Ar­rested de­vel­op­ment

Rose­wood’s Jaina Lee Or­tiz says that she owes her suc­cess as a tough TV cop in Mi­ami to her dad – a real-life de­tec­tive.

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Jaina Lee Or­tiz has been a hit as trou­bled Mi­ami cop An­nalise Villa. Sea­son 1 Mon­days Uni­ver­sal Chan­nel (*117) 20:50

Sassy, sexy and com­fort­able with us­ing a gun at work – that’s all in a day’s work for 29-year-old new­comer Jaina Lee Or­tiz, aka de­tec­tive An­nalise Villa in ac­tion show Rose­wood (2015- cur­rent). To­gether with Mor­ris Chest­nut, who plays se­ries star Dr Beau­mont “Rosie” Rose­wood – her part­ner in fight­ing crime on the sunny streets of Mi­ami, they’re putting the bad guys be­hind bars (plus maybe fall­ing in love…) And it looks like there are a lot of new cases on their way with the se­ries be­ing re­newed for sea­son 2.

Tell us about your first day. We shot the pi­lot in March 2015 in Mi­ami and it was hot and hu­mid. I wore a leather jacket, skin-tight jeans and three-and-a-halfinch boot heels. My first scene in­volved me chas­ing a sus­pect down a his­tor­i­cal street in Lit­tle Ha­vana. I must’ve sprinted about 50 times, I al­most lost balance and rolled my an­kle be­cause my hand­cuffs flew out of their holder. The next day I could barely walk. In all hon­esty, it was a dream come true. Half the time I was think­ing, “Is this re­ally hap­pen­ing? Am I re­ally shoot­ing with Mor­ris?” I was like a kid in a candy store! So did you un­dergo any train­ing with weapons or for stunts? The only train­ing I’ve re­ceived was from my dad Joe Or­tiz, a New York homi­cide de­tec­tive. He took me to a gun range when I was a teen to ex­pe­ri­ence han­dling and fir­ing a weapon. All of my other stunt ex­pe­ri­ence is from my danc­ing back­ground – I was a pro­fes­sional salsa dancer for 14 years be­fore I started act­ing in 2010. Un­der­stand­ing chore­og­ra­phy helped me pick up fight se­quences quickly and I al­ways want to do my own stunts. Did your dad help with the de­tec­tive part of your role? Ab­so­lutely. He played a Jaina and her dad Joe, a real-life cop. And tell us about Rosie and Villa’s re­la­tion­ship. They’re part­ners at work, but will it ever be­come ro­man­tic? They have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship. They’re op­po­site ends of the spec­trum but they work well to­gether de­spite the con­stant ban­ter. And there’s no deny­ing it – there’s a deep at­trac­tion, but I think the foun­da­tion is what is be­ing built. They’re build­ing im­mense trust and re­spect, which are the main in­gre­di­ents for a healthy re­la­tion­ship. Will that build into some­thing ro­man­tic? Maybe. Will they fi­nally get past the de­nial stage and give it a shot? I’m dy­ing to know! Rosie (Mor­ris Chest­nut) and De­tec­tive Villa on the job.

What makes Rose­wood so pop­u­lar? It’s a fun show. It doesn’t take it­self too se­ri­ously and fans can re­late to the char­ac­ters. It’s a pro­ce­dural [a crime drama with new cases ev­ery episode] with a se­ri­alised el­e­ment that makes peo­ple fall in love with ev­ery story arc. Was film­ing all se­ri­ous busi­ness, be­cause it looks like you have fun… I love catch­ing Mor­ris sleep­ing. I take photos or videos of him and post them on so­cial me­dia. And are you busy with any other projects? I’ve been keep­ing busy binge-watch­ing The Walk­ing Dead (2010- cur­rent)!

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