The ‘On My Block’ Cast Acts Like A Family When They Are Off The Set And It’s Amazing
We all know Netflix has been crushing it with messages of racial injustice, minority perspectives, and casting more diverse actors. The streaming platform has a long line of diverse characters with shows like Dear White People, She’s Gotta Have It, and a slew of Spanish Language Netflix Originals. On My Block (OMB) is one of the shows that Netflix users have not been able to get enough of.
It tells the story of the tightest group of friends coming up into high school on the East Side of Los Angeles and touches on topics of gang violence, gender expectations, and how family ties can make or break you if you let them. More importantly, the cast is non-white and gives us a strong Afro-Latina lead.
On My Block is the most-binged show on Netflix of 2018.@onmyblocktv / Instagram
According to their own data, it tops the list of Original shows with the highest watch time per sitting. That means when people sit down to watch OMB, they can’t stop for a lot longer than other shows. It was followed up with Season 2 of Making a Murderer and 13 Reasons Why.
Diego Tinoco is probably the biggest break out star of the whole show.@diegotinoco / Instagram
While others have had other gigs before, playing Cesar Diaz, the little bro of a major gang leader, is Tinoco’s first starring role. Though you might recognize him from one episode of Teen Wolf.
Tinoco would have wanted to be a writer if he wasn’t an actor.@diegotinoco / Instagram
He says he’s a lot like his character, Cesar, in that they’re both hopeless romantics and in love with the idea of love. Though he would not have wanted to become an architect.
He set off to chase his dream right after high school.@diegotinoco / Instagram
In an emotional post, Tinoco revealed a bit about his past:
“Risked everything, for the chance of nothing. Left my life back home to try and start a new one someplace else. Straight out of high school, with nothing but a dream and a passion for it. I’ve lost a lot of great people, but have also met a whole ton of incredible souls. I feel so incredibly blessed, & this feeling is still so surreal and bewildering. Honored and proud to have accomplished all this my first year out in LA. Only want to continue to strive and grow as an artist, and contribute good things as a human being. Love this cast with all my heart.”
Sierra Capri dreamed of working in forensics before she took a stab at Hollywood.@sierracapri / Instagram
It wasn’t until her junior year at Armstrong State University that she decided to audition for some gigs. She has zero acting lessons under her belt and is just pure raw talent.
Capri is a mega activist for immigrants.@sierracapri / Instagram
She volunteers with the Refugee Assistance Project and CHLA. In the show, her character Monsé is a headstrong young woman who has been fighting to keep her relationship with Cesar a secret to maintain the ‘family’ and her image.
Capri can take a nap anywhere.@onmyblocktv / Instagram
In an interview with Celebrity Haute Spot, Tinoco shares a behind-the-scenes secret. “Hmm. Sierra Capri can take a nap anywhere at any time. I admire it. It’s like a superpower haha.”
Her and actor Brett Gray sing Demi Lovato songs at 4 a.m.@iambrettgray / Instagram
The two seem *especially* close and while many speculated they were dating, his most recent post calls her “the most beautiful sis.” Ok. Fine then. I ship it though.
Brett Gray worked as a clerk at ACME market before being cast on OMB.@iambrettgray / Instagram
We know him as Jamal, the nerd of the group obsessed with finding hidden treasure from a lost business endeavor “RollerWorld.” Actor Brett Gray had a few spots with Law and Order: Special Victims Unit before he was perfectly cast as Jamal.
Gray is obsessed with Selena.@iambrettgray / Instagram
He posted this stunning photo of Selena on the anniversary of her death with this caption:
“Anyone who knows me knows this woman is my first inspiration. The person I want to be and performer I want to be has been shaped by her career and music and daring to do what others thought she couldn’t. Rest in power.
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez ????
April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995”
He turns 22 on January 13, 2019.@iambrettgray / Instagram
Yup, the whole cast is barely drinking age, and are slaying the high school looks. Diego (Cesar) is 21 years old, Jason (Ruby) is 22 years old, and Ronni Hawk is just 19 years old.
Gray just dropped a single.@iambrettgray / Instagram
Caption: “Wow wow wow wow wow…. So much love. I’m so grateful.
This EP was my first musical endeavor and there were so many ups and downs. Between me pushing myself too hard, not pushing enough, being insecure, or feeling unworthy of new things. This year was one of tremendous gain, some loss, some love, some love misplaced, heartache, and back to strength again. All themes of this project. A sonic remembrance of an easier time in life. It’s yours now. ”
Jason Genao is Dominican-American and from Jersey.@ronnihawk / Instagram
Genao plays Ruby, the most ambitious and persuasive member of their friend family, and Genao has a lot in common with his character. He’s always known he wanted to be an actor and has had the most experience out of anyone in the core cast. He has been cast in star roles in Netflix Original series The Get Down and in the superhero drama show Logan.
Genao is an activist támbien, the latest face of the NOH8 campaign for LGBTQ rights.@jason.genao / Instagram
He says that if he didn’t become an actor, he would have wanted to be a chef or a medical examiner. Regardless, he would stand up for equality. We’re glad he has this platform to do that.
Jasmine just got bumped to the main cast.@jess_m_garcia / Instagram
Let’s be honest. While Jessica Marie Garcia’s character is in the peripheral for most of Season 1, she brings us the most jajas. We’re so happy we can expect to see a lot more of her.
The actress may play kind of a slob on OMB but she’s a total Queen IRL.@jess_m_garcia / Instagram
Also, you can probably tell that she just got married. But not to the cast. To another very tall man.
You might recognize her from How to Get Away With Murder.@jess_m_garcia / Instagram
In the show, she plays Rhonda Navarro, a member of Annalise Keating’s Legal clinic and has been in four episodes so far. Check her out being serious and all.
Ronni Hawk started out as a ballerina.@ronnihawk / Instagram
Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, she trained at the Boca Ballet Theatre until she started modeling in commercial and print campaigns at the age of 12. You might recognize her as Rachel Diaz from Stuck in the Middle, or from one of her many national commercials with Bank of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Target, and Kohls.
The show won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Show.@jason.genao / Instagram
There’s no wonder why. The show has incredible actors that bring to life the real stories of what it’s like to grow up brown and black in America.
You better believe it’s renewed for a second season.@jason.genao / Instagram
It was never really a question, with reviews like Matt Seitz from New York Magazine:
“One of the many remarkable things about this series is how it folds crime and the awareness of potential violence into everyday life, which is something white sitcoms never do unless it’s a Very Special Episode.”
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