entertainment

This Is How Justina Machado Went From Being A Bank Teller To Penelope In ‘One Day At A Time’

justinamachado / Instagram

If you haven’t already fallen in love with Justina Machado, take a moment to learn about the Puerto Rican actress. We’ve seen her in guest roles in many a Shonda Rhimes’ shows, and her recent stardom on Netflix’s reboot of One Day at a Time has skyrocketed her career. Machado has been in the industry for decades now, and her new platform has expanded her voice.

Here’s where she comes from and what she has to say today.

Machado was born and raised in Chicago.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

The 46-year-old Virgo was raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago, and she didn’t really spend her childhood around the arts. She actually went to a tech high school.

Her parents moved from Puerto Rico to Chicago for a better life.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She told The Chicago Tribune, “I am first-generation. My parents are from Puerto Rico. We were lower-middle class. … My family’s mentality was, go and get a good job and stay in Chicago and have a family and just be responsible and just have that real Midwestern kind of life. They just didn’t really think about anything else. Anything like (acting) was not something that was discussed in my house.”

She had a traditional quinceñeara 💃

CREDIT: @JustinaMachado / Twitter

In an interview with NPR, she confessed that her parents didn’t want to throw her a quince because of the expense, so she begged one tío to buy the cake, one prima to make the dress, and so on until it came together.

“I had no idea what the heck it was about,” she told NPR. “I didn’t even know there was a church ceremony to it. I was like, “Oh, I have to go to church?” I had no idea. To me, it was like this big party where you get to dress up and look like a child bride. … It’s so funny because I really wanted a quinceañera and then when I had one, I was like, “Man, this is so lame.”

Machado has three half-siblings.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Her parents moved to Chicago, had two children and then split up. Then, her mom remarried and had three children.

She grew up taking dance lessons.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Her parents put her through dance at the Franklin Fine Arts Center. She also liked to perform in school plays. Basically, she’s always been an entertainer.

Machado graduated from Lane Technical College Prep High School.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Caption: “Happy Mother’s Day to all!! My 8th grade graduation with my 2 favorite women. I lost my Abuela in 2006 but I still feel her everyday it’s weird I know she’s physically gone and that always makes me sad but my God did she love me when she was here and I loved her my jibarita from Patillas Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 And I’m so proud of my Mother Alicia the mother of 5..had me at 18 she was a baby. She’s always been brave and beautiful I love you mom I love you abuela❤️❤️❤️”

Machado worked as a bank teller after high school.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life until an agent with The Latino Chicago Theater Company discovered her ‘X factor.” She ended up working in 20 productions with the company within five years before she realized she was a good actress.

Then, she decided to really go for it and moved to New York City.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Caption: “#tbt 3 Chicago girls move to LA they live together in a one bedroom with only one bed and a tv one car shared between the 3 of them ..it was quite an adventure !! So much growing loving learning arguing and a whole lot of fun !! These 2 have been my GIRLS since I walked into the Latino Chicago theatre at 18 anybody who knew us back in the day knew we were never without each other and I’m so proud to say the love and codependency continues. To my Chitown loves #MargaritaOquendo@clearwaterceron well one of them is from

Elgin 😜😜love you ladies ❤️❤️❤️#whatajourney”

She attributes her experience with the Latino Chicago Theater Company during high school for her success.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

It immediately opened doors for her in NYC. She wasn’t in New York City long before she was offered professional acting roles in Los Angeles, and she hopped on a plane.

You might recognize her as love interests in a zillion shows i.e. Private Practice.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

When she first got to Los Angeles, she was cast as “Elsa” in NYPD Blue. Soon, she was taking on roles in No One Would Tell, ER, Arsenio, Malcolm & Eddie, and more. Remember, this is all in the late ’90s.

If you’re a Jane the Virgin fan, you’ll love/hate her as Darci.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She plays the mother of Jane’s half brother that you low key loved to hate, but eventually softened around after the baby hormones left her body.

Oh, and if you watch JTV, then you should probably also watch the J-Lo produced The Fosters, where she plays a super Catholic mom named Sonia Rivera for a few episodes.

Her break out role was as Vanessa Diaz in Six Feet Under.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

At first, she started out as a supporting character and quickly became loved by fans. She was elevated to the main cast for 42 episodes.

