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‘Longmire’ actress Jessica Camacho grateful for key role in ‘Taken’

Jessica Camacho jumped at the chance to play Santana on the NBC series “Taken.”

She had never seen a character like this before.

“When I got the material for Santana, I was in between gigs,” she says. “Santana jumped off the page to me. She was just this really strong woman who is so confident in her abilities. She was a lone wolf and traveling all over the world. She’s making deals and doing her own thing.”

The character is a far cry from her Kiersten, whom she played on “Longmire.”

It’s important for her to switch it up with roles.

And with “Taken,” Camacho came into the series during its second season, which is airing now. The show airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on NBC.

“Taken” follows former CIA agent Bryan Mills, played by Clive Standen, as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world.

He fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge. In the current season, Camacho joins as Santana, who becomes Mills’ right-hand woman.

The series averages 3 three million viewers.

Coming into the new season, Camacho dealt with some nerves.

“They had a full season of bonding before I got here,” she says. “It’s always a little challenging. I felt like all eyes were on me, but I was comforted by the cast. They truly are the kindest and I’m so grateful to be part of this. I respect how hard they work.”

Playing Santana was also a challenge.

Santana is on her own path, and she’s parted ways with the Army.

“The season is finding how she wants to be part of a team again,” she says. “She wants to find her way back to a family unity. We’ve learned more about what drives her and why she so convicted to the things she cares about. It’s amazing to see her form these bonds throughout the season.”

Camacho hopes to make it back to New Mexico for another film project in the near future.

While she was filming “Longmire,” she enjoyed the area during her down time.

“It’s a cool, unique and spiritual place,” she says. “It’s rare to find a very diverse place with really good food. I haven’t found one yet since I was in New Mexico. I’ll be back soon.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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