Jackie Cruz on life after 'OITNB' and the surprising detail she'll miss the most

Plus, what's next for the Latinx stars of the show

It’s the end of an era for Jackie Cruz and the stars of Orange Is the New Black. The Netflix series is down to its seventh and final season kicking off on July 26, and as all good things must come to an end, the show is ready for its farewell. But the show must go on for these chicas, and we’re excited about what’s next for the Latinx stars of OITNB. Taking a moment from her busy agenda, Jackie Cruz opened up the doors of her sophisticated NYC hotel where she shared her emotions on her last day on set, what she will miss most about filming the show and what’s next for her. Keep reading to find out about her new special projects and what some of the other OITNB actresses including Diane Guerrero, Laura Gómez, Jessica Pimentel, and newcomer Melinna Bobadilla have in store in the upcoming months.

Jackie CruzVIEW GALLERY Jackie Cruz talked about upcoming projects after closing this seven-year chapter in her life

HOLA! USA: How was your last day on set?
Jackie Cruz: "It was a really amazing experience and everybody was there. My last scene I had all my girls that I’ve been working with for so long there and it was pretty emotional." 

Jackie and her co-stars Dianne Guerrero and Yael Stone dressed to the nines for the special evening

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What will you miss most about filming?
"Well, the free cheese [laughs]. Yes, we have wonderful cheese plates. I will miss of course my sisters. We’ve been through the ups and downs, it was not ever perfect but we stuck together and you know, it’s just the people and learning. I mean, it was college for me. Seven years of master class, of everything that I wanted to learn which is directing, producing, writing, acting and now I’m gonna get to do it all with my own production, Unspoken Film, which is my own production company."

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What’s next for you?
"My short The Dying Kind just got accepted to the HollyShorts [Film Festival] in L.A., so I’m so excited. My little sister plays little me, it’s a 1900s piece kind of showing the world that we’re always there but we’re never represented, so I play have native, half white because that’s who we are, so it’s like a story of my ancestors. It touches on why I don’t know why America is so afraid to see how different we look, I don’t know why they’re afraid but a lot of us come from colonialism, so I want to talk about that. I’m producing my own short form series and I can’t say the name yet, but it’s amazing and it’s created by me, and I’m bringing up a lot of people that deserve representation and one of them is Meli Moreno who I met at the hospital, and she’s gonna play my best friend in this series." Orange is the New Black castVIEW GALLERY

The cast of OITNB appeared for their final red carpet event in NYC

"She’s incredible, and I want people to see how she can be sexy just like us, have fun just like us and do things just like us, it’s just in a different way. I feel like that’s not represented much on screen. I have another friend who’s deaf, so she’s also coming to do this. I speak a little sign language, so I want to represent that too. I grew up in a place where there were a lot of deaf children in my school and special needs, and they were actually the nicest people to me so I want to represent that."

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