Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) is by far one of the best series ever to grace the Small Screen. For four seasons now the show has shown the highs, lows, and backstories of a group of phenomenal women…who just so happen to be incarcerated! Now we at Kontrol Magazine, love all the characters on the show, but few melt our hearts or make us as gaga as Jackie Cruz, better known for her role, of “Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzalez” on the hit Netflix series. After four seasons many shows would begin to lose momentum, she attributes the show’s success to good acting and positive reinforcement. “It’s not really a secret really. People want to see themselves on TV. it’s as simple as that. We are finally connecting with characters that look like us and could possibly be us.”
As Flaca, Jackie Cruz is one of the youngest inmates in the prison, but also smart, funny, and very sarcastic. Her loyalty to her gang and friends, especially Maritza Ramos, whom she is practically inseparable from. In the fourth season of the series, Flaca’s role is expanded and she becomes a main character. “I am so in love with my character and how she has developed throughout the seasons. I got to find out about Flaca the same way you guys did, so I never knew what she did to get in there until the third season. I’m just so happy that the audience took a liking to her.”
She goes on to reveal Flaca’s most memorable scene to her. “I would have to say the day of her arrest. In fact she felt like she didn’t do anything wrong because it was just paper, but it was fraud and endangerment. Before I started the show, I was a bit more judgmental about people in prison, but now I understand that because of one mistake that could be one of us in there. I felt like I was in a bubble and being on this show has helped me grow as a person and as a compassionate human.” Interestingly, Jackie admits she would like to see her character interact with Lorna more. “I know she’s a bit crazy, but I think Flaca and her would get along just fine. I believe they are both dreamers and maybe just talking to each other could help them survive in there.”
OITNB is a big part of Jackie’s life, but it is not all she has going on. As the Atlanta kidz would say, “She’s booked!” Recently, she did a project with one of Remy Martin’s campaigns. “Yes, I collaborated with Rémy Martin for their campaign called Circle of Centaurs, which encourages individuals to explore, embrace, and celebrate their many talents. I am not defined by just one thing, I have many talents. People know me as an actress but I’m also a photographer, a singer and a mentor. That’s why I was so excited to partner with Rémy Martin Circle of Centaurs and now have the opportunity to mentor the talented Eyme Santos.” Besides her work with Remy Martin, Jackie is definitely making boss moves, letting us know she is ready to do some work off camera as well. “I’m starting my own production company, ‘Unspoken Films.’ I have a short film in the works and a feature I hope to start this year as well.” We definitely could not be more excited for her and just know she is going to be producing some amazing films.
2017 may already be in affect, but that does not stop her from making a few resolutions of her own. “My resolutions are for all year around; never give up, and believe in yourself! I just need to always believe that my dreams are positive even if it takes me another 10 years to do. I never ever put a time limit on my dreams, and neither should you!” Perhaps this means we will be hearing some music from her as well this year. Unknown to many, Jackie is an amazing singer. Although we would love to hear more from her she admits she is no rush to release an album. We definitely understand, as making an album can be a beast all by itself and when you add acting and starting a production company to it, you have quite a daunting task.
Unfortunately, Jackie cannot reveal any details on the fifth season of OITNB, but we still love her nonetheless. The great and positive work she is doing on the series is nothing short of amazing; and honestly has come just in time to be honored. Actresses of color are being recognized more and more for their contributions. “As I may have mentioned earlier its no secret, people want to see themselves on TV. Latinos have a big influence in the United States and I believe we should recognize them in the world of Hollywood. This is I’m starting my own production company, to expand on this and shine light on us Latinos. I want to make opportunities for others as well as myself – there is room for all of us in Hollywood.” As you can see Jackie is, and has done, some pretty amazing things; but the most amazing thing to us is how down to earth she is. She would like all of her fans to know, “… that I am grateful for each and every one of you its truly a blessing. I want to continue to break barriers and to let all my fans know to dream big and never give up!”
Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning