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. Justina Machado 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.” Justina Machado 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 Justina Machado 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.

Justina Machado
CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Justina Machado 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.

Justina Machado
CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

Justina Machado 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.

Justina Machado
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.

Justina Machado
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

Justina 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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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

Culture

A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

¡Voice Latina! / YouTube

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is the outgoing president of the National Lawyers Guild and her departure has taken a sudden turn. After years as an attorney, many are now accusing the attorney of posing as a Latina.

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is facing mounting scrutiny and backlash for her claims that she is Latina.

According to a post on Prism, Bannan has a history of claiming her Latinidad. The post points out several interviews the attorney has given over the years with different publications where she explicitly claims that she is part of the Latino community. In one YouTube video with ¡Voice Latina!, Bannan explicitly says that “as a woman, as an individual, as a Latina” she is inspired to do the work she does because of her hero Oscar López Rivera.

People are calling on others to do better about who they choose to represent various communities.

Representation matters, especially when it comes to the issues that are facing our various communities. It is important to make sure that the representation reflects those being represented. According to Prism, Bannan has been pushing a narrative that she is of Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade. She has even spoken out as a Puerto Rican woman that is fighting for the island’s statehood.

There are multiple media moments when Bannan claimed Latino heritage, according to reports.

Prism points to an interview conducted in 2007 where she allegedly told “El Diario” that her heritage was “a little bit Spanish, a little bit Colombian, and a Sephardic Jew.”

“I am racially white, and have always said that. However my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx,” Bannan wrote on Facebook Monday following the story. “My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.”

The story is garnering so much attention because of Hilaria Baldwin and her claims of being Spanish.

Baldwin misled people into believing that she was of Spanish descent when she was a white woman born in Boston. Prism was able to decipher that Bannan is a white woman born in Georgia whose family immigrated from Ireland, Italy, and Russia.

READ: Why Do People Care If Hilaria Baldwin’s Spanish Accent Is Fake Or Not, Anyway?

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