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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

These Are 20 Latinos Celebs Who Made It So Big In Hollywood They Got Their Own Star

Entertainment

These Are 20 Latinos Celebs Who Made It So Big In Hollywood They Got Their Own Star

Thalia Is Honored with A Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame” Digital Image. Ace Showbiz. 5 July 2018.

Time for a serious question: what makes a celebrity, a celebrity? How do they know they’ve made it? Is it by appearing in the tabloids for the first time? Or is it by winning industry awards? Or, maybe it’s to do with the amount of number of Insta followers they have?

Nah, it’s not any of those things. A celeb knows they’ve made it once they get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! So, we’ve put together a list of 20 latino celebrities that have got a real, bona fide star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You know, for the next time you’re playing Trivial Pursuit. Or when you wanna impress your Tinder date. 

1. Christina Aguilera

Instagram / @xtina

Xtina got her name emblazoned on the Hollywood Walk of Fame back in 2010, having been awarded a Star of Recording. While she’s got plenty of reasons to have been selected for the honor, at the time of the award, Christina had gotten four number one singles on the Billboard’s Hottest 100 chart, won five Grammys, and sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

2. Selena Quintanilla

Instagram / @champng_1

Our girl Selena Quintanilla was awarded her Star of Recording only as recently as 2017! Since it was awarded posthumously, Selena’s family attended the ceremony, while her sister helped design the star itself. There’s no doubt that Selena was deserving. Her accomplishments include winning the Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards for nine yearsin row, as well as being recognized as Billboard Magazine’s “Top Latin artist of the ‘90s”, “Best selling Latin artist of the decade,” and charted in 2016 as the “Top Latin Album of the Year, Female Artist.”

3. Guillermo del Toro

Instagram / @lana_eilish

While Guillermo del Toro only received his star recently, it’s been a long time coming. His most recently released film, “The Shape of Water,” alone went onto win Golden Globes, BAFTAs, DGA, PGA and Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Production Design.

4. Antonio Banderas

Instagram / @antoniobanderasoficial

Even though Antonio Banderas received his star in 2005 for his achievements in film, that doesn’t mean that he’s not multitalented! He’s known for his acting, directing, producing and singing skills. Fun fact: Antonio Banderas holds the record for the highest salary for an extra, for the part he played in “Gladiator,” where he was paid $50,000. Nice.

5. Gloria Estefan

Instagram / @gloriaestefan

Having received her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1983 for her talents as a recording artist, Gloria Estefan is definitely a legend in her own right. She has won seven Grammy Awards and is in the top 100 best selling music artists of all time, with over 90 million albums sold worldwide.

6. Shakira

Instagram / @shakira

Despite the fact that Shakira’s full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, she’s one of the few celebrities awarded with a star on the Walk of Fame that only has one name engraved on the star! 2011 was the year that she was formally recognized for her contributions to the music industry. She’s accrued 12 Billboard Latin Music Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammys over the years for her bangers, which include “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).” 

7. Andy García

Instagram / @andygarcia

Andy García’s star for his acting abilities was awarded to him back in 1995. Having been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his part in “The Godfather Part III”, we’d probably know him better for the part he played in “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”

8. Luis Miguel

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 5 July 2018

Alright, so we were all in diapers when Luis Miguel got this award back in 1996, but his mariachis and boleros have lived on. He received 5 Grammy Awards by the time he hit 26. That’s estrella material right there.

9. Carlos Santana

Instagram / @carlossantana

Carlos Santana counts more than just a star of recording on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among his accolades. Rolling Stone name him number 15 on their list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003. In addition, Santana’s also won 3 Latin Grammy Awards and 10 Grammys. 

10. Sofia Vergara

Instagram / @sofiavergara

Entertainment trade papers have named Sofia Vergara one of the most talented and powerful women in Hispanic entertainment, and for good reason. Her star in television, which was awarded in 2015, comes as no surprise when looking at her expansive acting career, retail lines, producing roles, successful Hispanic management agency and philanthropic endeavors.

11. Pitbull

Instagram / @pitbull

Armando Christian Perez, or as we know him, Pitbull, received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording in 2016. Between his number one hits in over 15 countries, nine billion followers between his Youtube and VEVO channels, 70 million single sales and six million album sales, you’ve probably heard his name somewhere before.

