Praise the media gods – prime-time television is about to be blessed with a high-powered Latina character. Just this week it was revealed that Shonda Rhimes’ network sensation, How to Get Away With Murder, will be beefing up its already black-and-brown-powered cast with the addition of Boricua TV veteran Lauren Vélez.
According to TVline, Vélez will be acting alongside Emmy Award-winning lead actress Viola Davis as the President of fictional Middleton University. That’s right: a female, Afro-Latina university president on primetime. So far, not much has been revealed about Vélez’s character, other than a short blurb describing her as “self-assured, friendly, warm and diplomatic.” Suffice it to say, it’s nice to see a Latina on television described as “self-assured” and “warm,” rather than “sassy” and “fiery.”
It also appears that Vélez’s character will be more than just an occasional guest spot, and her currently unnamed character has been described as a “major recurring role.” After putting in six seasons on Showtime’s Dexter as Police Captain María Laguerta, Vélez should need no introduction to TV audiences, but HTGAWM will mark her first prominent network television role since her recurring turn as Elena on ABC’s Ugly Betty ended back in 2010.