It used to feel like every time Latinas were on screen they were playing some kind of help. Not anymore! Now, we’re living in an era where Latinas are slaying the small screen in an array of different roles. Here are 9 badass Latina TV characters who are breaking the mold.
1. Jane Villanueva from “Jane the Virgin”
All hail the QUEEN! Listen, it’s not secret “Jane the Virgin” is my favorite show. I’ve written about it here, here, and here. But the glue that holds it all together? The title character of Jane; she’s a passionate, whip-smart, incredibly talented writer, mother, and wife, and hands-down the driving force of the show. She’s one of the most well-written television characters in the last 10 years, and I’m so excited to see where the writers bring her in the future.
2. Valencia Perez from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
Valencia Perez is the kind of girl we love to hate; beautiful, a yoga instructor, and the apple of almost everyone’s eye. The great thing about “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is that they don’t just make her a bitch because she was dating Josh (Rebecca’s old flame) – she’s a character that feels like a real person, and Gabrielle Ruiz plays her perfectly.
3. Rosita Espinosa from “The Walking Dead”
Hey, if you’re still alive during the Zombie Apocalypse, you automatically get so many badass points. Rosita Espinosa is still kicking it (but with this show, who knows for how long), and she’s become one of the show’s most central characters. Whether it’s her friendship with Eugene, or her kickass fighting, walker-killing skills, she’s definitely someone that sticks out in the series.
4. Dr. Callie Torres in “Grey’s Anatomy”
Dr. Callie Torres appeared in 240 episodes of the mega hit “Grey’s Anatomy.” That’s pretty damn impressive. She was strong, loved dancing, and an orthopedic queen. You better believe that on a show like “Grey”‘s, this character has gone through some major ups and downs, which only makes her an amazing multi-dimensional character.
5. Rosa Diaz from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Let me count the ways I love this AMAZING CHARACTER. Wait – there are too many. Is it possible to be in love with a fictional character but also to be terrified by them? She is tough as nails, and you don’t want to mess with her. But you kind of have to be scary when you’re a detective, right?
6. Amy Santiago from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
When you’ve got not one but two incredible Latinas on a show, you know it’s gotta be BOMB. Amy Santiago, while not as scary as Rosa, is still one you don’t want to mess with. She’s also hilarious, as exhibited above.
7. Harlee Santos from “Shades of Blue”
Listen, Jennifer Lopez can do no wrong. I would follow her to the ends of the earth and back again. So when it was announced a year or two back that she’d be top lining NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” the world rejoiced. J.Lo. As a cop. On our TV screens every week. I MEAN, IS THERE A DOWNSIDE TO THIS AT ALL? I THINK NOT.
8. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett from “Modern Family”
It might at first appear that Gloria hits the stereotypes of a Latina we actively work against: oversexed, loud, and ridiculous. But anyone that watches the show knows that it’s not the case; Gloria is layered and an awesome mom, hilarious, and eccentric. She’s been in the TV game for a long time and we’re super thankful for it.
9. Xiomara Villanueva from “Jane the Virgin”
XO is such an incredible character on “Jane the Virgin.” Which is no surprise because this show rocks. Can you tell how much I love it?! XO is flawed and that’s what makes her so real. She’s funny, has a wild side, is an insanely talented singer, and doesn’t always make the best decisions – but if there’s one thing about XO, it’s that she loves fiercely. Ugh, I want to be her best friend, please.
Who are your favorite Latinas on TV? Let us know in the comments below and show these actresses some love by hitting the share button below!