Update: Over the past year, Dascha Polanco starred in two blockbuster movies, The Perfect Match and Joy, alongside actress Jennifer Lawrence. She shared her own abortion story in a powerful video that brought awareness to reproductive rights and health and has spoken out against body shaming, being told she’s not Latina enough, and misconceptions surrounding Afro-Latinas.
Colombian actress Diane Guerrero has since joined the cast
of Jane the Virgin, where she plays the character, Lina. She’s also become an
activist for immigration rights and was even invited to meet President Barack
Obama. Guerrero shared her story on losing her parents to immigration
deportation in a piece she wrote for the Los Angeles Times in 2014. This year
she released her new memoir, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, where
she shared a deeper, more personal version of her experience.
Jackie Cruz has been pursuing her music career on the side and released her tribute music video of Selena Quintanilla’s Como La Flor last fall. She also had a video series on Vivala called, Solo Jackie.
Selenis Leyva wrote an op-ed letter for the Huffington Post on why saying, “real women” isn’t exactly a compliment. She’s also been vocal about body positivity and how she wants her daughter to love and embrace her curves.
Jackie Cruz (a.k.a "Flaca” Gonzales)
Dascha Polanco (a.k.a Dayanara Diaz)
Polanco was working full-time managing an instrument room in a hospital and was in school studying nursing before she landed her gig on Orange Is The New Black. She actually went to auditions straight after coming out of a night shift wearing scrubs!
Selenis Leyva (a.k.a Gloria Mendoza)
Jessica Pimentel (a.k.a Maria Ruiz)
Pimentel is a Buddhist and musician
who sings for two metal bands and goes by the stage name, "The
Crusher.” She actually started out as a classical violinist at a very
young age and played music all throughout middle school and high school
until she started experiencing nerve damage in her hands and wrists
from playing so much.
Elizabeth Rodriguez (a.k.a Aleida Diaz)
Before she became famous, Rodriguez worked as a stage actor and became a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company. She also played a cop in a ton of shows including, Grimm, The Drop, Prime Suspect, Third Watch, among others. Ironic, considering she’s on the other side of the law now as a prisoner in OITNB.
Diane Guerrero (a.k.a Maritza Ramos)
Laura Gomez (a.k.a Blanca Flores)
Laura is an established voice-over artist.
She’s done Spanish announcements for brands like CoverGirl and Suave
Professionals. She’s even voiced the audiobooks for How the Garcia
Girls Lost their Accent by Julia Alvarez and The Brief & Wondrous
Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. Talent runs in her family. Gomez’s dad
hosts and produces a Sunday morning radio show in Dominican Republic.