Keyla Monterosso mejia stole the show at ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Keyla Monterroso mejia started her new job the day before. “cried my eyes out.”

It’s not the reaction you might expect from an actress landing her big break — in this case, on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”Mejia, 23 years old, said that things were even more extreme when her gig was first offered to her.

“My heart sank to my ass!”She spoke out for The Post. “It was the best, worst news ever. I don’t think I’ll ever be as scared before a project as I was the night before I started shooting ‘Curb.’ I was so full of doubts. I had nightmares that I would be on the set and they would fire me.”

Instead, Mejia, who had no professional TV experience, turned out to be the brightest light of the show’s 12th season: stealing scenes from stars Larry David and Cheryl Hines.

Even better, she’s done it by playing the world’s worst actress. Maria Sofia Estrada is a Mexican short order cook whose brother blackmails David into hiring her for a part — meant to be that of a slim Jewish ballerina — on a show he is producing.

Maria Sofia is an actress but Maria Sofia has the ego to be one. She becomes David’s bête noire as she bumbles, brawls and sometimes breaks out into incredibly awkward “sexy” dances.

Keyla Monterroso Mejia said her family wanted her to be a barber — like many of them are — but she was terrible at it.Photo Copyright John Chapple/

“Marques Rey, who plays my dad, was incredible,”Mejia stated. “He just said this line to Larry, ‘You know, my daughter can dance.’ He came up with the idea and all I had to do was execute it.”

Mejia is the American daughter of immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico and her first generation. “had nothing on my resume but two short films,”However, that was enough for a casting agency to find her. “They were really taking a chance on me.”

She was originally hired for one episode but ended up in six. Now the actress is getting a raft of offers, and has just wrapped a national commercial and booked a new movie with major stars that she can’t reveal yet. She’s also part of the cast of the upcoming Netflix series “Freeridge.”

“Curb” producers were impressed by Mejia’s improv skills at her audition.Photo copyright John Chapple/

The bubbly Mejia spoke with The Post on Zoom, speaking from the same small bedroom in Chino Hills. She auditioned virtually for David. “Curb” producers. She lives there together with her mother and younger brother.

Her parents, Juan Carlos and Chely, both barbers, don’t speak much English. They still don’t have any idea who Larry David is, Mejia said.

“But they gave me all the support in the world,”She said, “even when they didn’t really understand what I wanted to do or why I wanted to do it.”

All she has in common with Maria Sofia, Mejia explained, is that she knows what it’s like to really bad at something. Many of her aunts, uncles, and cousins are barbers.

Her family expected she’d be one too, and tried to train her when she was a teenager.

After watching a documentary “In the Heights,” Mejia felt there was a place in Hollywood for her.Photo copyright John Chapple/

“I was the worst barber ever,”Mejia stated. “I apologize to anyone whose hair I cut. I was so nervous. I’d start sweating when I had to cut hair.”

She always dreamed of becoming an actor, but she never told anyone about it until a friend suggested a Pomona high school for performing arts. Mejia, at the time 15, convinced her parents to let her apply. She stayed for her junior year, then switched to a homeschooling program.

She stated that watching the 2017 documentary was what gave her most inspiration. “In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams,”That chronicled Lin Manuel Miranda’s life stories and the cast of the musical.

“I wanted to be an actress but it seemed like a faraway dream,”She spoke. “Then I watched that documentary. It gave me such motivation. I can’t sing or dance but it made me feel there is a place for me in acting — a place for people who look like me. And it might be tough but it’s not impossible.”

Her character, Maria Sofia,was the bane of Larry David’s existence on the show.

After spending 12 hours in the barbershop she would drive Mejia home to Gloria Garayua, her acting coach in Los Angeles, several evenings per week. She was so scared the first time they went that she was afraid to go in, even though she’d set the whole thing up herself.

“My dad and I had an argument outside [Garayua’s] place,”Mejia stated. “I said, ‘No, I can’t go up to the door, I’m too scared.’ So my dad said, ‘We didn’t come here for nothing. I’ll do it.’ He knocked on this lady’s door and said, ‘This is my daughter. She wants to be an actress. Can you help her?’”

Mejia, her dad, said that she is proud of her, but fell asleep while watching the first episode of “The Simpsons.” “Curb” because he didn’t really understand it.

The actress was only vaguely aware that she had heard of the show, but had never seen it before she tried out. “Seinfeld,”Larry David co-created and wrote this famously.

“We don’t have cable so I watched a lot of ‘Curb’ on YouTube clips”She said this when she was called for an audition. “Then I bummed a friend’s HBO account to watch the rest.”

She almost lost her mind when she learned that actors in the series are expected not to improvise.

Before landing the job, Mejia only had a few short-film credits. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” role.

Mejia, a performer arts high school student, said that she was taking an improv class. “I’d just sit in the corner, paralyzed. I told myself, ‘I never want to feel this way again.’”

After high school, she decided it was time to tackle the problem head on by enrolling in classes at The Groundlings – the famed improv school and sketch theater.

“I sucked again,”She spoke. “I just said, ‘Never again. I can’t do this.’”

So what? “my agent said I was going to do improv [in an audition] with Larry David himself, I swear to you, my heart went to my ass again.”

Mejia jumped on Zoom in her bedroom to see David, the casting director, two producers and a casting associate staring at her from the other end of the screen.

Mejia claimed that she had designed the character as a sort of “quiet and weird and soft.”

But to her surprise, David “got aggressive and mean and grumpy and started attacking me. He said that he was going drag me out by the hands.

The actress has now landed several other roles, including a big movie.Photo copyright John Chapple/

“I just felt, you’re not going to talk to Maria Sofia like that,”She spoke. “And my character was born in that moment. I shoved my hands at the screen at Larry and said, ‘Try it bitch!’”

Everyone laughed and she was told she got it the next day.

During filming, her improv mostly went well — except for when she accidentally scratched Hines in a faked catfight and drew blood.

Mejia calls her experiences on “Curb”A “fairy tale,” but admits she doesn’t remember a lot of it.

“I think my brain thinks it’s a bad memory and blocked it out because I had such nerves,”She spoke. “But you have no idea how grateful I am.”

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