'Devious Maids' star Ana Ortiz: 'I get why we don't want to be viewed as maids anymore'

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The stars of Lifetime's "Devious Maids" are more than sensitive to the criticism swirling around the series. Critics say casting only Latina maids is stereotyping.

Ana Ortiz, who plays Marisol, tells Zap2it that she knew from the beginning this would be an issue.

"I get why we don't want to be viewed as maids anymore," Ortiz says. Over the course of her career, she has played "umpteen maids and 72 hookers and drug dealers' girlfriends."

"That said, most women in my family were housekeepers or nannies," she adds. "And these are wonderful, amazing, intelligent, funny, sexy, crazy women, and I don't understand why their story isn't as important as [that of] a lawyer.

 "To me, I get the criticism, I don't think it is not valid. I do hope people give it a chance," she says. "And, where we are coming from as actors and Latinas -- we are representing and this is our life too."

Her character, Marisol, is different from the other maids in terms of education and background.

"She is definitely college-educated and values that very, very highly," Ortiz says of Marisol, who is working undercover as a maid to get information she needs to help her son.

Though Marisol may very well be a lawyer, which will be revealed as the series continues, education and working as a maid struck very close to home for Ortiz.

"My grandmother was a housekeeper, and she put my father through college and Columbia law school," Ortiz says. "And he became the first Puerto Rican city councilman in Pennsylvania.

"And I don't know why her story can't be told with humor and love and wickedness and juiciness," she continues. "And I don't understand why we have to be lawyers to get any respect."
Photo/Video credit: Lifetime