Alicia Machado back on TV as the beautiful, manipulative "Madame"

Miami, Aug 16 (EFE).- Venezuelan actress and ex-Miss Universe Alicia Machado returns to television as the beautiful, manipulative madame of a Colombian brothel frequented by politicians, a true story that inspired the book "Las Prepago" (Prepaid Women).

In "La Madame," which will air starting Aug. 26 in the United States on UniMas, she plays a strong, passionate woman who risks her life in a forbidden romance with her kidnapper.

"Unlike all the other roles I've played before, Madame Rochy is a real-life person," the 38-year-old star told Efe, adding that this is just the kind of challenge she loves as an actress.

"She is a Colombian woman from the coast, very different from me in many ways. She's colder and more calculating than I could ever be. In every scene, when she speaks she always has a double meaning; every one of her words could signify something else, and you're never sure exactly what she means by what she says. As an actress, projecting that duality can be a tremendous challenge," she said.

During the course of the 50-episode series, viewers will be able to witness the sexual indiscretions at the top levels of Colombian politics during the 1990s.

But for Machado, the most interesting element of the story is how certain persistent rumors about the woman are dispelled.

"Though there's a lot of sex and sensuality, for me this is a very feminist work that refutes the belief some people have, including some women, that a beautiful woman can't be intelligent," she said. This, she added, is something she herself experienced at the outset of her career.

Alicia Machado was crowned Miss Universe in 1996 and a year later starred in her first telenovela, "Samantha," in her native Venezuela.