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'Orange Is The New Black' Star Dascha Polanco on her 'Empowering' Role & Plans for the Future

First Posted: Jun 19, 2015 12:11 PM EDT
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When "Orange Is the New Black" star Dascha Polanco hits the set of the award-winning Netflix original series, it's all about "familia" and female empowerment.  

The Dominican actress has played Dayanara Diaz for two successful seasons on "OITNB" and has returned to join the main cast. She has continued to intrigue fans with her dramatic storyline involving an affair with a prison guard where she ends up pregnant and alone only to face more drama head-on.

While it gets intense on the set of "OITNB," there are of course plenty of laughs and good times.

Polanco spoke to Latin Post in an exclusive interview where she discussed the camaraderie and diversity on the set of the hugely successful show that has a celebrated, diverse cast.

"It's empowering to be a part of this project and to have fellow Latinas around me and for us to create this little family with not only us but with all of the women on the set. It makes you feel like times are changing," Polanco explained.

"The ten percent in Hollywood of Latinos, that later on we're working towards opening the opportunity for more of our own to be able to have these lead roles, to be able to do great projects and to be acknowledged for our work and not to be put in groups where we're looked at in negative ways, or judged because of one incident and so forth," she added.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Polanco is very proud of her roots.

"We are immigrants. I am an immigrant and I am proud of being an immigrant and coming into this country and not being a statistic, but overcoming what the statistic may have been and being the best at what I put my mind to," she said.

Where does Polanco hope to see the trajectory of her career?

"I want the opportunity to work more and to be able to do things that I love that mean so much to me where I never saw growing up," she said. "Just to remain consistent. I love acting and I love the opportunities that have come along with it. I am also business-minded and it's not going to stop here. So I will definitely broaden my horizons."

Polanco also said that she would love to collaborate with influential filmmakers/directors Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro.

The talented actress is currently rocking the cover of Latina Magazine's June/July issue and is set to play Jennifer Lawrence's best friend in David O. Russell's upcoming December film "Joy."

Polanco is the recipient of the Lupe Award, which "aims to spotlight Latino talent or producers who have received a significant amount of buzz and shown great promise as a future artist, or have worked in the industry for many years and flown under the radar." 

"It makes my stomach get full of butterflies..." she said about receiving the Lupe Award. 

On June 27, Polanco will be presented with the Lupe Award at the 16th annual NALIP Latino Media Awards at the W Hollywood Hotel.

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