It’s certainly a welcome development for the 29-year-old Mexican-American actress, who spent her first year in Hollywood going on auditions that called for stereotypical characters. “I realized [casting directors] didn’t believe I was Latin until I did a little bit of an accent,” Souza reveals, “and I was like, ‘Wow this is crazy!’”
Now that she’s on HTGAWM, she’s hoping Laurel will change how Latin characters are shown on TV. “I hope it’s opening the door for different looking Latins out there,” she says. Laurel’s father is played by Honduran actor José Zúñiga, but audiences may have continued to assume Souza and her character were Caucasian if the show had never more directly shown them speaking Spanish.