Actress Justina Adorno talks about working with idols Eva Longoria and Roselyn Sanchez in the set of Grand Hotel and why she went vegan.

For Justina Adorno working with Eva Longoria and Roselyn Sanchez on the ABC series Grand Hotel was a dream come true. “From the first day I met my cast it's been like magic,” she tells CHICA. “It was a joy to come to work.” Having Longoria as executive producer is a big learning experience. “She welcomed me with open arms literally. We both connected,” the 28-year-old actress, of Puerto Rican descent, says. “She is definitely one of my biggest role model in my life. She does everything. I look up to her in so many ways. She was pregnant when we filmed our pilot and she brought the baby later to the set. She is always with her baby, always giving back to others. She is always telling a joke, giving advice.”


Having Roselyn Sánchez play her mom in the series is mind-boggling, she admits. “I never thought in a million years that Roselyn Sánchez would ever be my mother. She looks like I could be her mother!,” she jokes about the fabulous Puerto Rican actress. “It was so humbling to have her there to support me. She was literally like my mother! She would tell me stories, laugh, we bonded because we both love animals. She is a big animal activist and so am I.”


Her character, who is a fraternal twin in the series, is filled with enigma, Adorno says. “I felt so connected with her. She is the black sheep of the family and growing up I kind of felt that I was the black sheep of my family,” she says of the role of ‘Yoli' in the suspenseful series. “She is very independent, she owns who she is. Yoli has a lot of substance, she has a lot of depth.”


Adorno also has a lot of depth and is committed to a lifestyle that doesn't harm animals. In fact she asked the styling crew on the set of the series to use makeup and beauty brands on her that were not tested on animals or had animal products. She also became vegan two years ago. “Being vegan has changed my life for sure. I've always loved animals” she says. After watching a documentary on the animal cruelty behind the meat and dairy industries, she decided to have a completely plant-derived nutrition. “I feel happier, I feel like I'm making a difference,” she says.


The actress, born and raised in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, feels a deep connection to her Caribbean roots. “I go there a lot, I love Puerto Rico,” she says. “I definitely want to strengthen the relationship with the island in the near future. One of my dreams is to open an animal sanctuary there.”