Jenna Ortega Makes Theater Debut In 'New York Spectacular'; Says Role Is 'Special' [EXCLUSIVE]

Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega talked to us all about her new role in "New York Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes." Check out our exclusive Q&A. Courtesy

Jenna Ortega kicked off her acting career at the age of 10 with small appearances in shows such as "Rob" and "CSI:NY."

She has come a long way since 2012, nabbing a leading role in Disney Channel's "Stuck in the Middle" and a recurring role on "Jane the Virgin," among other great gigs. Ortega, who is also part of the upcoming "Elena of Avalor" animated show, is proud to present her first-ever theater role. 

The 13-year-old Latina actress, along with Lilla Crawford, share the teen lead role of Emily in "New York Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes," running until August 7 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Ortega talked to us all about her role and why it is a special one in her trajectory in an exclusive Q&A.

LATIN TIMES: You are one of the teen stars in "New York Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes," how does it feel to be part of this team?

JENNA ORTEGA: To be apart of this team is an honor. I never saw my self doing theater, so I was really shocked when I was asked to audition. It is a whole new experience that I am blessed to be a part of!

LT: In the show, you portray Emily, what can you tell us about your character? 

JO: Emily is a bratty teenager who is obsessed with her phone. She has lost her sense of imagination and tries to act more grown up than she actually is.​

LT: How did you prepare for your role as Emily?

JO: When I was preparing for my role as Emily, I spent a ton of time looking at the script. Memorizing is not super hard for me, but since I would be performing live I wanted to say the lines exactly word for word. I am a perfectionist, so it had to be perfect for my first theater job!​

Jenna Ortega Actress Jenna Ortega will voice the character of Isabel, Elena's sister in the upcoming Disney show "Elena of Avalor." Courtesy Photo

LT: What makes this role special compared to everything you've done on TV?

JO: This role is special because I have never played a character with an attitude like Emily's before.​

LT: Out of all the roles you've done, which one can you best identify with?

JO: I think I can best identify with Harley Diaz from "Stuck in the Middle" because she is just like me! We are both really smart, love math and science, and we are both are Latinas who are middle children in big families.​

LT: You're also going to be doing voice-over on "Elena of Avalor," what can people expect from your character Princess Isabel?

JO: People can expect to see a brilliant tomboy who loves inventing, helping people out, reading, and her family! She often helps her older sister Elena save the day with well thought out plans she's come up with.

LT: At such a short age, you've achieving a lot of wonderful things. What would you say is your biggest dream?

JO: My biggest dream would be to win an Oscar.  I would love it if the award was because of my performance as a leading lady in a big feature film, but an Oscar is an Oscar. I would accept that award for any kind of performance, leading lady or not!

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Jessica Lucia Roiz

Jessica L. Roiz is a Miami-based bilingual journalist of Nicaraguan descent. In addition to Latin Times, she's published in VOXXI, The Miami Herald, Huffington Post, La Opinion, El Nuevo Herald, The Latin Kitchen and more. With over 10-years experience in digital media, she's nothing but passionate and creative with her work. When she's not writing or editing videos, she can be found listening to rock en Español, dancing bachata, reading Paulo Coelho, missing Selena Quintanilla or relaxing in Nicaragua. She's also the founder of ALoNica con la Roiz and PulsoPOP