It seems like everyone in Hollywood wants a piece of the Netflix action these days. Luckily for New York City native Jackie Cruz, over the last few years she’s been on the inside looking out—in more ways than one. Heading into the third season of the streaming service’s smash hit Orange Is the New Black, Cruz gains more fans with each appearance, playing cult favorite character Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales, a Smiths-loving, teardrop-tatted, molly kingpin-infatuated tough girl. And even though the 27-year-old Dominicana with a budding music career was once seen heating up Kourtney and Kim Take Miami (making out with Kourtney in a club, as one does), the way she tells it, she’s far more girl next door than scandal-magnet prison bully.

What was auditioning for Orange Is the New Black like?
I was working in nightlife and on my music, and I started to miss acting. The first audition I went to was for Flaca in Orange Is the New Black. It was literally two lines. Every other word was a bad word. The only description they had for the character was “feisty Latina.”

“Feisty Latina” doesn’t seem to begin to do that character justice.
She doesn’t represent the stereotype. Even her love of ’80s music shows an interesting kind of diversity.

Do you identify with Flaca at all?
Just like me, Flaca’s an Americanized Latin girl who speaks Spanish and was born in the States. It’s important to me that Hollywood is showing that.

Because—even to this day—I’m auditioning for characters who can’t speak English. It’s like, “Oh my god. Still?!”