Dascha Polanco On Why She Used To Feel 'Less Than' As A Latina In Hollywood

"I think historically we're subconsciously conditioned to feel that way -- not good enough or less than."

Navigating Hollywood as a Latina has been difficult for Dascha Polanco, she told HuffPost Live on Monday. But with a "good GPS," the 33-year-old star says she's maintained her confidence. 

The actress told host Alex Miranda about initially feeling intimidated working alongside notable actors like Robert De Niro and Isabella Rossellini in her newest film, "Joy." 

"These are living legends, so at times you feel like you're not supposed to be here," Polanco said. "As a Latina, you probably feel like you're just not good enough. You feel insecure. But there was one thing that [director] David [O. Russell] mentioned, and he specifically said, 'I know what I'm doing, I know who I want to be part of my vision. I just need you to trust me and I'll guide you in the right direction.'"

The "Orange is the New Black" actress explained that not seeing people that looked like her on the big screen is part of what made her insecure about pursuing a career in Hollywood. 

"I think historically [Latinos are] subconsciously conditioned to feel that way -- not good enough or less than," she said.

But as her career has evolved, she says she's seen her growth as "redemption."

Watch Polanco describe how she's slowly shed her insecurities and now owns being a Latina in Hollywood in the clip above. And click here for the full HuffPost Live conservation with the star. 

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