Before “Glee” star Naya Rivera became one of the show’s fan favorites, the 25-year-old actress wasn’t always an easy sell for Hollywood. The actress is opening up about her struggle to define herself to Hollywood casting agents in the latest episode of “This Is How I Made It.”
“I am half Puerto Rican, a quarter German and a quarter black,” she recalls in the episode airing Saturday at 12 p.m. on MTV. “That was always a big issue for me — being mixed race — because casting directors tended to be very like, ‘OK, are you Hispanic for this role?’ ‘Or is she going to be African American?’ ”
She admits that La La Land’s inability to nail down her identity in the early stages of her career sometimes made it hard. That’s before she landed her star-making role as sassy cheerleader Santana on the hit Fox sitcom back in 2009.
“So, it was really tough and work started to show down. From the time I was 16 to really up until turning 21, the roles were really, really few and far between,” she said. “I had people say that I just wasn’t a good singer. They didn’t know what to do with me; I would never fit in any markets. I almost quit acting altogether.”
The episode will feature more from Rivera as she opens up about her struggles to make it. And, it will also include Chris Brown getting personal about his own rise to the top.
“This Is How I Made It” airs Saturdays at 12 p.m. ET on MTV.