Mexican box office hits, Nosotros los Nobles and Instructions Not Included.[8][9] In 2014, Souza moved to Los Angeles to pursue English-language film and television roles.[10] She was cast as a series regular in the Shonda Rhimes-produced legal drama series How to Get Away with Murder as law student Laurel Castillo, opposite Viola Davis.[11][12] In February 2015, Souza appeared on the cover of Women’s Health.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

In December 2013, Souza became engaged to Marshall Trenkmann and the couple married in May 2014.[14][15] Together they have a daughter, Gianna, who was born in 2018.[16]

Souza is multilingual and fluent in Spanish, English, and French. She is a Christian.[17]

Souza gave a TEDx talk in León, Guanajuato, on March 21, 2015, titled "Sweet are the Fruits of Adversity". It became the most-seen Spanish TEDx talk with more than a million views.[17]

In February 2018, Souza appeared in Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui's show and revealed that she had been a victim of sexual assault. Souza stated that, when she was 22, she was raped by the director of a TV show she was working in; she did not name her attacker.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Aspen Extreme Kimberly
2010 El efecto tequila Ana Luisa
2011 From Prada to Nada Lucy
2012 Suave patria Roxana Robledo ACE Award for Best New Actress
2013 31 días Mayra
2013 Me Late Chocolate Moni
2013 Nosotros los Nobles Bárbara Noble Pantalla de Cristal Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Diosas de Plata for Best Performance - Actress
2013 Instructions Not Included Jackie
2014 El Crimen del Cácaro Gumaro Supper Burrows Manager Scene deleted
2015 Sundown Ashley Lopez
2016 ¿Qué culpa tiene el niño? Maru Premios Luminus 2017 - Best Actress
2017 Everybody Loves Somebody Clara Barron
2018 Jacob's Ladder[19] Annie/Angel
2018 The Jesuit Collie


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Terminales Vanessa Episode: "Espejismos"
2009 Verano de amor Dana Villalba Duarte Telenovela, 120 episodes
2010 Persons Unknown Dosette Episode: "And Then There Was One"
2010-2011 Los Héroes del Norte Prisca Series regular, 36 episodes
2011 Niño Santo Lucia Starring, 23 episodes
2012 La Clinica Maripily Rivadeneyra Series regular
2014–present How to Get Away with Murder Laurel Castillo National Hispanic Media Coalition - 2017 Impact Award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series

Series regular (60 episodes)


  1. ^ Mariana Rosas (2013-12-11). "Karla Souza vive en total plenitud". Estilo DF. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Moreno, Carolina (2016-09-21). "'HTGAWM' Star Karla Souza Explains Why She's A 'Spoiled American'". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  3. ^ "Karla Souza: 8 preguntas obligadas". 2 October 2009.
  4. ^ Joanne Ostrow (2014-07-15). "ABC explains "How to Get Away with Murder"". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  5. ^ "Karla Souza". Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  6. ^ Mariana Linares Cruz (2013). "Karla Souza La mujer con el tiempo a su favor". Gente Mexico. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  7. ^ "Karla Souza agradece a Pedro Damián". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  8. ^ Redacción GQ. "¿Cómo conquistar a Karla Souza? | GQ Mexico". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  9. ^ "Actor Gonzalo Vega, Karla Souza and NOSOTROS LOS NOBLES Director Interview | Interviews | Articles". 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  10. ^ "Karla Souza nos cuenta que su anillo de compromiso lo diseñó su novio". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "UPDATE: Jeffrey Nordling & Christina Chang In ABC's 'Sea Of Fire', Trio Cast In 'Murder'". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "ABC New Series Pickups: 'Selfie', 'Forever', Galavant', 'Whispers', 'How To Get Away With Murder', 'American Crime', 'Black-ish', Jeff Lowell Comedy". Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  13. ^ "Karla Souza presume cuerpazo en Revista Womens Health". Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  14. ^ "¡Karla Souza se casa!". 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
  15. ^ "EXCLUSIVA de ¡HOLA!: Karla Souza nos presenta a su prometido". Hola Revista. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
  16. ^ "How to Get Away With Murder's Karla Souza Welcomes Baby Girl". US Weekly. 2018-04-20. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  17. ^ a b "TEDxCalzadaDeLosHeroes". 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  18. ^ ""Cedí a que me besara y me tocara de formas que yo no quería... Me violó": Karla Souza en CNN - Aristegui Noticias".
  19. ^ Hipes, Patrick (28 June 2016). "Karla Souza Ascends 'Jacob's Ladder'; Jaime Ray Newman Joins 'Valley Of The Gods'". Retrieved 28 June 2016.

External linksEdit