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Jenna Ortega ‘pushing boundaries’ as a Latina star

The 20-year-old actress faces expectations as a Latina actress with grace and confidence.

The 20-year-old actress faces expectations as a Latina actress with grace and confidence.
Todd WilliamsonNBC via Getty Images

Jenna Ortega is the first to admit she is her own worst critic. The ‘Wednesday’ star humbly confessed how she has been affected by the expectations bestowed upon her as an up-and-coming Latina actress.

At the age of 20, Ortega has already known her share of expectations. The actress has been acting for a decade, and many of her roles portray an angst-ridden teenager.

Jenna Ortega pushes back

In an interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut, Ortega talked extensively about what it meant to be “your own worst critic” when it comes to managing people’s expectations of her — especially as a Latina actress.

“I personally have so much fun pushing the boundaries and doing all of the things that, you know, the Latina character ‘shouldn’t’ do. We were never the hero of the story or the lead of the story, and I love to be able to push back on that.”

Who do you answer to?

Though Ortega has heard a fair amount of feedback from audiences about what roles a Latina actress should accept, and how they should look while playing a Latina role, she knows she is her own worst critic, and that she does not have to answer to industry giants.

“It goes back to the ‘your own worst critic’ thing,” Ortega said “Nothing anybody else could say is gonna bother me as much as something I could say.

“When it comes to Latina expectations,” Ortega continued, “it’s so easy for me to brush those off because the people who are in positions of power right now or who have been in positions of power for so long in the industry, a lot of them are out of touch or just not necessarily familiar because they grew up in a very different time.”

Your own worst critic

Jenna Ortega may examine her own work under a microscope, but she loves to cheer on her team.

I am so happy to watch people succeed,” the 20-year-old said. “And it’s really wonderful when you’re able to work on a project and you all can celebrate something together.”

However — if there is one thing that gets Ortega down, it’s when she’s not doing her best.

“But if there’s anything that’s going to put me in a bad mood, it’s if I feel like I’m not pushing myself or doing the best I possibly can.”


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