Marty Preciado
February 28, 2017 2:32 pm
Getty Images /Dan MacMedan

Jackie Cruz is undoubtedly a well-rounded artist — she can do it all. In acting, many met Jackie through her breakthrough performance as La Flaca in Orange Is The New Black. In singing, we fell in love with her quintessential cover of Selena’s classic, “Como La Flor”. Beyond her art, Jackie Cruz has used her voice and platform to mobilize communities. Previously, she joined her BFF and OITNB co-star, Diane Guerrero, to support the GOTV efforts of 2016 presidential elections.

Now Jackie has a list of remarkable accomplishments under her belt. However, at the beginning of her career, she experienced discrimination and was familiar with the wrongfully assumed universal identity of latinx. In a recent interview with Refinery 29, she explained the roadblocks she encountered while auditioning:

Born in New York, the Dominican-American actress lived in between Los Angeles and Santiago, Dominican Republic. Her experience exposed her to a hybrid culture, becoming aware of two worlds, as well as fluent in Spanish and English.

Just like alt-rock lover La Flaca, Jackie Cruz is an example of the multifaceted latinx community amid the stereotypes that latinx is a one-size-fits-all identity.

“Flaca has reminded me that a character can be a chick who listens to punk rock music and also just so happens to be Latina. I don’t have to only be limited to roles where I have to pretend to have an accent or cross the border,” explained Jackie.

Netflix / Jojo Whilden

Jackie Cruz told Teen Vogue’s Ella Ceron:

It’s real, there are lack of opportunities for latinx in Hollywood, from stories to voices. However, Jackie wants to change the landscape:

Getty Images /Dan MacMedan

We are thrilled to know that Jackie Cruz is working towards the diversity and inclusion of latinx in Hollywood. We need more characters like La Flaca and diverse representation of women in movies and television. And Jackie will further the conversation of latinx representation in the industry.

“I just want to shake Hollywood and say hey, anyone can play anyone; there’s no reason they have to fit into a stereotype.”