In a very candid essay, actress Jackie Cruz said she’s tired of just playing a Latina and aims to get the white girl roles.
In the essay, published by Refinery29, Cruz talked about how she’s loved acting since she was a little girl, but said she soon realized that as a Latina she’d get typecast in the “Latina roles.”
Cruz said the parts for Latinas are so limited that she literally sees all of her “Orange Is The New Black” castmates auditioning for the same roles.
“The fact is that the white girl is always the lead, right? So the goal is to get that gig.”
Cruz goes on to say that one of the reasons the Flaca is so popular on “OITNB” is because while she’s Mexican-American, she listens to alternative music and moves between both cultures effortlessly.
“I don’t have to only be limited to roles where I have to pretend to have an accent or cross the border.”
She also said there’s a double-edged sword for her as a Latina actress, because casting directors are either looking for a Latina with an accent or the sultry, fiery kind of Latina.
“Most casting directors are used to pretty, dark haired, petite girls like Eva Longoria and Salma Hayek. I don’t look like them,” Cruz said in the article. “But you know what? That just means that I need to break some barriers, which is why I want to create my own production company. If you’re not going to hire me, I’m going to hire myself, and I’m going to write for myself. I’m going to show you that I can do it.”
Catch the full essay on Refinery29.