Bow down to the newest Shondaland queen! Jaina Lee Ortiz is the star of the Grey's Anatomy firefighter spin-off Station 19 — and we just met her character, Andy Herrera, on the March 1 episode of Grey's. To get yourself even more hyped for Station 19's blazing-hot series premiere on March 22, we're bringing you everything you need to know about the 31-year-old acress — scroll down to learn all about Jaina!
You've seen her in scripted and unscripted TV
After growing up in the Bronx and pursuing a professional dance career, Jaina decided to go into acting. One of her first big breaks was VH1's Scream Queens, a reality competition for aspiring horror movie actresses. She was the runner-up in the show's second season. Her career really took off, however, once she was cast opposite Morris Chestnut in the FOX procedural Rosewood, which lasted two seasons. And more recently, she appeared in the big-screen comedy Girls Trip — coincidentally co-starring Kate Walsh, the last headliner of a Grey's spin-off.
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This poster runs deeper than, “oh, look at me up there.” I see a woman with the eye of the tiger, fearlessly determined to conquer the world. A powerful woman who is ready to fight any obstacle that comes her way. Women like this exist in our world. And they exist in all of us. Thank you @shondarhimes for making women the heroes on TV… I finally have one. Meet “Andy” from Station 19 …created by the amazing @mckee.stacy 🔥
She once thought her ethnicity could hinder her TV success
"When I got my first headshots, my hair was dyed blonde," Jaina revealed to Brit + Co. "I considered buying blue contacts. I thought I had to fit into this box and that maybe I should be more Caucasian." She even thought about changing her last name. "I did have that episode," she admitted. "Thank God I didn't do that!" These days, she's happy she's repping her heritage on the small screen, saying, "Growing up, I never saw many Latinas on TV, so to actually be shown in a female lead as a Latina playing a Latina is so inspiring."
She once worked as a makeup artist
In a prior chapter of her life, Jaina earned a living working as a makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, emulating her mother, who worked at Revlon. In fact, she even did her own eye makeup and fake eyelashes for the Rosewood pilot! "I think the most valuable thing I learned working at MAC was that a lot of women came expecting that they needed a ton of makeup to achieve a certain look," she told Brit + Co. "A little actually goes a long way. The less product I used on them, the bigger impact it had."
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