12. Ricky Martin

Instagram / @ricky_martin

After jiving away to number one hits such as “Maria” and “La Copa de la Vida,” there’s no way we’d forgive you if you said you didn’t know Ricky Martin. His star on the Walk of Fame for recording came to him a year after he was nominated as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People Magazine in 2006. Which is fair – he’s an absolute babe.

13. Zoe Saldana

Instagram / @zoesaldana

2018 was the year that Zoe Saldana was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to motion pictures. While you know her from movies such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Star Trek: Beyond,” and “Avatar,” you probably don’t know that she’s also launched digital platform “BESE” to shed a light on Latino stories in America. 

14. Eva Longoria

Instagram / @evalongoria

Eva Longoria also received her star on the Walk of Fame in 2018, for her influence in television. She’s best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis in “Desperate Housewives,” which was the most popular show in its demographic, worldwide. It aired in 208 countries, with an audience of 120 million views. Imagine having that many people watching you on television every week!

15. George López

Get this: The comedian we all know and love said, “I remember being 15, and walking up and down (the Walk of Fame) and dreaming about what I wanted to do and never thinking it was going to be done,” said the star.

In 2006, he got his wish.

16. Cameron Diaz

Instagram / @camerondiaz

She’s a four-time Golden Globe nominee, Best Actress of the Year by the New York Film Critics Circle, and has also won an MTV Movie Award, so it’s no wonder Cameron Diaz received a Walk of Fame star for her work in motion pictures in 2009. The biggest shame is the fact that she’s formally retired from acting, as of 2014. 

17. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram / @jlo

JLo has made a name for herself as an actress, entertainer, music artist, film and television producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian. So which of these do you think landed her the star on the Walk of Fame in 2013? If you thought it was her career as a recording artist, you’d be right! We’re sure it’s only a matter of time before she gets another star for her other work.

18. Thalía

She’s the “Queen of Latin Pop” and was honored like a jefe in December 2013. She’s truly a Renaissance woman, selling tens of millions of records, authoring four books and acting in star roles in several telenovelas. You should get a star for each category you star in.

19. Rita Moreno

Instagram / @theritamoreno

She’s the first, and only, Hispanic actor to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. So, it seems only natural that Rita Moreno received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in motion pictures in 1995, right?

20. Marco Antonio Solís

Instagram / @marcoantoniosolis_oficial

Having recorded more than 20 albums, written more than 300 songs, released eight number one hits, and won multiple Latin Grammys, Marco Antonio Solis definitely deserved his award of a star for recording in 2010.

There are some seriously talented and creative Latinos out there – as we can already see from the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars! Are there any Latinos you’ve wished would be awarded a star already? Let us know on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

A New Incubator Is Opening Up In Chicago’s ‘La Villita’ And Will Embrace The Neighborhood’s Mexican Heritage

Culture

A New Incubator Is Opening Up In Chicago’s ‘La Villita’ And Will Embrace The Neighborhood’s Mexican Heritage

foka_rv / Instagram

At 10 years old, Anayasin Vazquez, now 60, moved to Little Village, affectionately called La Villita, with her family. The predominantly Mexican neighborhood is only 15 minutes Southwest of the Loop in Chicago, but entering its non-physical borders can feel like a passport is required. Billboard advertisements change from English to Spanish, the skin and hair color of people darkens and the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe can be seen on nearly every block.

Anayasin Vazquez’s memories of her childhood in La Villita are of bustling businesses, like La Chiquita grocery store.

Credit: junf_ga / Instagram

Vasquez recalls families eating at La Justicia, sweet smells emanating from El Nopal bakery and grocery trips to La Chiquita.

“That was a time when I saw Little Village thriving,” she recalls. She moved out of the area at 18 years old, and 20 years passed before she moved back. When she did, the neighborhood had changed.

But, over time, Vasquez saw changes to the community she loves, some of which are positive.

Credit: Google Maps

“Buildings deteriorated, businesses were leaving and it no longer had the vibrancy I remembered,” says Vazquez. “People were negatively affected by these changes. It led to crime. And that’s why I’m excited about Xquina. Because maybe it can help us get back to what Little Village was.”

