Selenis Leyva, Success With A Purpose Actor Selenis Leyva makes the most out of small moments. She plays the character Gloria Mendoza on the Netflix series, "Orange Is The New Black." Gloria is a strong Latina, trying to survive in prison. And in real life, Leyva is just as passionate. It took her twenty years of struggling as an actress before her big break on "Orange Is The New Black"—which recently ended in the summer of 2019 after seven seasons. For Leyva, those early years have informed her role on the show and her view of what it means to be a celebrity. In this conversation, she opens up to Maria Hinojosa about her long winding road to fame.