Glee’s Naya Rivera Reveals How Her Mixed-Race Ethnicity Made It Tough to Land Roles
In Glee star Naya Rivera’s (Santana) recent appearance on MTV’s “This Is How I Made It,” the singer-actress talks about her struggles growing up mixed race in the acting world. Naya, who is half Puerto Rican, one quarter German, and one quarter African-American, struggled in her teens because of her ethnicity.
“That was always a big issue for me because casting directors tended to be like ‘okay, are you Hispanic, for this role?’ Or ‘is she going to be African American?’ It was really tough and work started to slow down,” she told MTV.
Although she recently won ALMA awards for both acting and singing, she hasn’t always gotten the recognition she deserves. “I had people say that I just wasn’t a good singer, they didn’t know what to do with me, I would never fit in any markets...” she relates of her pre-Glee experiences.
“I almost quit acting altogether,” Naya says. We’re so glad she didn’t.