Vazquez is referring to Xquina Cafe.

Credit: Google Maps

The recently announced hybrid coffee shop and entrepreneurial incubator, expected to fill the empty storefront located at 3534 W. 26th St., in Spring 2019. Jaime di Paulo, former executive director of the local chamber of commerce, now President & CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded the project and describes it as a learning center with cultural relevance. In late July, the Mayor’s office announced it was the recipient of a $250,000 Neighborhood Opportunity Grant. Another $350,000 is needed to fully fund the project.

The two-story, 6,000-square-foot building, is described as an eyesore by locals. It sits along the main corridor of the neighborhood’s shopping district, which to date, has lacked any businesses of this kind. The facility, partially owned by the chamber, will be designed as a hub for ideas and business meetings. Expect free wi-fi, classes for entrepreneurs, co-working spaces and private offices. 

Di Paulo was aided in his bid by Juan Saldana, associate director of the chamber’s Small Business Development Center. The two brokered a deal with Carlos Halwaji, its initial purchaser, for 25 percent ownership of the building. Halwaji is a chiropractor who has practiced in Little Village for the last 20 years. 

The facility shares tech incubator DNA, but will incorporate the neighborhood’s Mexican identity.

Credit: DesignBridgeLtd

Classes will be offered in both English and Spanish; and the coffee operator and second anchor tenant will be carefully scrutinized by select members of the chamber, in order to ensure a shared vision of empowering the people in the area.

“Gentrification is a real issue,” says di Paulo. “We want to be very selective of the vendors we use. New amenities to a community is sometimes confused as gentrification. This isn’t that. We are building something for the people of Little Village.” 

It’s not the first time a local organization purchased and built out a physical space in order to better the lives, and preserve the culture, of people in the district. Universidad Popular is a non-profit which provides support services to Latinos. Founded in 1972, the organization offers an array of classes and resources ranging from health and wellness topics, to digital literacy. 

Originally located in Lakeview, the organization bounced from Humboldt Park to Pilsen, due to rising rent. In an effort to combat gentrification, the organization purchased a 12,000 square foot banquet hall in Little Village. The renovation costs, estimated at upwards of $1M, almost kept the organization from moving forward with their plans. However, with the help of its working class neighborhood—plumbers, carpenters, housekeepers and electricians—they managed to transform the dilapidated building into a vital part of the community that continues to thrive. 

Xquina is the younger sibling to this concept. It’s a place primarily designed for the 33 percent of residents under the age of 35.

“Most people have to leave the neighborhood if they need a quiet place to work or study,” says di Paulo. “We don’t want that, so we’re working to fit the needs and demands of the people. There’s currently nothing like this in Little Village.“

A feasibility study done by the chamber, showed 90 percent of people deemed this initiative important and critical to the area. Especially the free internet. A common asset in the Loop and Northside, but a scarce resource in the neighborhood says Vazquez.

With a clear need and desire for this concept, it can appear as if support was garnered overnight. However, the process began five years ago when di Paulo started his position, and inherited a $50,000 deficit.

Over time, he turned the business around and earned the trust of the people by funneling resources into the neighborhood. Such as the establishment of a small business development center last fall. With that addition to the neighborhood, came Salgado. 

The two walked the streets, knocked on doors and got to know residents. Their grassroots efforts led to their small business center being one of the most successful on record. Money allocated for businesses in Little Village reached more than $1M in less than a year. 

When the times come, a vendor RFP will be posted where a committee of four to five members from the area will be formed to select the two anchor tenants. 

“Hopefully someone from the neighborhood steps up,” says Salgado when asked about the ideal candidate.

This optimism and investment in the community drives the concept. Salgado and di Paulo both speak of this project as a way to combat gentrification and minimize brain drain happening among young people who feel their needs are not being met. 

“The idea is, we don’t have all the answers,” says Salgado. “We’re looking to the community to help us. We want to bring in the right people who can help create jobs. We want to be a catalyst for growth.”

And judging by the support for Xquina Cafe, it’s clear Salgado is not the only hopeful one.

READ:

Paid Promoted Stories