Machado never left her love for theatre.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Caption: “#fbf this is where I first met @thisiscarlajimenez this is us performing in #blackbutterfly written by the great #LuisAlfaro I fell in love with her immediately ❤️❤️”

She even performed in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first play In the Heights in 2010.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Caption: “#tbt that time I played Daniela in #intheheights on Broadway. What a dream come true❤️❤️❤️ I loved sharing the stage with the beautiful talented generous @janetdacal Happy Thursday Mi Gente”

ODAAT has given Machado a Latina character worthy of her talents.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She told PopSugar that the thing she loves most about playing Penelope on One Day at a Time is, “The layered woman that she is. A real person, you know? They didn’t have me coming out with a piñata, or dancing to some salsa. [laughs] Not that I mind, I love it all. But it’s a real person who is layered, and flawed, and she’s lovely, and she’s just a woman that I am so proud to portray. As I read the script I was like, “This is good, this is real good.”

Machado relates to her role as Penelope in that she also grew up Catholic.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She told PopSugar, “Growing up, my parents raised me Catholic. I’m not someone who really goes to church anymore, but that was the way I was raised and it was really important. In the episode, it’s kind of a thing with my mom and I. We have pictures of the Pope everywhere, and stuff like that. That’s the way I grew up, except for the pictures of the Pope. We didn’t have that. My cousins had that. I was like what the hell is this?”

Machado is so close with icon Rita Moreno, she’s seen her six pack.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Yup. Eighty-seven-year-old Rita Moreno. Machado gushed to NPR about how Moreno is 150 percent in life and, well, this: “The woman has a six pack, you know that, right? … I’m talking about her abs, OK? … She’s 85 and looks amazing. I have never been in her kind of shape my whole life. And she is just — she defies everything.”

Machado is fiercely Boricua and helped raise money for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She’s helped with regular old non-celebrity sponsored donation drives, participated in “Voices for Puerto Rico” and is constantly telling her followers to vote their beliefs. Vote for people who care about your people.

Machado is hugely politically outspoken putting Latinos first in her political work and engagement.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Machado has slammed Trump over and over again for his ‘love’ for Puerto Rico. In an interview with Buzzfeed, she said “I have an uncle who’s a veteran from the Vietnam War — unlike this president who dodged the draft 5 times.”

You can catch Machado on Netflix’s One Day at a Time.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Which just announced it’s Season 3 air date for February 8!! The trailer teases conversations about they/them inclusive terms, vaping marijuana, and eating from the hotel minibar “like I’m made of money.” 🤑


READ: Here’s A Quick Glimpse Into Rita Moreno’s Rise From A Little Girl In Puerto Rico To America’s Abuela

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Joseline Hernandez Is Using Her Past To Help Girls Better Their Lives Without Following Her Path

entertainment

Joseline Hernandez Is Using Her Past To Help Girls Better Their Lives Without Following Her Path

joseline / Instagram

Joseline Hernandez from Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta may be known as “The Puerto Rican Princess,” but her Cinderella story doesn’t rely on any Prince Charming. The 32-year-old rapper and television personality has been hustling since she was a young teenager and truly started from the bottom.

Here’s how she got to the top.

Joseline Hernandez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

She didn’t move to the United States until she was 10 years old. She moved with her mother and five siblings to Florida. From there, she and her siblings were raised by her single mother.

Her youngest brother has autism.

CREDIT: @abbyiscoool / Instagram

He’s nonverbal and requires special care. She has an older sister Yanira, and four brothers, named Jorge, Hisael, Kermit and Luis Jr. That’s a big familia, but, then again, Latinos are known for their big familias.

She grew up in Puerto Rico’s public housing system.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

Caption: “#puertorico I’m almost with you!! I will reconstruct I will get my hands dirty I will do what I say I’m going to do. My Roots is time for a chance. Can’t wait. Just a girl with a dream”

Her father died of a heroin overdose.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

On a talk show panel with The Real, she talked about how drugs were rampant in the ’80s, and how familiar she was with heroin needles from a young age. She knew those needles killed her father.

She was even stuck by a heroin needle when she was a child.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

She told The Real that, “I went outside, and you know, we loved to go outside without any shoes, you know, Puerto Ricans, and we live by the beach, so everything is just like whatever, you know? So, I was running, but we lived in the projects… So, I remember one day I was running to go meet my home girl… and I got a needle stuck on my foot.”

Her mom just brought her upstairs, took it out of her foot, gave her un beso, and off she went with her day.

