The Story of Jenna Ortega Who Overcame Prejudices and Found Fame by Staying True to Herself
As a young Latino actress, Jenna has worked hard to overcome prejudices and typecasting within Hollywood and beyond. It is no secret that Hollywood and other huge movie industries fall into the habit of cliché casting. In fact, 6.2% of the roles in movies in 2017 were played by Latino actors and actresses. Take a look at Jenna’s rise to fame and her success as a Latina actress.
She’s a proud Latina actress.
Jenna Ortega was born in Coachella Valley, California, to Mexican and Puerto Rican parents and is helping other young Latinos with their heritage and culture. She describes how “Being Latina has always been really, really lovely for me... it’s something that I’m very proud of.”
Jenna has proved ambition and dedication can take you far. She started her career aged just nine and by 12 she was the leading role in Disney’s TV series Stuck in the Middle. And today she is making the headlines as Wednesday in Tim Burton’s series Wednesday.
Her fight against stereotypes
She has recently opened up about her values as a Latina actress, and how important it was for her to break away from parts that often stereotype the Latino community. “I think it’s pretty special for me just because growing up, I didn’t really have a lot of representation on screen,” she said about playing Wednesday.
She said, “I always got really excited when I got those jobs that were open ethnicity or maybe initially meant for a Caucasian actor... I do want to open the doors for as many Latin people as possible, just because we’re a beautiful community and we should be celebrated. The Latin community only take up three percent of all representation shown across television and film media.”
She describes how “for my fifth birthday, I actually asked my mom for a box of blonde hair dye, because I wanted to dye my hair blonde so that I could look like Cinderella. If you don’t have someone that you can relate to... it can be very discouraging.”
She’s using her voice and fame to help others.
Earlier in 2018, Jenna said that “One of the perks of my career is definitely the platform I’ve been given. Something I’ve always said from the beginning of my career is that I’m going to use my platform, no matter how big or small, for good.”
With her fame she has used her voice for the Latino community. She is very proud of representing the Latin audience as Wednesday: “Take someone like Wednesday, who has such a large platform — I think it’s really important for not only everyone to see it, but also for girls out there like me who just want to be seen.”
Let’s see where her integrity and talent will take her next. She is already working on Scream 6, which will be released in 2023, and is firmly setting the path for Latinos by taking central roles without prejudices or cultural typecasting. We can’t wait to see her blossom even more and shake-up Hollywood!
Which other actresses deserves praise for speaking out against injustices? Share your opinion about Jenna’s work in the comments below!