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Maid to be Devious

For the star of new TV2 series Devious Maids, scrubbing floors in the smash-hit comedy is a task surprisingly close to Ana Oritz’s heart.

For the star of new TV2 series Devious Maids, scrubbing floors in the smash-hit comedy is a task surprisingly close to her heart.

After making a name for herself as vain older sister Hilda in Ugly Betty, Ana Oritz’s latest role as maid Marisol is her most personal yet. When the Weekly meets her in Los Angeles for the launch of the new series, she is bubbling with excitement.

This is the first primetime American show with an all-Latina ensemble, produced by Eva Longoria and the makers of Desperate Housewives. The show follows the lives of four domestic workers in Beverly Hills, and a murder mystery Marisol is trying to solve. Not only is the show packed with comedy and drama, says Ana, it also serves as her own private tribute to the women from her family who came to America from Puerto Rico, to help give her a better life.

“My grandmother was a domestic worker, and so were her sisters. The fact I’m lucky in life is thanks to them and the work they did,” says Ana (42).

The cast is a who’s who of Latin-American actresses, including Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Dania Ramirez (Heroes) and Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace). Working in such a line-up was something Ana never thought possible. She and her Devious castmates had competed against each other in the industry for years.

“We have a built-in chemistry and camaraderie already,” says Ana. “I realised we can really do something completely groundbreaking and fun.”

The show has the same Housewives feel, with the maids discovering the secrets of their rich employers. Although it’s over the top, Ana says she wanted to make her character as believable as possible, out of respect to her culture, and decided to base parts of her character on her own maid, Gloria, and the personal experiences with her family.

“If you are a Latin woman, you sort of know [working as a maid] is a way of life for so many of us. “I bounce things off Gloria,” says Ana. “She takes care of my kids – Paloma (4) and Rafael (21 months). This is a woman who is looking after my baby, comes into our house and knows everything about us.”

“She is one of the family and has just been a remarkable part of our lives.”

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