As anticipated, Diane Guerrero shines bright as she talks about her life and her journey

The #zotForDiane hype buzzes through campus as a large crowd showED up to see her speak

With every person’s life, there are times in where they’ve achieved it all with everything going perfectly fine and other times where they’ve had to face the harsh realities of adversity. Diane Guerrero, a beacon of hope for the immigrant community, has been through it all.

The 30 year old actress, most widely known for her roles in shows like Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, came to UC Irvine on a relaxed Thursday night to talk about her journey as an actress, having her parents deported when she only 14, her current projects and her activism off the set.

With current release of her book, In the Country We Love, many of her fans brought their books with them and even bought the book before the event in order to get it signed by Diane. The book was even on sale before the event started with many copies waiting to be sold.

While the atmosphere before the event was relatively calm, most fans expected a productive conversation. According to a Diane Guerrero fan, Romy Rosas said:”I heard her story and how her parents were deported. My mother was undocumented and she luckily able to get her residency. As someone who’s had a mother was undocumented, I passionately feel her struggle.” When commenting on her acting experience, she said, “I thought she was amazing in Orange is the New Black. She’s a fantastic actress, she’s very beautiful and superbly talented.”

With her painful story of her parents and the fact that she was featured in Orange is the New Black, fans before the show stated that these were the main reasons why they came to see her speak. According to another fan, he said, “I came here because I see her in the show Orange is the New Black. Also, I thought her story of her parents getting deported was brutal and she must have been very resilient to get through that kind of adversity.” said Bryant Reza.

Once she came into the room, the audience roared the room with cheers. Once conversation started going, Diane gave the audience the option to whether they should talking about something serious or something fun. Once host Marina Eskander and Diane continued on with their conservation, they started talking about several key topics from her struggle in life to the her career as an actress.

When given questions directly written from the audience members, the many questions that were given to her ranged from “How were you able to overcome your struggles?” to “How did you get into acting”. When asking the first question before, she strongly credits her success for her ability to being persistent, being creative and her ability to get back up after facing hardships.

With Diane and Marina jokingly talking back and forth as their conservation progressed, Marina asked the more serious questions regarding her career with acting. When asked on how she got into the industry on the first place, Diane talked about how she was willing to take any job out there and even did small gigs that she found on craigslist. While most of the roles that she found were mostly from obscure independent film directors, there was most one film that she definitely came up in her mind first when talking to Marina. It involved working with a film director from Harvard University and out of all the indie movies that she did before, this one of the more favorable indie film experiences that she had.

The chemistry between Marina and Diane was strong with the two seeming to breeze through all the important topics without any sign of them stopping. With her acting career already discussed, they moved on to her social activism and her involvement in the community. While being a star on the set of the show “Orange is the New Black”, a show in which she emphasizes deemed to be a realistic picture of prison life is, has said that she and her cast have given back to organizations that have helped inmates struggling in woman’s prisons. When asked on what immigrant families could to stay safe from separation and deportation, she recommended that they stay informed and make sure that they know all their rights when possibly being detained.

After finishing up their productive discussion with a 60 buzzing questions segment (which included simple questions over what’s her favorite color to her favorite sports team), the ASUCI crew came up to the stage to finally say goodbye and they gave her an Anteater plush toy right before she left the room. With an overall laid back attitude and the willingness to answer questions from the audience, Diane’s conservation with Marina was enjoyable and entertaining to watch.

UC Irvine #zotWithDiane