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‘Grand Hotel’ Star Justina Adorno Is All About Self-Growth On & Off Screen — EXCLUSIVE

Have you ever stumbled upon a photo of celebrity and immediately wondered what they were thinking in that very moment? In Elite Daily’s series, I Can Explain…, we’re asking celebrities to revisit their most memorable photos and tell us exactly what was going on in their heads. Whether they open up about an iconic look or a hilarious red carpet incident, we’re traveling back in time to find out what really went down.

Since its June premiere, ABC's Grand Hotel has me constantly daydreaming about a Miami vacation. And while I can't steal away to a luxury hotel any time soon, talking to one of the new drama's actors is just as enjoyable. Grand Hotel star Justina Adorno is all about self-growth on and off screen, and her time on the show is only a part of her own personal journey.

After studying acting in college, Adorno appeared in national commercials before a talent agency discovered her at the 2016 NBC Diversity Showcase. Adorno had small TV appearances until landing her role as Yoli, a daughter in the clan running Miami Beach's last family-owned hotel, on Grand Hotel. The ABC show has garnered acclaim for depicting a Latino family in a position of power. "We’re not just gangsters and street rats," Adorno says. "That’s how you mostly see us portrayed on TV and film, and so I think it’s refreshing."

Adding to the archive of relatable Latina characters is also important to the actor, who looks up to the work of Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez.

"Jennifer Lopez in Selena ... she was a real girl," Adorno recalls, "but I think that was one of the first stories I saw that had this Latina as this central character, and she was just like me, which was just, like, a person."

ABC/Eric McCandless

Like these renowned women, Adorno is using her public platform to improve herself and helps other do the same. "I talk about veganism as much as I can," she says, also promoting self-love and empowerment on social media. "With every day I’m learning a little bit more, and how I can better myself, and be better within that realm, and how I can help others who want to see what I now see, see it."

Of course, no woman is an island, so Adorno has major support from behind the scenes of Grand Hotel. Eva Longoria serves as an executive producer for the series and has already appeared in a guest role on the show. Having a professional relationship with the former Desperate Housewives star has benefited Adorno personally, too.

"She’s just such a great role model, and I’m so grateful that she’s in my life because she’s teaching me that you can have it all if you just give it your all, and to give back, and remember where you come from, and it’s never really about you," Adorno says about Longoria. "In acting, it’s like that, too. In class, I always was taught, like, it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. And I think if we remember that in life, we could get far, and she’s definitely one to prove that."

Vivien Killilea, Getty Images for Sakara Life + Rothy's/Elite Daily