Quantcast
RELATED
Gina Torres Shares Personal Struggles Of Navigating Hollywood As An Afro-Latina
Celebrity News

Gina Torres Shares Personal Struggles Of Navigating Hollywood As An Afro-Latina

Gina Torres has had an expansive career acting in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Angel, and probably her most famous role as Jessica Pearson in Suits. But with her many acting roles, Gina revealed that she struggled with showing her full, authentic self as an Afro-Latina on screen. The mother of one is of Cuban descent and was raised in Bronx, NY. However, due to her skin color, she found herself often boxed in with roles as only a Black woman and not acknowledging her Latin roots.


The 9-1-1 Lone Star appeared on MSNBC’s The Culture is: Latina and talked about her experience navigating Hollywood as an Afro-Latina.

“I feel like I was living in three worlds. There was my world that I grew up in, also Spanish-speaking. Home, Cuban parents, and then you go out into the world and I’m speaking English, and I’m in the Bronx,” she explained. “And then, going into this industry as an actress, then nobody recognizes you as either one.”

She noted that she may present as a Black woman but said she’s more than that. “I didn’t identify as a Black woman because for me it was cultural. Because, of course, I present Black, I am a Black woman,” she said.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“I am also Cuban. When you’re here in the United States and they ask you to be in a box, and you don’t fit into the box, culturally, it was different. It was not one that I identified with, but to work, to survive, it was something that I had to learn.”

For her to gain opportunities in Hollywood, Gina shared that she had to learn how to be “whatever Black was” and that it became a “Jedi mind trick to keep myself from just being sad all the time about not being able to fully experience and express the entirety of myself.”

When Gina entered the entertainment industry in the ‘90s, Afro-Latino actors were few and far in between. But over the last few decades, more Afro-Latino actors have been taking up space in the industry and speaking up about their roots.

Here are some Afro-Latinas in Hollywood that you should know.

1. Rosario Dawson

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Along with Gina, Rosario Dawson was one of the few Afro-Latina actresses gaining recognition in the industry in the ‘90s and early 2000s. The Men in Black II actress is Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican.

2. Ariana DeBose

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Audi

Academy Award-winning actress Ariana DeBose, who won the trophy for best-supporting actress in West Side Story, is Puerto Rican on her father’s side.

3. Reagan Gomez-Preston

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Former childhood actress Reagan Gomez-Preston identifies as Puerto Rican and Black.

4. Yaya DaCosta

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Cycle 2 American Next Top Model runner-up turned accomplished actress Yaya DaCosta is Afro-Brazilian and Black.

5. Dascha Polanco

Roy Rochlin/WireImage

Dascha Polanco won our hearts as Dayanara "Daya" Diaz in Orange is the New Black and is Dominican-American.

6. Tessa Thompson

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson is Afro-Panamanian on her father’s side and European and Mexican on her mother’s side.

7. La La Anthony

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for PrettyLittleThing

Media personality/ actress La La Anthony is of Puerto Rican heritage.

8. Zoe Saldaña

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HBO Max

Zoe Saldaña, who has appeared in many films such as Avatar, Colombiana, and Drumline, is half Dominican and half Puerto Rican.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

 

RELATED

 
ALSO ON XONECOLE
ItGirl-100-list-xoNecole

As they say, create the change you want to see in this world, besties. That’s why xoNecole linked up with Hyundai for the inaugural ItGirl 100 List, a celebration of 100 Genzennial women who aren’t afraid to pull up their own seats to the table. Across regions and industries, these women embody the essence of discovering self-value through purpose, honey! They're fierce, they’re ultra-creative, and we know they make their cities proud.

KEEP READINGShow less
7 Black Men On TikTok Making Everyday Living Look ThirstTrappy

You know how many of us, ladies, keep wondering why men don’t have the same sexy, handsome looks of yesteryear? That look from the ‘60s to the ‘90s? I FOUND THEM. And guess what? They’re doing what “real” men do best…simply making themselves handy (and not just in the traditional, gendered sense of the word). These fellas make it easy to fantasize about the reality that there are still good men out there – men who come into the lives of women and make it easier and softer by contributing every day but meaningful ways.

No, I don’t know them in real life because I found them via TikTok, but that’s the fun of fantasizing. You get to take one piece of the pie and make up the rest of it as you go alone. It’s like a game of MASH–choose your fighter and then go from there.

KEEP READINGShow less
LATEST POSTS