Hollywood isn't easy to break into. Most actors wait for decades to have that right-place-right-time moment, and it never comes. Which is exactly what makes Karla Souza so unique. After moving from Mexico City to Los Angeles a few months ago, it took her a matter of weeks to book a major role on a pilot. And, this wasn't just any pilot — this was writer and producer Shonda Rhimes' new series, How to Get Away with Murder
. You don't need to be a McDreamy or Olivia Pope fanatic to know that just about everything Rhimes touches turns to television gold.
The funny part: Souza hadn't watched Grey's Anatomy
when she went in to audition for the part of Laurel Castillo, a key member of the new legal drama's ensemble cast. She wasn't even aware that she was meeting with television's biggest power player.
"It helped with the audition because I wasn't terrified," she explains. "I would have been if I knew what I was going up for." Souza went home afterwards and binge-watched all of Scandal
in about two days, making her a Rhimes devotee by the time she got the call offering her the part.
Ahead, we get to know the up-and-comer, find out how she fast-tracked her way to stardom, and ask her what it's really
like to work with someone as big time as Rhimes.Photographed by Elizabeth Weinberg; Hair by Derek Williams for The Wall Group; Makeup by Kayleen McAdams for The Wall Group.