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MadameNoire has made it no secret that we absolutely love “Orange is the New Black (OITNB).” That’s why when we had the chance to ask a few questions of one of the show’s man cast members, Dascha Polanco (who plays Dayanara), we jumped at the opportunity.

Last night, we spotted Dascha on the red carpet at the launch of Proctor & Gamble’s Orgullosa Nueva Latina event. The campaign is aimed at highlighting the duality of today’s Latina, who is bridging her Latin culture with the American world she lives in — and doing it fiercely — and we certainly agree Dascha fits the bill. When we caught the New Yorker on the carpet we asked her how has life has changed since joining the hit Netflix series and she said this:

“It’s very unexpected. Surreal. It’s always what I wanted to do. I know it’s cliché but I was born to do this and I’m proud to say I’m blessed and I’m chosen and I’m grateful every day that I can do something that I love.

“Everybody on the cast is amazing and talented. They bring such uniqueness to the show and I think that’s a credit to the success of the show as a whole. I’m blessed and I can’t thank God enough every day.”

As natural as Dascha is on screen, it’s hard to think that before she joined OITNB she was managing an instrument room at a hospital in the Bronx. She told us, “I was just practicing the craft and thinking every day, ‘I’m acting!’ and then this happened.”

As anticipation builds for the return of season 2 of OITNB in June, concern also rises for cast member Michelle Hurst who recently woke from a 16-day coma after being involved in a terrible car accident. When we asked Dasha how Michelle’s recovery is coming along, she told us:

“We’re keeping her in our prayers. When that happened we were in shock and it makes you think for a moment how things can be taken away from today to tomorrow, so live in the now. Do what’s good for you and stop worrying about everyone else.”

For more on P&G’s Nueva Latina campaign, visit

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