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Exclusive: Jenna Ortega talks Stuck in the Middle

 

13-year-old Jenna Ortega first broke onto the scene as a young Jane in The CW's Jane the Virgin. Now, the teen has landed her own starring role in the new Disney Channel show, Stuck in the Middle. Playing the middle child in a family of nine, Jenna's character Harley Diaz knows all about sibling sweetness–and how to raise her voice. We chatted with her about her new role and what she wants to accomplish down the road. Check it out.

GL: What's your character Harley like?

Jenna: Harley is an engineering wiz full of sass, creativity and determination. She is the glue of the Diaz family that keeps them moving forward.

GL: How do you relate to your character?

Jenna: I relate to my character because I am the fourth child of six children and, like Harley, I'm very determined, can be sassy at times and have similar struggles that Harley has in our show.

GL: You guys sound like twins! How did you react when you found out you landed your own show on Disney Channel?

Jenna: When I found out that I landed my own Disney show I bawled my eyes out! I remember that day like it was yesterday. My agents called to speak with me and asked me how I liked 8th grade. I told them that I liked it. Then, they asked me if I'd be disappointed if I had to leave my school and finish my school year on the set of my own show. I was completely oblivious to what they were asking me for a couple of seconds, and then the waterworks came and I had to give the phone to my mom.

 

GL: That's hilarious. Were you already a big fan of Disney Channel?

Jenna: Some of my favorite Disney shows are Wizards of Waverly Place, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Jessie and K.C. Undercover.

GL: And now Stuck. What are you most excited for fans to see when your show premieres?

Jenna: There are lots of different personalities in our family that I think kids will be able to relate to. It's a fun show that I'm hoping families will be able to enjoy together.

GL: Definitely. What's a fun story from set?

Jenna: A fun moment I had on set was during a late night shoot. One night Kayla Maisonet, Ronni Hawk and I were filming the last scene of the day. When we broke for dinner, we went up to our dressing rooms and danced, tumbled and told each other jokes. I really am looking forward to more late shoots with them in the future!

GL: What does it feel like to make it to this point? You most be so proud of all your hard work.

Jenna: I am proud of myself because when I told my mom and dad that I wanted to be on TV, they thought I was crazy. When they finally agreed (because I wouldn't stop pestering them), I told them, "One day, I'm going to be on Disney Channel." They smiled, like they kind of believed me. We all worked our butts of together, and it began to pay off. I'm proud of myself knowing that 8-year-old me would be proud of where I'm at today.

GL: We're proud, too. What's something you hope to do in the future?

Jenna: In the future I hope to be a leading lady in big feature films. Currently, there aren't a lot of movie roles for Latinas. I hope that I can be able to help change that.

Are you excited to watch Jenna's new show Stuck in the Middle premiering this Valentine's Day on Disney Channel at 8:45 p.m.?

Photo credit: Disney

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by Chelsea Duff | 2/11/2016
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