American actress Gina Torres holds an impressive career spanning over a decade. Her most notable appearances include starring as Zoe Washburne in Firefly, Jessica Pearson in the drama series Suits, and many others. The accomplished actress has amassed a long list of roles and awards over the years. With a resume as stacked as hers, it’s surprising to learn Torres wasn’t always the confident actress that she is today.
“I sort of learned from these women that I was portraying along the way, and I was faking it ’til I made it,” Torres reveals in an interview with Bustle.
Torres describes the early days of her career from 1997 when she was 28.
“I was living in Auckland, New Zealand because I was a recurring character in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” said Torres. “I’m from New York, so I kept my apartment there, although I had to sublet it because I couldn’t afford to keep all my residences going. And I would also come to LA to do pilots and audition. Traveling took up a lot of my time at that age. And I had also just met who would be my first husband, Laurence Fishburne. People think we met on the set of Matrix, but we met prior to that.”
Fast forward to today, and the now 52-year-old actress is stepping into her own strength and wisdom as she takes on the important role of a first responder on 9-1-1: Lone Star. The American procedural drama television series is currently in its third season.
Gina Torres boasts an impressive career
In reflecting on her career as a 28-year-old to now, Torres says she feels “blessed.”
“I come from a family that couldn’t be more separated from the theatrical world,” said Torres. “So any job that I got always seemed like a little bit of a miracle to me. You have big dreams and it never feels like you’re making big changes or you’re taking big steps. It’s really a collection of occurrences and steps and parts that got me to where I am now. It’s been a learning curve because the older you get, you measure success differently.”
Torres has come a long way since her early acting days. Having portrayed a variety of strong and empowered women throughout her career, she pulls inspiration from her previous characters.
“If I can paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, ‘I’m not really the boss, I’m just drawn that way,'” said Gina Torres. “Because of my physicality, [because] I tower over people, [and] because I have a deep voice, I have this innate authority. It was easy to hang those characters on me early on, really before I could cut my teeth. I sort of learned from these women that I was portraying along the way and I was faking it ’til I made it. Now, I’m just like, ‘Oh yeah, I own it. I own all of it. Absolutely.’ It’s a right to be able to get to that place, and you have to own it. But it’s not free.”