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From Homeless To Starring On A Hit Netflix Show: Here Are 20 Facts About OITNB’s Jackie Cruz

Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” has populated a pretty huge following over the years thanks to it’s intriguing and lovable female characters. The show has allowed us to see into the lives of real women while also getting to see them grow and learn about themselves. Amongst the show’s most beloved characters is Flaca, a character played by Jackie Cruz. For those of you who fangirl over Flaca and the actress who has brought her to life on screen, here’s a look at 20 facts about the actress.

1. Acting is just one of her many talents.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

She’s also a musician and model, though amongst fans she’s best known for her role as Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales on Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”

2. Cruz is Dominicana.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

Born in Queens, New York, the actress grew up between Los Angeles and in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

3. She was raised by her mother.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

Cruz has said that she grew up in a single parent household. “My mother was very into fashion growing up with super cool leather ’80s jackets that she actually left for me.”

4. She was homeless.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

At age 16, Cruz moved out of her mother’s apartment and became homeless.

5. She was once in a coma after being in a severe car accident.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

When she was 17, she was the victim of a car accident where she suffered a collapsed lung, fell into a coma and required brain surgery.

6. She made a song “Sweet Sixteen” about her accident.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

7. Back in 2009, Cruz appeared on two episodes of “Kim & Kourtney Take Miami.”

E! / ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

Cruz made a couple of appearances on “Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami” after she met Kourtney in an art class. The two became friends and Cruz made a few more appearances on the series.

8. In one episode, Cruz and Kourtney kissed.

E! / ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

Kourtney later said that she was a bit embarrassed by the kiss, but the two are still friends.

9. She is out as bisexual.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

In January 2016, Cruz told AfterEllen.com that“I like the person whether it’s a woman—we don’t like to be labeled.

10. She’s a huge Selena fan.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

According to an interview with CelebBuzz she “grew up listening to Selena. I got to listen to her music, and I fell in love with her. I was born in New York but I was raised in the Dominic Republic, so I come from two backgrounds just as Selena did.”

11. And sees a lot of similarities between the two.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

“Her father was so supportive of her dreams and so is my mother. My mother was the same as her father, she pushed me just like he pushed her. Selena seems like a beautiful person from every documentary or interview I’ve seen of her. She’s into fashion just as I am and I just connect with her so much, she’s beautiful.”

12. She’s such a big fan that she actually did a “Como La Flor” tribute video.

Jackie Cruz / Vivala/ Youtube.com

“I wanted to do this tribute to her for the 20th anniversary since her passing so people know that her music is still alive and making changes. It’s for her and the people who love her.”

13. She does Ted Talks.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

“I have a TED Talks Speech on “Cruzing through Adversity.” I do speeches around universities, and I think it’s really important to tell my story. If I could just help one person I know I did my job, and that is so rewarding. I know I’m helping a lot of people because they have told me themselves, so it’s been really great.”

14. She was a judge on “Vivala Spotlight Search.”

@jackiecruz / Instagram

15. She loves her character Flaca on “Orange Is The New Black.”

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

My character Flaca has honestly taught me that The Smiths are the sh!t. Before I was Flaca I listened to them a little bit and I knew about them, but I wasn’t super obsessed like she is.”

16. Even though they listen to different music.

“Orange Is The New Black” / Netflix

” I personally listen to more of Janis Joplin, Elvis Costello, and Etta James, our love for music is still there; so we have that common ground.”

17. She loves noodles.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

“If I had to live on one food for the rest of my life it would be tacos or ramen noodles. I’m doing this challenge of what’s the best ramen noodle house in New York. I’ve tried almost all of them and so far it’s Total Ramen. So good!”

18. Her mom studied to be a doctor after she had her at age 16.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

Her mom worked two jobs to help her raise her daughter.

19. She worked at the famous LA spot 1Oak

@jackiecruz / Instagram

During the first two seasons of OITNB, Jackie worked as a bottle waitress at 1 Oak.

20. She has strong opinions about prison reform, immigration, and LGBTQ rights

@jackiecruz / Instagram

Anyone who follows Cruz on social media knows how the actress feels about these hot topic issues. In an interview with Bustle she once said,“Since I have a platform, I put my messages out there, bring awareness to the things that I believe are true and need to be changed. If you don’t like it, you can unfollow me. I don’t care anymore.”


