Jaina Lee Ortiz

Star of ABC's Station 19

Continue Exploring
In her role as the tough, compassionate Lt. Andy Herrera, Jaina embodies an inspiring counterpoint to the negative stereotypes of Latinas that she grew up watching on TV and in the movies.

The way I look at representation now is it's constantly changing, it's constantly evolving. I think we're at a place now where we can celebrate, and acknowledge, the change that we've made and just continue to strive to tell diverse stories and include everyone. People want to be seen and heard and feel included and accepted. And I think we will never have enough Black stories. We will never have enough Latino stories. We want to see more of it.

Jaina looking off in the distance.

My first job was a makeup artist at MAC, where I worked part-time to pay for my acting classes in New York. The work taught me empathy when working with people who wanted to come in and look pretty or feel pretty. Connecting with them in a way that I never got to connect with any friends, or sister-like friends growing up. I guess it mainly taught me how to communicate with new people on an intimate level.

Jaina riding a bicycle as a little girl and a man smiling at the camera.

My homicide detective character on Rosewood was informed by my dad. My dad is a first grade homicide detective from the Bronx, New York. He was my go-to person for any questions or things related to my role. He taught me how to talk the talk and walk the walk. He pretty much was my inspiration for all of my cop characters.

Jaina as Lieutenant Herrara from Station 19 looking at the camera.

The four roles that I've played in my career thus far have been a rookie cop, a homicide detective, a marine and a firefighter. But here's the thing, they've all gone against the stereotypical Latino roles. And they all have the same characteristics in common. They've all been independent, intelligent, ambitious, fierce, tough characters with tenacity and empathy. And that is not only fulfilling as an actor, but it feels even better to know that I have an impact on girls who are watching and they can go, "Wow, I see myself in her. That's one cool chick." I'm glad that we can sit here and appreciate and acknowledge the shift in diversity.

Jaina looking off in the distance.

My first job was a makeup artist at MAC, where I worked part-time to pay for my acting classes in New York. The work taught me empathy when working with people who wanted to come in and look pretty or feel pretty. Connecting with them in a way that I never got to connect with any friends, or sister-like friends growing up. I guess it mainly taught me how to communicate with new people on an intimate level.

Jaina riding a bicycle as a little girl and a man smiling at the camera.

My homicide detective character on Rosewood was informed by my dad. My dad is a first grade homicide detective from the Bronx, New York. He was my go-to person for any questions or things related to my role. He taught me how to talk the talk and walk the walk. He pretty much was my inspiration for all of my cop characters.

To me, a reimagined tomorrow looks like love wins for real. A world without hate and no racism. I think if we eliminate hatred and racism in all parts of the world, I think we'd live a much better life. I think we would strive stronger as a community.