Jackie Cruz fell in love with movies at a very young age. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, her exposure to foreign films led her to take acting classes before shipping off to the Hollywood Hills in pursuit of making this a full-time gig. With all her attention focused on a career and no room for academics, this drop-dead Dominican turned to a friend's manager for help finding that breakout role. Lucky for her, it was that first audition that sealed her fate. As Flaca Gonzales on the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, Jackie has grown from a 'feisty chola' with two lines to a series regular who dominates every scene. "I don't know what's going to happen next season, but Piper's been poking at me, and I don't like her attitude lately," she says. "I want Flaca to get into a fight with her. Someone has to set her straight already." If a hot girl-on-girl fight is just one of the things in-store, the wait until next season just got even lonnnnnger.
The actress, musician, and former model told Maxim about best assets, her music career, and the traits she shares with her OITNB character.
1) What’s your favorite curse word?
Umm.. definitely ‘fuck’ because it can be good and bad. You can use it for anything, just like “fuuuuuuck” or straight out like “fuck you.” Now that I think about it, I use it way too much.
2) What’s your go-to drink? Are you into beer or are you a liquor kinda girl?
Whiskey girl, for sure I am a whiskey girl. On the rocks.
3) What’s your favorite part of your body?
My booty. It’s a nice little booty, it has a nice shape to it. I get a lot of compliments on it.. it’s a Dominican thing.
4) How does a guy go about getting your attention?
Small things are the most important to me. I met my boyfriend at a bar, he was the bartender. He said, “I’m an artist and I’d like to draw you.” I thought that was kind of clever.. he’s been drawing me ever since.
5) What about grooming – are you into heavy beards or do you like the clean shaven look?
I like the clean shaven look, ya know, pretty faces. I guess Flaca and I have a lot in common. She likes emo-looking boys and I do too. Long hair, maybe a little bit of scruffiness.
6) Crushing on any girls at the moment?
You mean, besides the one the whole world has, Ruby Rose? Zoe Kravitz though, she’s my girl crush. She’s so cute, I love her.
7) What would you consider your most prized possession?
My guitar. I can take it anywhere, make a party, and sing along.
8) If you manage to have a free afternoon, what would you do with it?
Sing. I just love to sing.
9) Is it hard balancing your music now that you’re a series regular on Orange is the New Black?
No, actually, it’s not. People are listening to what I have to say and it’s cool that I have an audience now. When I’m not working and I have time off set, I can work on my music, and it’s easy to balance.
10) With your career is on the rise, what’s next for you?
I really want to get into more film. I’m doing an independent movie called Cleveland in the late fall. I’m also going to be doing some stuff in the Dominican Republic, which will be really fun. I’m releasing a Selena cover as well for the 20th anniversary of her death, and I’ll be working more on my music as well.
Photos by Tina Turnbow