Donning fiery violet tresses, Polanco serves absolute slayage with a hint of feline fierceness. The 32-year-old Dominican actress spills the tea in her cover story on everything from raising her two daughters to battling depression after the death of her mother, and learning to love her curves.
Vixens, check out exclusive photos from her cover shoot and a few excerpts from her interview below. The June/July 2015 issue of Latina hits newsstands May 12th.
What keeps her motivated:
That rawness is what keeps me hungry. I don’t take anything for granted when I’m given the chance to work with people I’ve admired. I never feel entitled. I don’t think that this is really happening yet. I don’t think that I deserve it.
Becoming a single mother at 18 and having a child born two months prematurely, with her daughter weighing only two pounds:
She’s a blessing, a miracle baby but for a first experience, it was difficult.
Not recommending having children at a young age:
Nothing’s wrong with it; it just makes it a little bit more challenging. The only person that was by my side was my mother.
Losing her mother, who died 46:
[After her death] I remember having to find some- body to stay with my daughter because I didn’t want to stop school, and I couldn’t stop working. It was rain- ing, and I was like, ‘Who can I trust that is not my mom?’ I realized you have to put your armor on; you have to become a warrior, because family is not there.”
I went through a large depression and started feeling emotionally isolated. But because my parents taught me that God is going to send you obstacles and you have to overcome them, it put me at ease.
Having therapy for the depression she suffered after her mother’s death:
Mental health is a big issue, and I think it’s ignored a lot in the Latino community. It’s very interesting, the times I’ve felt that I can’t breathe emotionally, and I react to things in a very impulsive manner— whether it’s anger or crying. And being able to speak to somebody about that was kind of a revelation that it was okay for me to feel depressed.
Embracing her curves:
I’m still very insecure bodywise, and I’m working on it, but I’m also confident, because I feel like I’m not going to let anybody knock me down. Why should I now not be able to carry myself, love myself? Okay, everybody has an opinion about every- thing—but my body has been a negative factor in my life all the time. But now I embrace its uniqueness.”
Staying true to herself:
I see myself as Brooklyn. I don’t have to mold myself to Hollywood. Hollywood’s going to have to mold itself to me.