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How Gina Torres made producers rethink their ideas of American beauty

June 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26%. 1 min read.

Sherman Oaks, CA - June 4, 2021: Gina Torres, a film and TV actress, photographed in the backyard of her Sherman Oaks home for CNN Latinx Ambition portfolio. CREDIT: Damon Casarez for CNN.

For decades, Gina Torres has carved out a career in Hollywood feeling like she couldn't fully express herself. Now, the Afro-Latina actor is using her power to change that.

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Torres said there was a time when she had to audition for a role multiple times early in her career because she didn't fit producers' ideas of American beauty.

Afro-Latino performers like Torres have been "hiding in plain sight," she said, as Hollywood tends to cast them for Black roles because they "don't look Latino. "

But only recently, when Torres said she stopped sacrificing one part of her identity over the other, has she felt like she's had significant wins when it comes to representation on screen.

After Torres got a call from Tom Minear, the co-creator and showrunner of Fox's "9-1-1: Lone Star" to take on the show's female lead, she asked if her role could be an Afro-Latina.

The change made a difference for Torres, who sees her role as Tommy Vega as "beautifully crafted" and more importantly, a "fully realized human being" -- something scripted characters of color too often lack.

Previously, Torres also reimagined her acclaimed role as Jessica Pearson on the USA Network drama "Suits" as an Afro-Latina for the spinoff series "Pearson," which Torres also created and produced.

Latinx actor/actress I think will be a huge star one day: "I will say that recently, I've been so moved and proud of performances by Julissa Calderon in 'Gente-fied. ' That whole cast is really beautiful, but she as an Afro Latina, when she first showed up on the screen, I gasped.

by summa-bot

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