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2 YEARS

'Burn Notice' Guest Star Angelica Celaya Dives Into Uncharted Territory

After working for 10 years in the Spanish market, the telenovela actress talks to THR about making the jump to English-language television in the USA Network drama.

Burn Notice Angelica Celaya - H 2012
USA; Getty Images
Angelica Celaya (inset)

Burn Notice welcomes telenovela star Angelica Celaya, who makes her English-language TV debut in Thursday's episode.

For Celaya, who worked for a decade in the Spanish market though she was born and raised in Tucson, Ariz., the Burn Notice gig (she plays Angela Flores, the high-maintenance girlfriend of a dangerous Russian engineer suspected of selling weapons technology on the black market) represents a new chapter in her career. But the change, as she tells it, was drastic.

"It was different in the sense that I always related work to Spanish," Celaya told The Hollywood Reporter. "My head is always going through the scenes in Spanish and I had to change the internal chip to English. It was difficult because it was out of my comfort zone. After a number of years working, you know where your voice level is at and you're in control."

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For Celaya, getting used to how her voice sounded in English was an adjustment -- at first. "My voice goes in a different direction when I speak English; it's a little higher-pitched," she said. "Hearing myself consistently working like this was weird and nervewracking."

As with many characters on the USA spy drama, there's more to Celaya's character than meets the eye.

"She has a lot of things planned, she wants to get out of her situation and she wants to be left alone," Celaya said. Cue Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar).

"She asks for Fiona's help and they seem to get along very well. They build this camaraderie to where they understand each other with looks," she added. "There's something about Angela's boyfriend that she doesn't like -- and it could also be that she is a little smarter than she lets on."

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The toughest scene to tackle comes at the end of the hour, when Angela's true motives are revealed to all involved.

"That's when Angela stops being the doe-eyed girlfriend," Celaya said. "It's the switch and that to me was the most difficult situation to play."

Celaya has starred in Telemundo's Ladron de CorazonesMarina, Gabriel and Perro Amor.

Burn Notice airs 9 p.m. Thursdays on USA.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com