We've loved actress, Majandra Delfino since the year 1999, when the effervescent star had her breakout role as the quirky Maria DeLuca on the hit WB sci-fi series, Roswell. So we're thrilled that Majandra — who's part-Cuban and part-Venezuelan — has a starring role on the new ABC Family female buddy comedy, State of Georgia, premiering Wednesday, June 29th at 8:30/7:30c.
The 30-year-old actress spoke to Latina.com about her new show, told us what it's like working wiith Raven-Symoné, and explained why some people have a hard time believing she's Latina.
Who do you play in the new ABC Family series, State of Georgia?
I play Jo Pye. She’s a really sweet physics student extraordinaire hell bent on making an impact in the science world and helping her best friend Georgia (Raven-Symoné) aspire to the heights she longs for. They have a bond like no other characters I’ve seen on TV in a long time. The bond between them is my favorite aspect of the show — they’re so devoted to each other that they just can’t keep themselves out of trouble because they’re trying to help one another, which always results in something hilarious!
What’s it like working with Raven?
Amazing. She’s so smart, talented and she cracks me up. We literally roll on the floor laughing at least once a day — we kill each other. It’s really awesome.
What do you love about being Latina?
I love absolutely everything about being Latin. My heritage is very important to me. The thing that stands out the most to me is our ability to embrace people right off the bat. I've noticed how different we can be from so many other people, because we have instant warmth and an inviting attitude towards everything. We will love something or someone first before we assess whether it's something we will hold on to. It's an innocent before proven guilty mentality and I think that it's the best attitude to have in life. Openness and kindness, it's key.
Who are some of your Latina role models?
My biggest Latin role model would definitely have to be my grandmother. She has been through so much, having fled Cuba with two small children and never being able to go back or see her mother and father or even communicate with them without the majority of the letters being blacked out. Her ability to have raised her kids in a foreign country, adapt to the culture, the language, and their way of life has always been so inspiring and beautiful to be a part of for me.
Are people ever surprised that you're Latina?
The only people that are surprised that I'm Latin are the people that aren't Latin. Only anglos tend to be confused as they seem to still hold a very unfortunate stereotype of what hispanics look like and that we come in all varieties of skin color, eye color, hair color and body type. It's sad and my industry is definitely partly to blame as they tend to hire the same look to play hispanic, further feeding the idea that we are all only one type.The funniest reaction happens on a daily basis in Los Angeles. People here are very limited to their exposure to South Americans. They always have the same reaction where they say 'But you're white!' and I say 'yes we come in pale too.' Then they go, 'but you have green eyes!' and I'm like, 'Yup we have that too.' And then they go, 'but you don't look Mexican!' and I'm like, 'Because I'm not.' it's pretty hilarious. It happens at least once a day. When you have a name like Majandra, the conversation just can't help but come up!
You were so great on Roswell. Do you still get fans coming up to you and telling you they loved you on that show?
I still get many Roswell fans approaching me, writing me, tweeting me about Roswell. It was a great experience and there were so many great times we had on that show. I love that people still appreciate it so much even 10 years later. It's a real treat to hear from so many die-hard fans. It's awesome.