Birth name: Jessica Ortiz
Birth place: Fort Ord, California, USA
Date of Birth: November 20, 1986
Height: 5′ 5″ (1.65 m)
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Relationships: Married to Bradley Marques
Jaina’s dad has worked for the NYPD for 23 years, first in narcotics and then as a homicide detective at the 41st Precinct in The Bronx. He was a Detective 1st Grade and is retired now.
Jaina was passionate about dancing from an early age and joined Salsa classes when she was only nine years old. She went on to become a Salsa instructor which she did for 13 years and performed internationally. She started to pursue her career towards acting when she was 16 years old. She appeared in student films and trained for two years at Maggie Flanigan Studios, in the Meisner technique. After that, she debuted in the theatrical show in an off-Broadway play.
Jaina appeared in the drama Sad Spanish Song in 2004 and later on in a short film called High Voltage in 2008.
In 2009, Jaina auditioned and was cast on the second season of VH1’s reality show Scream Queens, where she and nine other aspiring actresses competed in challenges based on acting for the opportunity to win the prize of a role in an upcoming film. The show premiered on August 2, 2010 and on the season finale, she was named first runner-up. What followed were many national television commercials and theatrical performances.
In 2012, she did six episodes of The Shop and appeared in the action film Misfire.
In 2013, she appeared in the short film Laid Out before she was cast as a series regular, Officer Marly Muños, in The After, produced by The X-Files creator, Chris Carter. The pilot, which began airing via Amazon Video in February 2014, received positive feedback and was ordered to series. However, on January 5, 2015, Amazon Studios announced they would no longer move forward with the show.
Two months later, Jaina had her first big break when she was cast as the female lead in a pilot tentatively titled Rosewood. The pilot was greenlit to series in May 2015. Rosewood premiered on September 23, 2015 on Fox. Jaina played Annalise Villa, a tough NYC detective, who comes back home to Miami after the death of her husband and finds herself with a new unusual partner in the form of the private pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, played by Morris Chestnut. Her dad being a detective definitely came in handy. She would call him up whenever she needed advice and he was more than happy to show her how real detectives do the job. Sadly, the series was canceled after two seasons in May 2017.
In 2016, while attending the Essence Festival, her appearance on stage with her fellow cast mates from Rosewood was filmed and shortly included in the hit comedy Girls Trip.
In 2017, after the cancellation of Rosewood, she landed a recurring role opposite Ryan Phillippe on Shooter, playing Angela Tio, a soldier. She appeared in four episodes before her character got killed off.
On July 26, 2017, Jaina was cast as the female lead in the straight-to-series order for a second Grey’s Anatomy spin-off called Station 19 with Stacy McKee, a long-term Grey’s writer and executive producer, as showrunner and executive producer, with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers also serving as executive producers. The series, which would be set in a Seattle firehouse, would follow the lives of a group of firefighters. The order consisted of 10 episodes. In the same month, Paris Barclay signed on to the series as producing director and executive producer.
An episode of Grey’s Anatomy served as a backdoor pilot for the series and introduced us to the lead character of the spin-off, Andy Herrera. This role makes Jaina the first Latina lead in a Shondaland production which she is very proud of and hopes will inspire more roles for Latinas.
On May 11, 2018, ABC renewed the series for a second season. The second season is scheduled to premiere on October 4, 2018.
Jaina currently lives in Los Angeles where she is filming the second season of Station 19. She lives with her husband, The Gifted writer Bradley Marques. The two have been together for over eight years.