PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIO BARBERIO
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & STYLING BY ROBIAT BALOGUN
MAKEUP BY ARCHANGELA CHELSEA FOR CELESTINE AGENCY
HAIR BY LUCY GEJDEYAN FOR CLOUTIER REMIX
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
On your path to acting, you’ve had to overcome the challenges of immigration, language barriers and then entering the unpredictable chaos of Hollywood. How did you persevere and also find solace as you work towards your dreams?
It was definitely very difficult at first, as a 15-year-old, coming to Los Angeles and being put down for my language, where I was from, my body and my roots. Obviously, as a teenage girl who is completely new to this environment, it does get to you. At first, it was very difficult for me to find that solace. Eventually, I learned the importance of self-love, perseverance and self-acceptance. I learned to quiet all of those outside opinions, because at the end of the day, they didn’t matter. What mattered was the amount of work and dedication I was willing to put into making my dreams come true.[Text Wrapping Break]
Who or what first inspired you to want to act?
Since I was a little girl, I have always had such a passion for portraying different characters and telling stories. As entertainers, we have the blessing of making people smile, cry and reflect. We get to tell meaningful stories that make people think and feel.
You landed a central role on the new Party of Five, which carries a much more political statement than its predecessor, with the parents of the Acosta family being deported to Mexico. How was it for you taking on the role of Lucia, the eldest daughter?
It has been such a wonderful experience. I’ve been able to work on Lucia for quite some time; she has become almost like a part of me. It has been a blessing to be able to step into her shoes and tell such a meaningful and timely story.
There are intense, emotional responses from the viewers for Party of Five. How does this make you feel — to know your portrayal of Lucia evokes such a heartfelt response?
It means everything to us! This is exactly what we want to do. We want to start conversations. We want people to understand what these families go through. When we get messages from people saying they feel represented, they feel like their stories are being told, they can relate to our family, that means the world to us.
You also have a role on Mayans M.C., which has been renewed for a third season. Leticia Cruz is a very different character from Lucia Acosta. Do you enjoy being able to change dynamics? Do you find it challenging?
I absolutely love it! I get the best of both worlds haha. I get to experiment with two completely different girls. Leticia grew up on the streets, was brought into a world that made her grow up very fast, she has killed, she has been around gangs, drugs, prostitution, and other things that no teenage girl (or truthfully anyone) should be around. It allows me to build so much with her. She has seen it all. Then we have Lucia, who is struggling with her parents’ deportation, with her sexuality, with growing up without parental figures, feeling like a misfit. They’re both very complex and multi-layered in their own ways.
In closing, as your career expands, so does your fans and following. How do you hope to use this growing platform?
I hope to use my platform to spread love and kindness. I am very blessed to be a part of meaningful projects that showcase very raw realities. I want to continue to tell stories that matter and that create awareness. I also want to use my platform to shine a light on topics that matter: charity, global warming, helping others, volunteering and other things I am passionate about.