It was believed by many that the new CW reboot of Charmed was bringing Afro-Latina bruja realness to the forefront by creating Latina leading characters. However, two of the three leads, Madeleine Mantock and Sarah Jeffrey, actually aren't Latinas at all. Naturally, this inspired anger from those who are aching to see themselves portrayed onscreen.
This could have been a great opportunity for some Afro-Latina visibility, because Gina Torres and Zoe Saldana shouldn't be the only high-profile Afro-Latina actress out there getting all the roles. With that said, here's a list of 11 actresses who have earned their dues and could have lent some much-needed Afro-Latina representation to Charmed. Some names on this list might surprise you.
1. Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson is currently a genre queen, starring as Claire Temple in Marvel and Netflix's Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and The Defenders. With so much experience in the realm of comic books, being a witch wouldn't have been a huge leap for Dawson. Other recent credits include The CW's Jane the Virgin, Jay Z: Family Feud ft. Beyoncé, The Lego Batman Movie and Sorry to Bother You. Before that, she's starred in some of Hollywood's biggest films, including Clerks II, Eagle Eye, Seven Pounds, Cesar Chavez and Rent, just to name a few.
2. Dascha Polanco
Dascha Polanco has secured her hold on audiences with her role as Dayanara Diaz on Netflix's Orange is the New Black. She's recently made the jump to primetime TV as Detective Lori Weider in FX's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Some of her movie credits include Gimme Shelter (which also starred Dawson) and Joy. With the ending of Orange is the New Black coming up, fans are going to want to see more of Polanco on their screens in new projects. It would have been nice if Charmed was one of those projects.
3. Christina Milian
Fox Television Co.
Christina Milian first made her mark as a pop singer, but she also has a lengthy acting career, including credits in television shows like The WB's Smallville, CBS' A Gifted Man, NBC's Grandfathered, Hulu's East Los High and films like Man of the House, Love Don't Cost a Thing, Be Cool, Pulse, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Baggage Claim. She's also become a correspondent for NBC's The Voice and played Magenta in the TV musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again.
4. Reagan Gomez-Preston
Those of us who grew up in the 1990s remember Reagan Gomez-Preston from The WB's The Parent 'Hood. But Gomez-Preston has added to her repertoire, becoming a producer and creator in her own right. While starring on OWN's Queen Sugar and lending her voice to Adult Swim's Rick and Morty and Cartoon Network's Steven Universe, Gomez-Preston has written, produced and directed web series Surviving..., a post-apocalyptic horror, and Almost Home, a family drama. Gomez-Preston's interest in genre could have made her a perfect candidate to play one of the leads on Charmed.
5. Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson is one of the biggest stars today, headlining in the Creed franchise, Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Men in Black spinoff. She's also the love interest in Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer "emotion picture." Thompson hasn't kept her spotlight solely on the big screen; she's also captivated fans of high-concept sci-fi with her role as underhanded executive Charlotte Hale on HBO's Westworld. With so much time spent in the realm of magic and the supernatural, Thompson could definitely take on the role of a witch and make it sing.
6. Yaya DaCosta
Suzanne Tenner/Focus Features
Only true Yaya DaCosta fans remember that the actress first got her start on America's Top Model. But since then, she's transformed her modeling career into an acting career filled with big credits. DaCosta has starred in TV shows and films such as ABC's Ugly Betty, NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med, Fox's House, The Kids Are All Right, Whitney and Lee Daniels' The Butler. So far, DaCosta hasn't been seen much in genre entertainment; her biggest role in that space was in Tron: Legacy. But with her trajectory, it's only a matter of time before she dominates the world of science fiction and fantasy. It would have been cool if Charmed was that next leap.
7. Dania Ramirez
Dania Ramirez recently delved into fantasy when she played Cinderella/Jacinda Vidrio on ABC's reboot of Once Upon a Time, proving she has experience in the realm of supernatural television. You might have also seen her on shows like Lifetime's Devious Maids, HBO's Entourage and The Sopranos and NBC's Heroes. Ramirez has also starred in films like American Reunion and Premium Rush.
8. Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera would have been great for a show about female empowerment like Charmed. Her most famous for her role as mean girl cheerleader Santana Lopez on Fox's musical series Glee. The role was initially just a stereotype, but eventually, the role developed into a study of a girl learning to own her sexuality. Even though Glee is what Rivera's best remembered for, she has been a child actor since the '90s, appearing on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, CBS' The Royal Family. The WB's Smart Guy, Disney Channel's Even Stevens, ABC's 8 Simple Rules and Fox's The Bernie Mac Show. Since Glee, Rivera has starred on Lifetime's Devious Maids and YouTube Premium's Step Up: High Water.
9. Heather Hemmens
Jack Rowand/The CW Network
Heather Hemmens is probably best known for her role as Alice Verdura on The CW's cheerleading drama Hellcats. She's been steadily adding onto her resume with roles on OWN's The Haves and the Have Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong and Paramount Network's Yellowstone. She'll be returning to The CW in 2019 in the series Roswell, New Mexico, the reboot of the 1999-2002 sci-fi drama series Roswell. Her career in the teen drama space would have made her a perfect casting choice for Charmed.
10. La La Anthony
Myles Aronowitz/Starz Entertainment
The actress and producer has starred in TV series including VH1's Single Ladies, NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CBS' Unforgettable and BET's mini series The New Edition Story. Anthony has also starred in films like Baggage Claim (with Milian), the Think Like a Man franchise, Chi-Raq and Drake's In My Feelings music video. Anthony's most recent credits include Starz' Power and Fox's Star. A show like Charmed could have shown us a new side to Anthony and possibly opened her up to a brand new young adult audience.
11. Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali will always be Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to us, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have the range needed to play a witch discovering her powers. She's had roles on CBS' The Young and the Restless, TV One's Love That Girl!, BET's The Bobby Brown Story, Comedy Central's Key and Peele and ABC's web series American Koko. She's also becoming the new queen of Christmas, having starred in the Lifetime movie Wrapped Up in Christmas and will star in the Hallmark Channel movie Christmas Everlasting. It could have been so easy to extend Ali's holiday reign to Halloween if she were cast as one of the Vera sisters.
Who would you have cast in Charmed?