By Francisco Salazar ( | First Posted: Feb 15, 2013 11:51 AM EST

Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete holds a slip of paper with the word "Mexico" during the official draw for the upcoming U-17 men's Soccer World Cup in Mexico City May 17, 2011. Mexico will host the tournament from June 18 to July 10, 2011. (Photo : REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))

Ximena Navarrete will be the protagonist of William Levy's new Telenovela "La Tempestad."

Salvador Mejia told reporters on Friday that he made his decision based on the former Miss Universe's auditions and the chemistry that he saw she had with Levy. He added that there is a lot of work to be done but she showed promise and thinks it will pay off. Additionally he said that she is a fresh face who the audience was looking forward to watching on television.

Mejia also told the press that Navarrete will need 21 hours of her day for the role but he is confident that she will assume it because she has the attitude and security for the work.  He added that the role will be an important step in her career as an actress.

Navarrete told the media that she is very lucky for the opportunity and was surprised by Mejia's decision. She stated that she was excited to work with the producer because of his track record and the quality of soap operas he has produced.

Navarrete admitted that she now has a huge responsibility with both the telenovela and her contracts with other companies. She also stated that as an actress she will be entering a world of gossip. However Navarrete said that she intends on being as professional as possible.

Navarrete will play the role of Marina while Ivan Sanchez (La Reina del Sur) will play the antagonist. Diana Bracho (Fuego en la Sangre), Cesar Evora (Amor Bravio), and Daniela Romo (Triunfo del Amor) have also joined the production.

Prior to the announcement, Mejia had shortlisted Silvia Navarro and Navarrete. Angelique Boyer, Sandra Echeverria and Elizabeth Gutierrez were also under consideration.

"La Tempestad" will start filming in Veracruz, Mexico in March. The soap opera is set to air in Mexico in May as a replacement for "Amore Verdaderos." A U.S release has not yet been set but will most likely air on Univision.    

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