While the entertainment industry's casting process is getting better, people of colour still experience stereotypes and ignorance when auditioning for roles.
Camila Mendes, one of the leading ladies in the CW's "Riverdale," revealed in an interview with People that she's faced obstacles in her career because of her ethnicity and appearance.
"I often hear things like, 'You don't look Latina enough,' and that mentality is so backwards. The fact is: I am Latina, so how are you going to tell me that I don't look Latina?" she told the magazine.
Mendes pointed out that these common struggles are why she values her role as Veronica Lodge on the Archie Comics-inspired hit show so much, since she gets to be part of a story that portrays Latino people in a nuanced and refreshing way.
"The Lodge family is a much-needed departure from the underprivileged, sleazy Latino drug-dealers we're used to seeing in entertainment. It's rare that you see Latin families being portrayed as intelligent, sophisticated, and powerful entities," she said.
"Riverdale's" interpretation of the Lodge family is already unique for taking a family traditionally portrayed as white in the comics and putting Latino faces to the classic rich, privileged, powerful family trope, as well as giving a Latina woman the chance to play the reformed "mean girl" role.
The show isn't shying away from their casting decision, either. In its upcoming second season, Veronica's heritage will be addressed, according to PopSugar. She will also be speaking more Spanish.
Mendes, who was born to Brazilian parents, identifies as an "American Latina," and speaks fluent Portuguese, has spoken out about her casting struggles before.
She told Coveteur she grew frustrated with the roles she had available to her in the past because she would audition as a "foster child Latina" who was "underprivileged and urban," and would get told that she wasn't "urban enough."
"So it's like, okay, I'm not urban enough and I'm not white enough, what am I? Why are there no roles out there that fit me!"
Luckily for Mendes, "Riverdale" is about to start its highly-anticipated second season so she'll get to explore Veronica's back story for at least a little longer.
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