Carrillo was discovered by a local photographer in Uruapan, Mexico and soon received a modeling contract. At 12 years old, director Rafael Corkidi cast Elpidia as Malinche in the surrealist Mexican feature film Pafnucio Santo. The film was Mexico's official submission to the Academy Awards that year, but with its many esoteric elements, it failed to garner a nomination. Due to the role involving nudity and her being under age, Carrillo was credited under the fake name Piya. Corkidi cast Carrillo again for a larger role in his film Deseos.