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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Will be Ending After Its Seventh Season

Entertainment

‘Orange Is the New Black’ Will be Ending After Its Seventh Season

Welp, fans of Litchfield it looks like we have reached the end of an era. On Wednesday, the cast of “Orange is the New Black” released a video announcing that its upcoming seventh season would be its last. This is sure to be bittersweet news for the show’s fans who have helped it remain Netflix’s most popular series. Not to mention helped catapult the careers of many of its formerly unknown stars, most of whom are womxn of color, to fame.

For those of us who turned to the show for representation of Latinx stories, news of the show’s final season is especially bittersweet for the Latina fans.

Since its premiere in 2013, “Orange is the New Black” has been hailed as groundbreaking.

The Netflix original dramedy is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. The series explores the fish-out-of-water story of a privileged white woman doing time in prison. Although Netflix has remained notoriously hush about their streaming stats, it has been widely reported that OITNB is their most-watched original series. Keep in mind, this has it beating out juggernauts like “House of Cards” and “Stranger Things.” Its frank yet nuanced depiction of female prisoners have earned it 12 Emmy Award nominations and three wins.

Of the decision to end the iconic TV series, its visionary creator Jenji Kohan said: “After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison. I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with. My heart is orange but fade to black”.

Its depiction of complicated, flawed, and sympathetic female characters from all walks of life is unprecedented in television and opened doors for LGBTQ, Black and Latina talent.

Dascha Polanco, Diane Guerrero, Selenis Leyva, and Jessica Pimentel all got their start on OITNB. According to Jenji Kohan, these casting choices were purposeful. She previously revealed that “the pools of talent [while casting] are so deep when you have a call for Latin women or black women or a middle-aged woman because they never get their shot”. She even admitted that the producers would sometimes “add new characters ‘cause we wanted to use another actress”.

In its six seasons, OITNB explored topics like trans rights, queer politics, PTSD, sexual violence, and racism. Notably, they tackled these issues with nuanced and poignant storytelling. And although prestige television has evolved to include more stories like these, it’s undeniable that OITNB was among the first to do so.

As publications like Rolling Stone have previously noted, “Orange is the New Black” has also had a hand in re-shaping the TV landscape towards greater inclusivity. In an interview about the doors the show has opened for new characters, actors and storylines, actress Laverne Cox, who has portrayed trans prisoner Sophia Burset since the series first season, once told Rolling Stone “[OITNB has] revolutionized television. The unprecedented diversity that we just saw in pilot season I think would not be possible if it weren’t for us”.

The show confirmed news of the final season on their Twitter page and the fan reaction was real.

And so many fans are sharing what the show meant to them.

So many Twitter users shared what the show’s efforts to highlight women of color and of the LGBTQ community has mean to them.

And fans are already campaigning for storylines.

#Flaritza forever man.

Although OITNB is ending, there’s no denying that its impact on the industry and its culture will remain. We’ll always have a place in our hearts for the ladies of Litchfield.


Read: Get a First Look at Tessa Thompson in ‘Men In Black’ Spinoff

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This ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Just Dropped A New Solo Song And We Are All About Its Latin Vibes

Entertainment

This ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Just Dropped A New Solo Song And We Are All About Its Latin Vibes

“Orange Is the New Black” actress Jackie Cruz has been pursuing her passion for music for a minute. The 31-year-old Dominicana was part of a girl group called Krush Velvet back in her high school years, released an extended play independently in 2010, and even did an impressive cover of your favorite Selena Quintanilla song. So, it makes sense that even in her continued success as an actress, that she has continued to pursue her love for singing. Lucky for her fans, Cruz is giving us another chance to soak in her vocal chops thanks to the release of her new single which dropped over the weekend.

“La Hora Loca” is Cruz’s first single from her upcoming solo debut.

Over the weekend, the actress best known for her portrayal of “Flaca” on “Orange Is The New Black,” dropped a new single called “La Hora Loca.” The new song features Cruz’s vocal talents as she takes the songs lyrics in and out of English and Spanish over trumpets and a cha-cha beat. In a post to her Instagram page, the Latina snuck a preview of her song with a post that explained her excitement over its release. “I am so ready for this new chapter in my life. Music is my first love and I continue to fulfill my dreams one by one! More than ready to be heard! Photo Credit,” she wrote.

If the music industry’s rising love and embrace for Latina artists is any indication, Cruz’s upcoming album could be the next big thing! Until then, you better believe we’ll have our fingers crossed and her new canción on repeat para todas las horas like a true loca.

Check out the “La Hora Loca” below!


Read: Latinx Trio Cardi B, Bad Bunny And J Balvin Make Fuego In New Summer Turn-Up ‘I Like It’ Video

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