Exclusive: Get stuck on Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega might be the coolest 13-year-old out there: She plays a young Jane in The CW’s Jane the Virgin, has been raved about on Sofia Vergara’s blog and recently landed the starring role in her very own Disney Channel show.
Stuck in the Middle, which officially kicks off its first season tonight on Disney at 9:00 p.m., follows Harley Diaz, the middle child in a Hispanic family with seven kids. Harley takes viewers on her ride as she navigates the chaos of her big family and uses her love for engineering to get them out of trouble.
We caught up with Jenna to talk about the perks of being the middle child, cool inventions and how Selena Gomez would fit in to the show.
GL: Tell us about Harley!
Jenna: Harley is very creative, funky, determined and a true inventor at heart. She is the middle child in a family with seven kids so life can get pretty hectic! Sometimes she feels that she’s overlooked, but in reality she’s the engine of her family and she’s starting to embrace the fact that she is the glue that keeps the Diazes moving forward
GL: How do you relate to her?
Jenna: We’re both middle children—I’m the middle child of six kids! Also, we’re both determined and into science, plus we love our families very much. But Harley does have very cool invention skills that I really wish I had because I can’t even make a paper airplane.
GL: So what’s the best part of having seven siblings?
Jenna: Harley always has someone she can lean on and count on. Whenever they get into big trouble, her sibs are always there and they have her back.
GL: Did you know much about engineering before you started the show?
Jenna: I didn't. In fact, I still don’t know that much because a lot of the things Harley does I don’t even understand. She’s phenomenal! She will take a Barbie and a tire and a milk carton and turn it into some awesome invention.
GL: Speaking of new investions, SitM has a really cool single camera format that's totally different from other Disney Channel shows. Can you tell us more about what that means?
Jenna: Single camera is different because it’s like a mini-movie every week. Harley breaks down that fourth wall to interact with the audience and the viewers are like her best friends, which I think fans will really enjoy.
GL: Do you have a favourite episode from season one you can tell us about?
Jenna: My favourite is episode six for sure. I love it because Harley really interacts with her younger brothers Lewis and Beast. They are crazy, energetic daredevils—and Harley is the opposite of that—so it’s really funny to see them together.
GL: Have there been any hilarious pranks on set?
Jenna: We have a prankster named Peter, but we have a deal that we won’t prank each other. He actually uses props in his pranks, so I remember one day we were on set and Peter got a giant, fake lizard and put it under the wheel of Kayla [Maisonet]’s car. So, when Kayla went outside to leave, she saw this big lizard chilling under her car and she freaked out!
GL: We would be terrified! If you could have any actor or actress guest star on the show, who would you choose and why?
Jenna: Selena Gomez because her family was Hispanic in Wizards of Waverly Place, so I think it would be really cool to mix them in and have her on as a cousin, an aunt or some type of relative. But I just love her. She’s such a great role model and actress.
GL: What message do you hope Stuck in the Middle sends to young girls?
Jenna: I hope the show reminds young girls to always believe in themselves, stay true to who they are and, even though life in a big family can be hectic, to celebrate and love your family and be happy.
Will you be watching Jenna tonight (3/11) on Disney Channel at 9:00 p.m.?
Photo credit: Jenna Ortega