ENTERTAINMENT

A new Latino family comes to Disney, with Jenna Ortega 'Stuck in the Middle' of 7

"Stuck in the Middle" focuses on Harley Diaz, an engineering whiz who uses her inventions to navigate life as the middle child in a large family of seven kids.

 

A new family show is coming to the Disney Channel — and it's a Latino family this time!

"Stuck in the Middle" focuses on Harley Diaz, an engineering whiz who uses her inventions to navigate life as the middle child in a large family of seven kids.

"Harley is a smart, optimistic, determined girl," said Jenna Ortega, who plays the lead role.

The Disney Channel hasn't had a show featuring a Latino family since Selena Gomez starred as Alex Russo on the memorable "Wizards of Waverly Place," which aired its last season in 2012.

"I just want to be a good example for young girls out there, I want them to have someone relatable," said Ortega who said she's happy to play such a smart and optimistic character so she can inspire others "to focus on their education."

Being 'stuck in the middle' of three older and three younger siblings is something Ortega says she can relate — in real life she is also in the middle of a family of six.

"For every Ortega kid, there is a perfect match in the Diaz family," she said, "we have the daredevils, the sporty, the cool chill kind of vibe."

The 13-year-old actress has also been doing double Disney duty as the voice of Isabel in their new animated series "Elena of Avalor," which tells the story of Disney's very first Latina Princess.

"I've always wanted to be a Disney princess," said Ortega.

In fact, she recounts asking her mom to dye her hair blonde so she could look like Cinderella. "I'm really glad that there is a Hispanic princess now so that little girls like me can find themselves relating to a Disney princess," she said.

Having two Disney shows will probably get Ortega a lot of attention from young kids, but she says she already gets recognized for her role as the young Jane in the Peabody and Golden Globe award winning show "Jane the Virgin."

"I'm really proud of that because Gina Rodriguez is such a talented and amazing person," she tolf FNL.

Ortega's film credits include "Iron Man 3", "The Little Rascals" and "Insidious: Chapter 3." She also got a lot of attention as one of the leads on Netflix's 2015 original series "Richie Rich", for which she – along with the cast – received a nomination for Best Ensemble Cast in this year's Young Entertainer Awards being held on March 20th in Los Angeles.  

"Stuck in the Middle" premieres tonight at 9 ET/PT and will air on Fridays on the Disney Channel.

Naibe Reynoso is a freelance reporter from Los Angeles, California. Follow her @naibereynoso

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