Actress Juliana Aidén Martinez played a pivotal role in the new Netflix series, Griselda. Here are some facts about Martinez and her career.
Griselda centers on the real-life figure Griselda Blanco, a powerful drug queenpin in 1980s-era Florida. Blanco amassed so much influence over the state’s drug trade that she earned herself the nickname “Godmother of Cocaine."
5 Facts About Griselda Star Juliana Aidén Martinez
Juliana Aidén Martinez Graduated From Yale
Martinez attended the prestigious Ivy League Yale University and graduated from the institution’s School of Drama in May 2020.
On graduation day, she took to Instagram to commemorate the occasion, posting a photo in her cap and gown with the following caption:
“From a solar eclipse to a earthly panny. Ma, I finally graduated from Yale!!!”
Yale’s David Geffen School of Drama was founded in 1924, and its alumni include Dan Ackroyd, Angela Bassett, and Paul Giamatti, among many others.
Juliana Was Selected for Hillman Grad’s Mentorship Lab
In 2021, Juliana Aidén Martinez was a part of the production company, Hillman Grad’s Mentorship Lab. The program provides opportunities for members of marginalized communities who work in the entertainment industry.
In another Instagram post, Martinez shared her excitement over being accepted into the program, remarking that she was “absolutely floored:”
”woww. I’m absolutely floored. Thank you @lenawaithe for believing in me and so proud to be part of the @hillmangradproductionsfam”
Juliana Previously Starred in Crime/Thriller Boundary
Martinez starred in the 2022 thriller Boundary, directed by Anthony Faust, which told the story of an assassin who gets mixed up in a drug ring.
She played the character of Emily Massey, the wife of the protagonist. In an interview with Dead Talk Live on YouTube, Martinez spoke about the movie. When asked about how she envisioned her role upon reading the script, she responded by commenting on the “strength” and “tenacity” of her character:
“Yeah, I think that when I originally read the script…. the first time reading it, there was an initial trap I saw, playing someone in which they were the submissive wife. And I think that Emily, what was really interesting to me is the strength and… the tenacity she has to want to have the marriage that she’s seeking, the family that she’s seeking, the trust that she’s seeking… there’s a strength to Emily that I didn’t want… to wash away, and I think that Emily is as much of a fighter as her husband is.”
Juliana Met June Hawkins-Singleton to Research Her Griselda Role
With Griselda being based upon a true story, Juliana Aidén Martinez met with June Hawkins-Singleton, the Miami detective whom she played in the series (via Netflix).
The two spent hours chatting and discussing Hawkins-Singleton’s history as a police offer during an extremely dangerous time in her city’s history:
“During her time, Miami became the murder capital of the country. She’s navigating being the first female homicide detective in this world of men. She’s also Cuban American, and she understands the cultural authenticity and the cultural factors that are happening in these conversations with the witnesses.”
As Martinez put it, “representation” and an understanding of one’s community are “really important,” and June Hawkins-Singleton exemplified those qualities:
“It really shows how representation and being able to understand your own community is really important. We understand our own. I feel like June [is] a testament to that.”
She remarked that she drew some “fascinating” parallels between Griselda Blanco and Detective Hawkins-Singleton, at least in the way men perceived them:
“Both of them go from a place of being underestimated, undervalued, or dismissed and struggling to take care of themselves –– to even financially provide for themselves, to then being like, ‘I’m actually here and you’re going to see me and I’m actually going to be telling you what to do. It’s fascinating. As women, as you see, even in today’s society, we want to be seen as equals and to also be in a place of autonomy and a place of power as well.”
Juliana Did an Improv Comedy Video With One Piece’s Ilia Isorelýs Paulino
In December 2023, the actress participated in a humorous improv video series called Friendship/Therapy on the YouTube channel Cusp of Rebirth Productions.
Her scene partner was Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, who played Captain Alvida in another Netflix series, the smash-hit live-action One Piece.
In the video, the two embarked on a comical discussion on the topic of spicing up one’s sex life.
How To Follow Juliana Aidén Martinez Online
For those looking to see more of Juliana Aidén Martinez, she’s on Instagram (@julianaaidenmartinez).
All six episodes of Griselda are streaming exclusively on Netflix.