While working the red carpet at the 2014 Primetime Emmys Monday night, SheKnows caught up with Orange Is the New Black stars Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva, where they spoke about their first time at the Emmys.
Polanco and Leyva both have Latin backgrounds and claim they are living their dreams by being portrayed on television representing their community and attending their first Emmys ever.
“It is a dream come true, I’m fangirling around a lot of people,” Leyva said.
Polanco added that they’ve “had many moments of self-realization when we look at one another and say, ‘Are we really here?'”
While breaking into the acting world has been an unbelievable and awesome goal they’ve both attained, Polanco and Leyva admit that being on a show like OITNB as Latina women is what has mattered most.
“It’s more so the moment of us representing the Latinos,” Polanco explained. “Looking to represent the women as curvacious as we are, you know, we’re just trying to represent us in a very positive way and live our dream and influence many others and open the opportunities for many others as well.”
The pair also said they are very touched by stories of other women who have been influenced by them in their journeys into the acting world in Tinseltown.
“Every time I hear a young woman in the business saying ‘Thank you, I finally have someone I can relate to, I can look to, someone who looks like me,'” Leyva said. “I grew up in a time when there were very few Latina representation [sic] on television and in Hollywood.”
The Spanish stars also revealed how during their career beginnings they were often told they were too heavy and/or too curvaceous, but then Jennifer Lopez came along and changed the mainstream view of body shapes.
“I think we’re celebrating curves,” Leyva added. “Women are supposed to have curves and be celebrated for that.”