Entertainment

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

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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Here’s Why Everyone Is Celebrating This Chicago Teen And His Acceptance To Harvard

Culture

Here’s Why Everyone Is Celebrating This Chicago Teen And His Acceptance To Harvard

YeahThatsAmado / YouTube

As Latinos, making it through higher education is never easy. For some, there is the stress of being the first in our families to attend college or just being able to afford school in general. That’s why it’s special every time we hear about a fellow Latino’s success in the classroom. 

This applies to Amado Candelario, a Harvard freshman, who is proof of overcoming barriers and following your college dreams. The world was first introduced to him last December when he shared a “reaction video” on his YouTube channel showing the exact moment he found out he was accepted into Harvard. The emotional video quickly went viral with over 33K views to this date. For Candelario, who was raised by his immigrant mother from Mexico and two sisters in West Lawn, Chicago, Harvard was always his dream. 

“There were a lot of tears shed because it’s a big thing for somebody like me, for the community that I come from, to get accepted to a prestigious university like Harvard. For that, I’m grateful,” Candelario told 7NewsBoston after his video went viral.

First, let’s rewatch Amado Candelario finding out he got accepted to Harvard.

Some people sacrifice so much to make sure they get into their dream school. There is nothing more exciting than watching that hard work pay off for someone who deserves it. The world collectively celebrated for Candelario when he found out he was going to be in the new class at Harvard.

Getting into Harvard was one thing but fast forward almost a year later and Candelario is getting well-deserved recognition once again. 

Credit: lovedcandle / Instagram

For this young man, getting to college was reason enough to celebrate. Candelario came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago where going to college isn’t always the first choice for many. He sought higher education as a way to escape his circumstances and build a better future for himself and his family. Beyond just getting accepted to Harvard he also needed a way to pay for it. According to the school’s website, the total 2018-2019 cost of attending Harvard University without financial aid is $67,580 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.

“I needed to figure out how to provide for myself and how I could give back to my mom and to my family that has done so much for me, and college seemed like the way to do that,” he told NBC News. “The only thing people ever talked about when you mentioned was how good it was and how it was the best post-secondary education you could get. I grew up in a lot of poverty and violence and I wanted something better for myself.”

His background and everything he overcame to be where he is has left a lasting impact.

Credit: @lovedcandle / Twitter

Being one of the few low-income and first-generation students from Chicago in his graduating class has made Candelario a viral star once again. Few in his class to understand the magnitude of his achievement and now the world is taking notice. 

“I’m the only kid at Harvard right now, class of 2023, that’s from Chicago and didn’t go to a selective enrollment school, a private school, a predominately affluent suburban school,” Candelario wrote in a tweet that has received more than 87,000 likes as of today. “I’m the only Chicago neighborhood school kid. It’s sad but I DID THAT and I’m proud of myself!!”

Candelario is defying statistics when it comes to Latinos getting into Harvard. He is one of only less than 16 percent of a total of 4.5 percent of accepted applicants that got into Harvard in 2019.

Credit: lovedcandle / Instagram

Getting to this point was never easy for him. Candelario attended Eric Solorio Academy High School, which was located on the Southwest Side of Chicago, a notoriously low-income area. It was there that he joined various programs that helped guide him through the college application process and was assisted with financial aid assistance. 

The transition to college hasn’t been easy as well for Candelario. At times he feels like an outsider in a school where he’s one of very few that fully understand what it means to come to be a first-generation college student. These emotions have only fueled him to finish what is expected to be the first of many steps. While Candelario hasn’t declared an official concentration just yet, he told NBC News that he’s interested in pursuing political science and economics. He hopes with his education he can one day become a lawyer and help those that come from marginalized backgrounds.

“I feel like for kids who come from marginalized backgrounds, being realistic can limit them,” Candelario told NBC News. “I feel like you have to dream big and tell your intentions to the world. All of high school, even as a freshman, I told people I wanted to go to Harvard. I put it in my Instagram bio, even though I wasn’t accepted. There’s something powerful about manifesting and verbalizing what you want and telling yourself you are capable of that.”

READ: JLo Totally Dragged Some Super Stars In A 1998 Interview That’s Now Going Viral And OMG The Shade

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Entertainment

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Disney / Pixar / YouTube

Coco is one of those movies that redefined our Latinidad in the eyes of mainstream Hollywood. Not only did it make me cry my eyes out because of the all-too-relateable story line but it also made me super emotional to know that kids these days had someone they could see themselves in on the big screen. It was a huge moment and still is one of my favorite movies of the last ten years.

So news that it might be getting the en vivo treatment has me beyond excited.

According to both Disney and Pixar, the beloved Coco will be brought to life this upcoming November just in time for those of us celebrating Día de Muertos. The real life production will be coming to LA’s famed Hollywood Bowl and not only will it feature several original cast members (looking at you Benjamin Bratt) but it will also include a live orchestra, Mariachi Divas, and the voices of Eva Longoria and Miguel just to name a few.

Disney’s Coco is coming to life!

The Oscar-winning cartoon will be recreated for the stage during a special two-night run at the Hollywood Bowl. The one stage production will be brought to life for the first time on November 8 and 9. Fans, who are encouraged to dress in Día de Muertos costumes, will be able to watch the film on the Bowl’s movie screen.

Throughout the production, the film will be accompanied by a live full orchestra.

Mariachi Divas are also set to perform for guests during the event. Coco live will feature a host of star power.

Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the full orchestra performing Michael Giacchino’s original score along with special guests performing the film’s songs including: ‘Remember Me’, ‘Un Poco Loco’, and ‘The World Es Mi Familia’.

Alongside the film’s stars, several other big name celebs will be in attendance and helping make the event extra special.

Credit: @DisneyMusic / Twitter

The film’s stars Jaime Camil, Anthony Rodriguez and Alanna Ubach will be making cameos. Benjamin Bratt, who played Ernesto de la Cruz, in the film will host the event with Eva Longoria. Other stars set to make an appearance are Lele Pons, Carlos Rivera and Rudy Mancuso. Natalia Jimenez and Miguel will also be present for the festivities. The pair performed the Oscar-winning song Remember Me during the 2018 Academy Awards.

And everyone involved seems nearly as excited as we are to be a part of this production!

Credit:

“I’m very excited to join this incredible group of exceptional talent, in the city that I’m from, to bring this very special move and message to life,” Miguel said in a statement.

Natalia Jimenez also shared her excitement for the project.

She said: “Mis raíces latinas son mi orgullo y celebrarlo sumando mi voz a la música de Coco en el Hollywood Bowl es un honor.”

Translation: “My Latin roots are my pride and celebrating it by adding my voice to Coco‘s music at the Hollywood Bowl is an honor.“

While Alex Gonzalez was thrilled to be celebrating ancestors and so much more.

“The idea of celebrating ancestors is very dear to my heart, especially after the passing of my grandparents.” Alex Gonzalez shared his excitement about the production saying: “Coco is my heart, it means everything to me. It’s ancestors, family, music, love, culture, traditions, dreams, and passion. Coco is everything that inspires, connects, and makes the world a better place. It’s a unique film.”

He added, “The Hollywood Bowl is a very special place where we can celebrate and share our love and appreciation for music and Coco! It’s a huge honor and privilege to be a part of this beautiful performance at the Hollywood Bowl. I am so excited, can’t wait!”

We can’t wait either and here’s all the info you need to get your tickets:

Tickets for the special event got on sale Friday, September 13 at 12pm PST. But you can get them on pre-sale tomorrow.

Now, excuse us, while we book our tickets to LA!