For every project that is touched by the legendary Shonda Rhimes, there’s a very good chance it will be a huge success. Just take a look at Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. ABC really hit the jackpot with these iconic television series. Station 19 is one of the newest shows on Rhimes’ résumé that is also airing on ABC. While she did not create the show herself (that credit goes to Stacy McKee), Rhimes is playing her part – and playing it well – as the executive producer of the show. As a spin-off to Grey’s Anatomy, and also set in Seattle, the series centers on the lives of the men and women at Seattle Fire Station 19. Only in its second season, the ensemble stars Jason George, Grey Damon, Barett Doss, and Jay Hayden, among others. However, at the helm is Jaina Lee Ortiz, who portrays Andrea Herrera, or simply: Andy. A firefighter, as well as a qualified EMT, Andy is confident, independent, and badass, and that’s why we love her!
There is no Station 19 without Andy Herrera, and Ortiz portrays her with authenticity and power. She lost her mother at the young age of 9, and her father (and former Captain) practically raised her at the station. Saving lives and making a difference is all she ever knew and wanted to do. She’s resourceful, often finding herself in the toughest of situations, but knowing just what to do to get out of them. In almost every episode, her friends, colleagues, and even potential lovers all look to her for guidance simply because she’s seen it all from such an early age.
Jaina Lee Ortiz can relate to her character greatly. Born Jessica Ortiz in California and raised in the Bronx, her father, Joe Ortiz, is an NYPD 1st Grade Detective. Because of this, she got accustomed to hearing crazy stories nearly every day growing up. In addition, Ortiz is one of the very few Latina leads on television, something she had to learn to embrace. “When I got my first headshots, I felt like I needed to blend in,” Ortiz said on a 2018 episode of The View. “I felt like I needed to dye my hair a lighter blonde and I considered sticking some blue contacts in my eyes. It’s sad that I didn’t feel accepted and included. Women and minorities are really underrepresented in the media. So just to be a part of knowing that Shonda Rhimes has created this environment where women get to be their own heroes and their own stories, it’s refreshing and empowering.”
Station 19 airs Thursday nights on ABC. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all things Jaina Lee Ortiz, check out both her Instagram and Twitter.
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The Characters We Love: Andrea “Andy” Herrera from ABC’s Station 19: Featured Image Credit: abc.com