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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