Jackie Cruz reveals how the car accident has changed her life

By Maya Anderman
June 21, 2016 10:30 PM

Orange Is the New Black star Jackie Cruz did not have an easy route to fame

In her late teens, the actress experienced a nearly fatal car accident, which almost ended her dream of becoming an actress and singer.

“The moment waking up from my accident…I just had this face that you would never see in Hollywood and I was like my dream’s over,” she tells PEOPLE.

Cruz, whose character goes by the nickname of Flaca on the hit Netflix show, also discusses what she learned from the accident and how it changed her perception on life.

“Now I have this, it’s just incredible. I appreciate it, I’m more grateful. Like it felt impossible and it actually happened” she says.

“Beauty is not what you look like … Yeah I’m wearing makeup now because I like to feel pretty, but it was never that it was the talent,” she says.

Season 4 of Orange is the New Black is now streaming on Netflix.