She started stripping when she was 16 years old to support her family.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

She told Global Grind, “Ever since I was 15, 16, I’ve been taking care of my brothers, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, my mom, and dad — ever since I was 16 I’ve been giving my mom money. I’m talking about $600 a month, a thousand dollars a month; if you need food, if you need to pay for the mortgage.”

She turned to stripping to earn money for medicine for her brother.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

She’s said that she always felt bad for her family, and what they had to go through. Each person had one pair of shoes to last them the whole year.

“I got a brother, he has autism,” she told Global Grind. “He can’t even get no medicine. Who’s going to get the money? I have to do that. So that’s what really turned me into dancing. I knew that I didn’t want to do that. I want to be an artist. I want to be a singer. I want to be a rapper. I want to be a model. I want to be on TV, but, at that time, my family was struggling and I had to help.”

She was arrested twice under her stripper name Shenellica Bettencourt.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

She was arrested for “lewd and lascivious behavior,” though nobody knows exactly what went down that would warrant an arrest twice (in 2003 and 2007).

“Do not go in that strip club at all. It is a death trap.”

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

When Global Grind asked if she remembers the first time she got on stage, she just said, “Oh my gosh. I don’t even know what to tell you, because it was scary. You’re young, you’re trying to move so fast so you can help your family out. It’s just something that I feel young girls should not do. Do not go in that strip club at all. It is a death trap.”

She wants to start a foundation for young girls tempted by sex work.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

“I’m going to have a foundation for young girls,” she tells Global Grind. “We need that for young girls. We need to make this world a better place with these young girls. Go to school. Be a doctor. Be a lawyer. It’s not all about the fast money. We have to help the youth, so we can have a better tomorrow.”

When she arrived on Love & Hip Hop, people started dishing transphobic hate.

CREDIT: @CapriHakeem / Twitter

Ya girl is ripped and has breast implants, and people started speculating that she might have been born a man, which prompted her to tweet a naked picture to prove her genitalia is feminine.

“When they were saying ‘is she a women, or is she a man?’ I never in my life heard anything like that,” she told Global Grind. “It frustrated me. It depressed me. It drove me crazy to the point that I did that — send a picture of myself, humiliating myself even more, because I allowed people to get up under my skin.”

She was discovered by producer Stevie J at a club in Atlanta.

CREDIT: @EBONYMag / Twitter

He cast her in the first season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (LHH). It was during the show that it was revealed that the two had been having an affair, and girlfriend Mimi Faust was pissed. Their love triangle became the leading storyline and made it the highest rating installment of the franchise.

She and Stevie J faked a marriage for publicity.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

They claimed to have gotten married in 2013, but three years later, Stevie J admitted it was all a publicity stunt. The two split up on Season 5 of LHH.

Plot twist: Joseline gave birth to Stevie’s sixth child about a year after their ‘break up.’

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

They even had a spin-off series together Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood during the last year of their partnership.

During the show, she dropped some reggaeton singles and music videos.

CREDIT: @whyhatealliyah / Twitter

On LHH’s fourth season reunion, she performed the dancehall track live and it’s been well received by Boricua fans. They’re mostly sung in Spanish, ayy.

She quit LHH in the most dramatic way possible.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

At the season reunion, she told off the cameraman and said that she’s bigger than Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta will ever be. What an exit.

Her Instagram is chock full of these deadpan mother-daughter shots.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

Honestly, someone needs to install an art exhibit. It’s a beautiful series of mother-daughter love int he modern/social media-obsessed age.

Her butt is real, in case you were wondering.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

Someone had to ask and we’re glad Global Grind did. “Yes, my butt is real. I work out a lot. I’m always doing lunges. You’ll see it, because I know you’re going to go to MsJoseline.com and get this DVD.” It’s the Puerto Rican booty.

She’s a Scorpio and it shows.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

Scorpios are known to be hot-tempered, highly sexual and able to access deeper emotions than most people. Joseline Hernandez is definitely a scorpion you don’t want to annoy.

Hernandez is openly bisexual.

CREDIT: @joseline / Instagram

A fan asked her how she feels about gay people and she was like, “”@zachary_brogdon: I wonder if @MsJoseline supports gay people..” Soy Bisexual!!!!” YAAAS, Princesa!!


READ: Amara La Negra Is The Afro-Latina Entertainer Everyone Needs To Know About

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