Who are Jenna Ortega’s parents? Her ethnicity and upbringing

Jenna Ortega

Jenna Ortega was born Jenna Marie on 27th September 2002 in Coachella Valley, California; Jenna is the fourth of six children. She is mainly known for her roles as Young Jane in The CW comedy-drama series Jane the Virgin and Harley Diaz in the Disney Channel sitcom Stuck in the Middle, which won her the Best Young Actor Imagen Award.

Jenna stars in the new Netflix show Wednesday, in which she plays the lead role of Wednesday Addams. Interestingly, the series premiered on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022.

Jenna’s parents were shocked at her early career achievements

Jenna is the daughter of Natalie Ortega and Edward A. Ortega. The couple has been married for a long time. Natalie, Jenna’s mother, works as a nurse, while her father is a businessman with an associate degree.

Natalie is usually very active on social media, mostly sharing throwback pictures of their children and highlighting Jenna’s career on Instagram.

Jenna’s parents supported her throughout her career, which she began at 6. They did six-hour car trips back and forth, four or five times a week, so she could go to Los Angeles for auditions.

Jenna even stated that her parents were shocked by what she had managed to achieve at such an early age. She said, “My mom literally said this to me yesterday – she said: ‘I did not think you were going to be here.’”

Jenna opines that her Hispanic ethnicity caused rejections by casting agents

Jenna Ortega's parents

Jenna Ortega is 75 percent Mexican and 25 percent Puerto Rican. Her mother is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, while her father is Mexican-American.

Natalie is bilingual and spoke Spanish, but Edward could not. The parents talked to Jenna and her siblings in both languages so they could learn both languages. She explained:

“Since my father does not speak Spanish, trying to teach my siblings and me the language, when we were little, was a struggle. My mom is bilingual because her grandmother babysat her often and taught her Spanish. The plan was for her to speak it to us and for my father to speak English so that we could learn both languages.”

She continued by saying that her family has worked hard to preserve the most significant traditions, such as piñatas during birthday parties and freshly baked tamales at Christmas.

Jenna has spoken about how ethnicity affected her progression in the entertainment industry. She stated: “As a Latina, there are not as many roles out there for me. When I first started out, it was hard. I was constantly shut down because I did not have the look they were going for. You have to keep pushing.”

Fortunately, the rejections motivated Jenna to keep striving towards her goal of changing the casting directors’ point of view, which in her opinion, she did, and is proud of the progress that has been made. She said:

“Now, in the acting world, you see a lot more of the ‘all ethnicities’ roles out there. I see more of my fellow Latinas rising up, and that makes me very proud.”

“There are not as many Hispanic leading ladies out there as I would like, but I want to help change that in the future. I am blessed with the opportunities I have been given and I am extremely proud of where I come from. I would not have it any other way.”