Seventeen-year-old Paulina Chávez is one of the new faces of Netflix’s push into original Latinx content, starring in the titular role of its newest sitcom The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia, co-created by Mario Lopez.
Chávez, a Mexican American actress from San Antonio, plays Ashley Garcia, a teen who has not one but two PhDs by the age of 15 and moves in with her Tío Victor in California to begin her new career making robots for NASA. And while all of that is great and amazing and forces me to reexamine my own life, Ashley is also focused on living the teenage life she missed out on after graduating high school at age 9.“She wants to go to dances, she wants to go to parties, she wants to have her first kiss,” Chávez tells Jezebel.
While the show sprinkles in some Latinx culture, what Chávez would like to see in future seasons are full-blown Spanish conversations between Ashley and her uncle. “Hopefully from this series, a lot of people get inspired to write more stories like this because there’s a lot of smart Latinos out there,” she says. “My sister’s one of them; she’s an engineer. She’s pretty amazing.”
Watch the video above to see more of Chávez talking all things Latinidad, including a bonus live mariachi performance (yes, Chávez is also a legit mariachi).