Jessica Camacho is making her mark in Hollywood, and the industry is taking notice. Since the day she arrived in Los Angeles, she hit the ground running and hasn't stopped. Camacho was brought in for the 3rd season of FOX's hit series, Sleepy Hollow and quickly became a series regular. "It was such a significant step in my career," Camacho recalls. Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a 4th season and she couldn't t be happier. "It's such a fun show. It's Sci-Fi, we're battling demons, fighting monsters, it's great. My character, Sophie Foster, is such a cool person. She's strong, witty, sarcastic and capable. She's everything I wanted in a character. What's awesome to me is that Sophie's storyline doesn't revolve around the color of her skin or her cultural identity, as is the case with all of the characters, and I find that so refreshing. I don't know where they're taking her next season but wherever it is, I anticipate an exciting journey for Sophie Foster." MBG's Gabriela Garcia found inspiration in talking with Jessica and learning about her journey to Hollywood.
On Why She Became An Actor
"Art is how we influence, inspire and inform others; it's how we can touch the human experience. Art has the ability to dissolve all negativity and tell the story of the human heart. I feel so privileged to be a part of this expression where I have a voice; that's why i became an actress. Telling someone else's story, one who is so far removed from me, I was able to find a purpose in that."
On Diversity in Hollywood
"It certainly isn't an even playing field, however, I feel so fortunate to be coming up at a time where we're now seeing opportunities where we are being offered roles that once weren't possible. It's because of previous generations and the work that they've done. I've benefitted from being Latina in some ways, it made me stand out; it set me apart and gave me an edge. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I was encountering less stereotypical parts, but the parts were still very sexy and fiery. And while there's nothing wrong with being seductive and sultry, I already knew that link to the Latina stereotype and I didn't want to indulge in that. I didn't want those two- dimensional roles. I turned down a lot of good paying roles because I didn't want to be boxed in. That's not to say that I haven't played sexy parts, but there has to be something more than just an image, a snapshot of a person. Perhaps it took me longer to make a name for myself, because the choices I was making were important to me. I didn't want to lose myself and my belief system.
I'm now being offered roles that have nothing to do with Latino stereotypes, they're just people. Capable people. Smart people. People with dimension and character arcs. And I love it. We all have something to add to the greater conversation that's happening now. Everybody can contribute what they can to move things forward. If you're a business person - excel. If you're a journalist - delve. If you're an artist - create. Create you're own work. Create your own platform."
Her Advice To Young Latinas Wishing To Pursue Acting
"Know who you are and what you want out of it. It's one thing to do plays and be in a contained artistic, nurturing environment. It's totally different when you're in the industry and money is the bottom line. It's easy to lose sight of it all. There are a lot of distractions and a lot of opinions on what you should be doing with your life and career. Know what you will do and what you won't do. Know what makes sense to you. Don't make concessions on it - I'm not saying don't be flexible because it's important to get out of your comfort zone, but just make sure that you're not forsaking your core beliefs and values."
At the time of our interview, Camacho was in Romania shooting a miniseries for The Discovery Network, Harley & The Davidsons, due out this fall. It's a compelling story about how the iconic company got its start and how it's thrived through the decades. Camacho plays a depression-era outlaw in a rag-tag crew of biker fanatics and she's loving every minute of it. "It's my first time in Europe and it's absolutely beautiful." And we think Jessica Camacho is beautiful, inside and out; we can wait to see how far this rising star will go.
Make sure to check her out on Sleepy Hollow Friday's this fall on FOX.