Selenis Leyva: Award Winning Actress Reveals her Workout, Diet and Beauty Secrets

Selenis Leyva is a Cuban-Dominican-American actress, known for her role as Gloria Mendoza in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black. She is of Cuban and Dominican descent and has appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions. On television, Leyva had a recurring role of Detective Mariluz Rivera in Law & Order, and also appeared in different roles on the show and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has guest-starred on Third Watch, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Girls, and Elementary.

In 2013, Leyva began starring as Gloria Mendoza, a Latina leader in the jail, in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black. Her character was recurring for the first two seasons and she was promoted to series regular in Season 3. In 2015, she co-starred opposite Viola Davis and Catalina Sandino Moreno in the courtroom drama film Custody directed and written by James Lapine.

Selenis Leyva is one of the breakout stars of NETFLIX’s hit series Orange Is The New Black, which recently won the coveted Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy Series. Selenis will reprise her role as series regular (and fan favorite!) Gloria Mendoza when the hit series returned for a third season on 12th June 12 and will also make history as the first Latina Governor on HBO’s Emmy-winning series, Veep, starring opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, later this summer. Selenis Leyva recently joined the cast of the highly anticipated feature film “CUSTODY”, starring opposite Catalina Sandino Moreno, Viola Davis, Raul Esparza and Hayden Panettiere and began filming in May 2015 throughout NYC.

Selenis’ numerous television credits include recurring roles on hit shows like Law & Order: SVU; Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Girls, Elementary, The Following, The Sopranos and Third Watch. On the big screen, she’s been seen in Sex & The City 2, the Oscar-nominated film, Maria Full of Grace, and the animated films Ice Age:Continental Drift, EPIC and Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs.

A triple threat, Selenis also has numerous acting credits on the New York Stage, including the iconic role of CELIA CRUZ in the off-Broadway hit Celia, and the critically acclaimed plays Ana in the Tropics and Dona Flor & Her 2 Husbands.

Born and raised in New York City, Selenis is a proud Latina of Cuban and Dominican descent. In addition to being the first Hispanic Ambassador for the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research (her brother is a 2x cancer survior), Selenis is also the recipient of a 2014 ALMA Award, a Special Achievement Award for breaking barriers in the arts. She is also an advocate for LGBT rights and works closely with LGBT Human Rights Organizations and Anti- Bullying Campaigns.

Achievements of Selenis Leyva



2000DebutanteDaisy Dominguez
2002Apartment #5CLuisa
2004Maria Full of GraceCustoms Inspector
2007Illegal TenderWanda
2007Ben’s PlanMaria
2009Don’t Let Me DrownSonia
2009Ice Age: Dawn of the DinosaursAdditional VoicesVoice
2010Sex and the City 2Teacher
2010Trouble ChildTrouble ChildShort film
2011Man in the MirrorSoniaShort film
2012Ice Age: Continental DriftAdditional VoicesVoice
2013EpicAdditional VoicesVoice
2014Living with the DeadDr. Quenda
2015Chapter & VerseYolanda


1999Law & OrderLouisaEpisode: “Refuge: Part 2”
1999Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLorinda GutierrezEpisode: “Hysteria”
2001The $treetKateEpisode: “Junk Bonds”
2001Law & OrderDeeDee SalazarEpisode: “Sunday in the Park with Jorge”
2001TainaTiti RoseRecurring role, 6 episodes
2001100 Centre StreetDelfina RomeroEpisodes: “Kids: Part 1” and “Kids: Part 2”
2002Law & Order: Criminal IntentIsabella CostasEpisode: “Homo Homini Lupis”
2003Third WatchPhyllisEpisode: “Goodbye to All That”
2004Third WatchGonzalezEpisode: “Leap of Faith”
2004Law & OrderNita CabreraEpisode: “Veteran’s Day”
2005Law & Order: Criminal IntentWarden’s SecretaryEpisode: “Prisoner”
2004-2006Law & OrderDetective Mariluz RiveraRecurring role, 18 episodes
2006The SopranosJill DibiasoEpisode: “Live Free or Die”
2007Dirty Sexy MoneyDetective Angelina AdamsEpisode: “Pilot”
2008New AmsterdamSusan BoyleEpisode: “Pilot”
2010Law & OrderRona HendersonEpisode: “Boy on Fire”
2010The Good WifeMarisolEpisode: “Doubt”
2010The Whole TruthClaudiaEpisode: “Liars”
2011Law & Order: Criminal IntentDetective Mariluz RiveraEpisode: “Icarus”
2011Person of InterestHoskingEpisode: “Number Crunch”
2011-2012Blue BloodsAssistant M.E. CraigRecurring role, 4 episodes
2012GirlsChastityEpisode: “Hannah’s Diary”
2012ElementarySara CastilloEpisode: “Child Predator”
2013The FollowingDetective MoralesEpisode: “Chapter Two”
2013-presentOrange Is the New BlackGloria MendozaRecurring role (Seasons 1-2), Series regular (Season 3)
ALMA Award for Outstanding Special Achievement in Television (2014)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series(2015)
2015Madam SecretaryBolivian Ambassador Mariana DominguezEpisode: “The Time Is at Hand”
2015VeepGovernor RamosEpisode: “B/ill”


Full Interview on Next Page!

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