While Lorraine has a hint of childlike innocence to her, this role is still a big leap for Ortega. The 19-year-old is a Disney Channel alum who starred as Harley Diaz in Stuck in the Middle at the start of her career. She has since appeared in a variety of projects including Yes Day, Season 2 of Netflix’s You, and 2021’s The Fallout, which is a powerful film about a teenager dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. Watching her career evolve and unfold the way it has since her Disney Channel days makes it evident that the actress is on the right track. But even a lead role on a show wasn’t enough to open doors for her initially: “I think it’s kind of weird because it’s happened all organically in a sense. I do remember leaving Disney Channel being really nervous because it was really hard to get into audition rooms. My main goal has always been film, and I wasn’t well-known enough. I didn’t have any connection to the industry.” 

“A lot of times being a child actor, especially a Latina, they’re hiring to play the daughter of someone or the younger version of someone and those are typically white actresses,” Ortega, who played the child version of Gina Rodriguez’s character in Jane the Virgin, continues. “I remember just being really discouraged at a point in time. But after doing projects like You on Netflix and things like that where I think people saw me in an older light or in a different light, I started to get more opportunities.” Transitioning out of being a child star is challenging, and very few actors have done it successfully. Ortega’s journey so far has slowly and naturally evolved from shows for kids to a horror movie about pornography, but she says that all happened intentionally. “A big fear for me is I’ve never wanted to be pigeonholed. I never want to be seen as one thing. So if I can get my hands in as many bowls as I possibly can or have all of my projects not really resemble one another, that would be really, really, cool,” she says. “I tend to do a lot of horror, but even my horror films I think are pretty different in themselves, which is enough for me and also keeps me on my toes and I think forces me to work in a different way or exercise a muscle in a different way. And I love a challenge. That’s what it comes down to when I’m choosing new projects.”