If you watched the Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, you might have spotted Jenna Ortega getting silly with her family — no, not amid the crowd at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas but rather in a 60-second-long Doritos Dinamita ad.
In the commercial, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Gustavo Moraes and Marco Laver, also known as Alaska, two abuelas Dina (Patricia Mauceri) and Mita (Olivia Negron) go grocery shopping with their nieta, Ortega, but the sweet family trip to the local store takes a turn when actor Danny Ramirez grabs the last Doritos Dinamitas bag in the aisle. Dina and Mita start their mission to secure the bag from Ramirez and are not afraid to do whatever it takes to get it back.
It’s funny, it’s communal, and it’s so Latine — all important factors for the 21-year-old actor.
“It was the best for me,” Ortega tells Refinery29 Somos over Zoom. “It was just fun working with a bunch of people that I respected on something so silly. It felt like a nice celebration of Latine culture.”
A star in TV and film, commercials seemed like an appropriate next project, and there’s no bigger ad spot than the Super Bowl. “I feel like people watch the Super Bowl, really, for the commercials half the time, so it’s wonderful to be on such a big platform with a brand like Doritos, which is kind of the king of these commercials,” she says.
“It felt like a nice celebration of Latine culture.”
Even better, unlike in her current hit series Wednesday and You or her past horror projects, the commercial is mirthful and light. It was refreshing, she jokes, to not play “someone who is on the verge of death or is constantly crying, to [instead] do something so innocent as to being lost in a bodega.”
Unlike some of her famed characters, who prefer to do life solo, Ortega loves being in community, and she was glad to work with a team of Latines in front and behind the camera for this commercial and for many of the other titles on her résumé.
“I have been so blessed and so lucky with the people that I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with, not just because they’re immensely talented, but they’re just sweethearts, good people,” the Mexican-Puerto Rican star says. “It’s also great representation for Latinos. We all bring something different to the table, but I think that’s the thing about Latinos in general. We see one another. I don’t think that I’ve ever worked with a [Latino] cast or even crew member who I didn’t immediately feel some sort of connection to.”
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