To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
She plays no-nonsense tough gal Rosita Espinosa on The Walking Dead, but before that, she was a child star and a Twilight teen. Christian Serratos has matured into a fan favorite on AMC’s post-apocalyptic hit, but there’s a lot more to this TWD survivor than just her mad acting skills. Serratos recently welcomed her first child with longtime boyfriend David Boyd, so there’s plenty of mom moments in her future. Now, here’s a look at her past.
1. She grew up in a Spanish-speaking household.
Serratos was born in Pasadena, Calif. in 1990 to an Italian construction worker and a Mexican jewelry designer. In an interview with AskMen, the actress revealed that she grew up in a big family that was heavily influenced by her mother’s Mexican heritage. “My family spoke Spanish in the house. Our Hispanic culture was definitely there,” she said.
2. She’s a former Disney and Nickelodeon star.
Starting at age 14, Serratos played the sometimes crabby Suzie Crabgrass on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, logging 44 episodes on the Nickelodeon kiddie show. She also guest-starred on tween favorites like Hannah Montana and Zoey 101. Serratos transitioned to older teen roles, playing Bella’s bestie, Angela Weber, in the Twilight movies. “It’s easy to become stereotyped… but those are the opportunities you’re given when you’re young,” she told AskMen. “I was fortunate enough to do those shows, then move from there into other roles, like The Walking Dead. But you’ve got to pay your dues with your roles.”
3. She’s an animal activist and posed naked for PETA.
Serratos is a vegan and an animal lover, so perhaps it’s no surprise that at age 19 she stripped down for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. She also posed for the organization’s “Save the Seals” celebrity ad series. The actress revealed that she “was literally waiting” until she turned 18 so she could pose for PETA. “It’s something I was passionate about at a young age,” she said. “I was educating my mom and sister, and encouraging as many people as possible not to eat meat and the reasons behind it. That poster is something I’m really proud I did to raise awareness for a cause I believe in. It’s one of my proudest moments.”
4. As a child, she was a competitive skater.
Serratos told AMC she did competitive figure skating as a child, but she wasn’t a typical girly-girl. “I grew up doing competitive figure skating, and because of that I was trained in ballet and jazz,” she said. “But then on the flip side, my dad always wanted a little boy, so I had BMX bikes and stuff.”
5. She appeared in the pilot for American Horror Story.
Blink and you missed her, but in 2011 Serratos made a quickie cameo in the pilot of Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series, American Horror Story. The actress splayed Becca on AHS: Murder House, one of the mean girls who harassed Violet (Taissa Farmiga) when she began school at Westfield High.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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