'On My Block' star Jessica Marie Garcia talks Jasmine's sexuality and Ruby's fate in Season 2
Ahead of season 2 of Netflix’s ‘On My Block’, MEA WorldWide spoke with Jessica Marie Garcia who plays the remarkable and outstanding Jasmine
If you are like most fans of Netflix’s ‘On My Block,’ you probably love alternatively hating on and getting irritated with Jasmine. The remarkable and outstanding Jasmine is played by the beautiful and talented Jessica Marie Garcia. However, she was barely tolerated by her "friends" and was misunderstood by them, to say the least.
Even for fans of the show, she is an acquired taste and, as Garcia puts it, she is not everyone’s cup of tea. Garcia spoke with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about her character and said, “She is actually more of a complex character than I have ever professionally played. Comedy stems from drama. She’s funny and loud because she’s trying to distract you from the walls she’s built around her. She wants to be liked and have friends. She leads in her sexuality because she feels like that's what she’s supposed to do to be liked.”
As one would guess from the premise of ‘On My Block,’ and the way Jasmine presents herself, she has had a tough life, and things aren’t all that great at home. We will get to see a little bit of that in the upcoming season 2, promises Garcia.
“I believe you’re going to see a glimpse of her home life and dive a little deeper into other layers of who Jasmine is as a person and as a friend,” she says, adding, “Hopefully then, you may see where she’s coming from a bit more and you’ll be sippin’ her tea too.”
Season 2 will obviously address what happened to Ruby (Jason Genao) and how it affects the close-knit group of friends, including Jasmine. “Ruby has a very special place in Jasmine's heart and it would be impossible for what happened not to impact the entire show,” says Garcia, and it would ring true for any fan of ‘On My Block.’ Especially for Jasmine, we wonder how much it will sober her up, and we are excited to see that side of the character and Garcia’s range as an actor.
It is evident from this conversation, and even from Garcia’s portrayal of Jasmine, that she plays her with a lot of conviction and sincerity. She owes that to that fact that this character – in one shape of form – is present in everyone’s life. The actress says, “I think everyone has or needs a Jasmine in their life. I modeled her off a few girls I went to school with, characters from my favorite reality shows and also a huge dash of me.”
The show as a whole is personal for Garcia, and — evidently from social media — all the cast. “I am very fortunate to work alongside some amazing humans but this group is something else. We are a family and I think it shows on screen. We weren’t big on pranks but Sierra [Capri; aka Monse Finnie] and I would quote our favorite movies to each other to the point where we're crying, laughing and composing ourselves to shoot. No one around us ever knew what was happening. Brett [Gray aka Jamal Turner] was always making up songs on the spot that would always keep us on the floor.”
As fun as the set sounds and as amazing as her casemates are, it is not lost on Garcia that ‘On My Block’ is an important show – in terms of representation and storytelling.
To that end, Garcia says, “It was an amazing feeling to be on ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ and ‘On My Block,’ surrounded by a cast of people of color. Growing up I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me on TV but when I did, they definitely weren’t in positions of power. Being able to play a Latinx law student on ‘HTGAWM’ whose superiors are also minorities felt like we were helping change the vision of underrepresented groups in power for the next generation of girls like me. Girls who wanted nothing more than to scream, ‘You can’t handle the truth!’ in a courtroom drama without looking like Jack Nicholson or a kid who wants to go on a Goonie-esque adventure but doesn’t look like Sean Astin but may look like Brett Gray looking for the Roller World money. Representation matters.”