Jackie Cruz went from her “death bed to a red carpet.”
Jackie Cruz was a rebellious 17-year-old when tragedy struck and changed her life forever. Cruz and her friends were rushing to get to a free concert when the driver of the car she was in lost control and sent Cruz flying out of the car. Cruz was in a coma for 72 hours as doctors treated her kidney, broken vertebras and performed brain surgery to remove a blood clot before it could cause a life threatening complication.
Her mother was so devastated by the accident that she didn’t eat while Cruz was in her coma. Cruz’s mother ended up losing a baby she was pregnant with at the time. Despite the heartbreaking consequences, Cruz looks at that accident as her wake up call. After the accident, Cruz recommitted herself to her dream that she had given up on before she rebelled. She started to hustle her way in New York City working night jobs so she could audition during the day eventually landing her role on “Orange Is The New Black.”
“I went in there mad raw, like super raw,” Cruz told VICE about her audition for OITNB. “I, like, imitated one of my girlfriends from work: feisty Latina.”